NM Pension Fund Seeks Repayment From Overpaid Retirees

April 9, 2012 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – The New Mexico Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) overpaid six retired managers from the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico.  

Overpayments took place for more than a year due to an error that went unnoticed, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican. Now PERA is requesting the six workers repay thousands of dollars they received in pension payments.

The six retired managers affected by the error participated in a city incentive called early retirement, which allows workers to stop reporting for duty, but to continue collecting a paycheck as they are paid for a predetermined amount of their unused sick leave and vacation, reports the Santa Fe New Mexican.

At the end of the period, and just before each employee switched to receiving retirement pension checks instead of city paychecks, a payroll clerk would make adjustments to the amount of sick and annual leave. This resulted in negative numbers in an electronic file sent to PERA. The PERA’s computer system read them as positive numbers, which added a significant amount of reported income on each worker’s final check.

The workers said city officials initially told them the city would make good on the mistakes it made in reporting income to PERA, however if the workers want to recoup the cash, they will need to file lawsuits, the news report said.