Senate Approves Government Pension Overhaul

Mar 8, 2013

 The Senate has approved a proposal to revamp benefits and eligibility of a pension system for more than 86,000 state and local government workers and retirees.

Supporters said Thursday the changes are necessary to improve the long-term solvency of the Public Employees Retirement Association, which has a $6 billion gap between its assets and the cost of future retirement benefits.

If enacted, the proposal would reduce annual cost-of-living adjustments for pension benefits. It would impose new retirement provisions on employees hired starting in July, including requiring them to work longer before collecting pension benefits.

The bill passed the Senate on a 38-4 vote and goes to the House.

New Mexico's PERA covers about 31,000 retirees and 55,400 workers for state and local governments, including police and firefighters.