The Retired Public Employees of New Mexico (RPENM) has been serving New Mexico's retired public employees since 1962. Our membership comes from every community in New Mexico and all over the United States. Our Mission is to give a voice to all retired public employees. We provide members with valuable benefits, newsletters, annual meetings and chapters throughout the state. PERA retirees, their beneficiaries, and active PERA members are all eligible to join RPENM.
The 2014 RPENM Fall Board Meeting held in Albuquerque on October 24th (reception) and 25th (board meeting) was a great success! We had a well attended reception at El Patron Restaurant on Friday evening including State Representative Bill Rehm, District 31, as a guest. Representative Rehm is a long term RPENM member and strongly supports our organization. The Fall Board Meeting on Friday included a review and recommended changes on RPENM policy, 2015 membership goals, and an historical overview of RPENM from 1962 to current. Also, an informative discussion was held on RPENM administrative challenges, chapter support, and a plan for implementing successful business practices with our organization. Reports were made on the upcoming 2015 legislative session by our lobbyists, Richard Romero and Sue Griffith, as well as a New Mexico Retiree Health Care Authority update by Doug Crandall, RPENM appointed RHCA Representative.
Gerald Chavez was hired by the RPENM Board of Directors as our new Executive Director due the resignation of Pam Kileen. Mr. Chavez has been a long time member of RPENM and served as prior President of the RPENM Board of Directors as well as PERA Board Chair. Mr. Chavez brings enthusiasm and great qualifications to his new position of RPENM Executive Director, and will move our organization forward!
Dan Mayfield has moved up to the position of RPENM President. Dan has a long history with RPENM, and is currently serving on the PERA Board and PERA Investment Chair. Dan has served on many financial committees with RPENM, and will do a great job for us as President.
Susan Biernacki, prior 17 year PERA Board Member and PERA Investment Chair, was appointed to our board on December 22, 2014 due to the resignation of Loretta Naranjo-Lopez. Susan is a long term supporter and member of RPENM , and brings excellent qualifications to our Board of Directors. Susan, who recently retired from the City of Albuquerque, is a prior Assistant City Attorney and Deputy City of AlbuquerqueTreasurer.
Ann Crandall, prior RPENM Executive Director and board member, has accepted the role of first RPENM 1st Vice President. Ann co-chairs our RPENM Membership Committee, and works very hard on behalf of the membership and in her leadership role as Membership Chair.
Mark your calendar NOW!
The 2015 RPENM Annual Membership Meeting will be held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on Friday May 1, 2015 (Board Meeting) and Saturday, May 2 (General Membership Meeting.) Santa Fe Chapter 8, who recently acquired 100 new Chapter members, will be hosting this meeting along with REPNM volunteers. Members and guests can look forward to accommodations at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel, located at 4048 Cerrillos Road in Santa Fe. The meeting will include a 50/50 raffle for those in attendance a chance to win a drawing for a DoubleTree Hilton one night stay in Santa Fe! Room rates at the Hotel for RPENM Members and guests will be $89 per night which includes breakfast for up to two guests. You may contact the hotel at 505-473-4646 for additional information. Room reservations must be made for RPENM members and guests prior to April 1, 2015, to obtain the $89 room rate - be sure to identify yourself as an RPENM member! More details on the Spring Annual Membership Meeting will be forthcoming soon!
Effective January 1, 2015, RPENM annual dues will increase to $30.00 per year ($2.50 per month) from the current rate of $24.00. This dues increase will be the first for our membership in 10 years, and is necessary to assist RPENM, a non-profit organization, to meet increases in printing a mailing costs, meeting expenses, pay for the RPENM office lease, operating expenses, and retain our full time lobbyists to represent us in Santa Fe. The dues increase was voted in unanimously May 1, 2014 by the RPENM Board of Directors and approved by the RPENM membership. RPENM owes a big “thank you” to our many volunteers that assists RPENM with many donated hours of their personal time - 100% of RPENM dues goes back to our membership!
RPENM Chapter 5 will be hosting their next Chapter meeting on Friday, February 13th, 11:30 Am at the RPENM office located in Albuquerque at 10501 Montgomery Blvd, NE, AAA Building, 3rd floor. A light lunch of pizza, salad and drinks will be served. A speaker for the meeting will be announced soon.
