During the past year, several new laws were implemented that impact retirement benefits for employees covered by the Educational Retirement Act. Specific changes include:

  • Employees who have selected the Alternative Retirement Plan now have the opportunity to switch to the Educational Retirement Board defined-benefit plan after seven years of service.

  • Lump sum payments of annual leave are now exluded from calculations of average annual salary.

  • Employees hired on or after Thursday, July 1, have new retirement eligibility criteria:

  1. Rule of 75 changes to Rule of 80. The member's age and earned service credits add to the sum of 80 or more.

  2. Retirement with 25 years of service changes to 30 years of service. The member has earned and allowed service credit totaling 30 or more years.

  3. Retirement at age 65 changes to age 67. The member's age is 67 or more with at least five years of earned service credit.

An additional change identified as a cost containment strategy is the specific exclusion of temporary and on-call staff and faculty from participation in the Educational Retirement Board system until they exceed a .25 FTE in a fiscal year. State statute and university policy for ERB contributions state that employees who work less than .25 FTE are excluded from participation in the system.

Currently, UNM has contributed from the first day of employment. Beginning July 1, both the employee and employer ERB contributions will not be withheld until the temporary or on-call employee reaches 520 hours of employment. At the start of the next fiscal year, ERB contributions will not be withheld until the employee reaches 520 hours. This change will save the university an estimated $160,000 in instruction & general funds while eliminating a significant hardship on many temporary and on-call employees who do not intend to receive retirement benefits through the ERB.

For more information visitHuman Resources or call (505) 277-MyHR (6947).

Story by Helen Gonzales, vice president, Human Resources