SB 72 is far-reaching, bi-partisan pension reform that passed the Legislature last night and is on to the Governor’s desk. It may be the highlight of the 2020 Session. But, SB 62 would increase pension liabilities and is problematic.
The Fiscal Report states :… preliminary estimates are an increase in unfunded liabilities of $29.8 million for the Municipal Fire Division.
Because State/Police and Corrections are fully solvent you could amend the bill, remove Fire (until they reach 80% solvency) and leave in Corrections, as they do work some of these shifts. This would be the fair and fiscally solvent way forward and would help Corrections officers.
No enhancement of PERA benefits, for any fund, should be approved until it has a positive or neutral effect on the fund. SB 62 has a negative effect. For this reason I urge voting NO, or passing an amendment that it will automatically become law once the Fire Fund reaches 80% solvency and it will no longer have a negative effect, or taking Fire out of the language and leaving it only for Corrections Officers.
The Rio Grande Foundation has previously exposed the already-generous pensions available to fire fighters.
One Reply to “Good news, SB 72 to reform NM’s PERA system is on to the Gov. Bad news, SB 62 (which just passed the Senate) would worsen pension PERA solvency situation”
SB 62 effects 2200 of this state’s first responders. First responder who up until the revisions made to PERA two years ago were able to report 100% of their mandatory work hours. Many have contributed 100% for 20+ years. Due to a change in the way PERA accounts for hours worked first responders are not able to record all mandatory work hours. This change reduces the retirement benefit we were promised when hired by as much as 14%.
We are just asking that all of our mandatory work hours be reported. These are not voluntary hours. If a firefight fails to appear at work for these hours they are considered AWOL and are subject to arrest and prosecution.
40 hour administrative fire employees have their annual salary calculated based on 2080 hours. Firefighters in the field have that very same salary divided by 2912 hours. Field firefighters earn the very same annual salary at a reduced hourly wage. However firefighters in the field are not able to report their entire salary. The very same salary.