Good News is reported from PERA!
In November, 2014, RPENM received very encouraging and factual information from the FY14 Actuarial Valuations on the status of PERA.
Thank you, PERA Board Members and Wayne Propst, PERA Executive Director!
RPENM will be electing new Board Members in May of 2015 with six positions becoming available to our membership. Are you willing to serve as a board member dedicated to protecting your PERA retirement and RHCA health care benefits? Do you enjoy being involved with fun people from around the state, and serve as a voice as a PERA retiree in Santa Fe? We need your help! Contact the RPENM office at 505-280-8459 for more information.
Gerald Chavez, RPENM Executive Director, and the RPENM Membership Committee have been working hard to revitalize our statewide chapters. We have been successful this year. RPENM Chapter 5 now has over 160 members and is growing. Santa Fe Chapter 8 recently added 67 new members!
Not a chapter member but you belong to state RPENM? Contact Ann Crandall, RPENM First Vice President at 505-280-8459 on how to join a Chapter in your area. Chapters are great for local PERA/RHCA and legislative updates, quarterly meetings, receive e-mail bulletins on topics of interest to PERA retirees, and networking with others to ensure YOUR PERA pension and benefits are safe.
RPENM Chapter 5 will hold their Fall meeting on Friday, November 14, 2014 at the RPENM office, 10501 Montgomery NE, (AAA Building) 2nd floor committee room. The meeting will begin at 11:30 AM. Elections will be conducted for our new 2015 Board of Directors, and updates on PERA and RHCA will be addressed as matters of importance with the 2015 legislative session coming soon. Don’t miss this important meeting! Contact Ann Crandall at RPENM, 505-280-8459 for more information.
In April 2014, we voiced our concern for a group of 157 retirees that were dealt a great injustice by having their Life Insurance benefit reduced from $25,000 to $5,000 (80% reduction). The enterprise driven public entity that attempted this has continued to give generous raises and benefit packages to its current workforce. With no regard or input from retirees, they decided that their financial issues can only be solved by taking away a vested benefit from retirees.
Our Executive Director, Gerald Chavez, spent countless hours speaking with these impacted retirees, with City Councilors, with County Commissioners and with many other elected representatives. He met with the entity's Executive Director and fought hard to represent the RPENM membership and these retirees regarding the reinstatement of this retiree benefit.
We want to make specific mention of Senator Michael Padilla. He made his position clear that the entity needed to reconsider this retiree life insurance benefit. The Senator is a true advocate for public servants and has a sincere regard for the value of retirees. His support was key in the success of this issue.
What is at stake is larger than a public employer balancing its budget solely on the backs of its retirees. The Board of Directors allowed this action without dialogue, discussion or debate from the affected retirees.
RPENM stood up for these retirees and gained enough support from the governing body to reinstate the life insurance benefit. The fact that RPENM spearheaded this initiative and were successful in assisting this group of PERA retirees has given recognition to our organization. For many of these City Councilors, County Commissioners and many other elected officials who previously did not know who RPENM was, they now know who we are!
> Lobbied for and supported recent legislation that will reach toward PERA’s goal of being as close to 100% funded as possible by the year 2041.
> Led the effort to pass Constitutional Amendment 4 in 1998, protecting PERA's assets from political raids.
> Worked to establish the New Mexico Retiree Health Care Authority (NMRHCA).
> Secured two elected PERA retiree board members. Continue to work with PERA to ensure good legislation and security of the PERA fund.
> Partnered with NMRHCA and the Association of Education Retirees (AER), our peer on the teacher's side, to lobby the legislature and sue the governor to keep them from changing NMRHCA without the appropriate planning or studies.
> Provide many member-only benefits and discounts to RPENM members.
Yes, we have taken action and will continue to take action in the future, but please remember one thing: PERA and the NMRHCA were both created by legislative action and can be changed, for good or bad by legislative action.
For more information please contact our Executive Director at:
PO Box 20607
Albuquerque NM 87154-0607
or (505) 280-8459