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.
- 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.
Reader View: Creating two classes of retirees is morally wrong
From Santa Fe New Mexican, by Gerald Chávez:
Loopholes, exceptions and inequities within our public pension system — the Public Employees Retirement Association — are the result of administrative oversight, special interest or political intrusion.
In 2010, our Legislature deemed that PERA retirees returning to work was an unacceptable policy. They signed legislation to close the practice of retired public employees returning to work, sending a message that double-dipping was not good for either the pension fund nor the taxpayer.
PERA was never designed to be responsible for affiliated employers’ recruitment and retention issues. It was not designed to create a special class of “super-paid” retirees, enabling them to receive their pensions and receive an annual cost-of-living adjustment while returning to work for a salary.
The founders of PERA were concerned with providing New Mexico’s public servants with retirement security, not creating pre-retirement wealth. To provide security, one may seek replacement income in retirement. Replacement income does not mean a dual income provided compliments of PERA.
In 2013, our Legislature enacted pension reform (Senate Bill 27). The core result was that all 80,000-plus PERA members felt the effects of a pay cut. Future members had to work longer, working members paid more in contributions, and retirees lost 33 percent of their cost-of-living adjustment (no grandfathering in). All grandfathered return-to-work employees had their cost-of-living adjustments suspended until they ended their employment.
Now we have House Bill 171 being introduced. Once again, PERA is being used to create an enhanced benefit to an exclusive group of retirees. It divides our police officers into two distinct categories, those who will be eligible to double their income vs. those who cannot, for doing the same job. Disparity of wages with no distinction in job expectations or performance might in fact lead to a slippery slope of unintended consequences.
A change to the PERA system that has a negative solvency impact, creates an elite class of membership or promotes financial disparity among our retirees is morally wrong.
Please find the source article at the Santa Fe New Mexican.