Critics: NM Pension Funding Increase Proposal Would Hurt Teachers

March 7, 2005 ( - The state of New Mexico Senate has approved three proposals to help shore up the state's teachers' pension fund and help close a $2.4 billion shortfall that include a requirement that employees and employers step up their pension payments.

According to an Associated Press report, the proposals would affect the more than 100,000 public school workers in the State of New Mexico Educational Retirement Board.

Immediately, critics complained that the increased pension contribution measure would unduly hurt teachers and other school workers who they said also face increased insurance premiums.

Another measure requires that educators who retire for a year — then return to work while also drawing their retirement pay — make nonrefundable contributions into the retirement fund. Finally, lawmakers approved a measure to expand the Educational Retirement Board from seven to nine members, the Associated Press reported.