Legislative Retirement Plan

Members who serve in the NM Legislature have the option to participate in the Legislative Retirement Plan. Most current legislators participate in State Legislator Member Coverage Plan 2 which applies to state legislators and lieutenant governors who serve terms of office which end after December 31, 2002.

State legislators and lieutenant governors must elect to be a member no later than 180 days after first taking office to be covered under State Legislator Member Coverage Plan. Members earn service credit by:

    • Fulfill the obligations of the position of a legislator for more than six months of the calendar year and participate in the legislative session;
    • Make contributions to PERA of $600 for each year of service credit

Legislators are not required to make member contributions until after the legislative session has ended and PERA verifies service credit. PERA will invoice legislative members for $600 to cover member contributions for each legislative session after the session ends. Invoices are sent in July of each year.

Age and service requirements for normal retirement are as follows:

    • Age 65 or older with 5 or more years of service credit; or
    • Any age with 10 or more years of service credit.

Members are eligible to receive an annual pension equal in any calendar year to 11% of the per diem rate in effect, pursuant to Section 2-1-8, NMSA 1978, on the first day of the calendar year that the legislator or lieutenant governor retires multiplied by 60 and further multiplied by credited service as a legislator or lieutenant governor. The per diem rate for January 1, 2017 is $164. An example of the calculation is as follows:

Example Pension Calculation for Legislator with 10 Years of Service

11%

x

$164 (per diem rate)

=

$18.04

$18.04

x

60

=

$1,082.40

10 (service credit)

x

$1,082.40

=

$10,824.00 (annual benefit)

$10,824.00 (annual benefit)

/

12 months

=

$902.00 (monthly benefit)

The pension example is calculated under Option A – a straight life option providing a monthly benefit for a member's lifetime. If a beneficiary is chosen to receive a pension for his or her lifetime after the member dies, the pension amount would be reduced.

Legislators who served terms of office on or before December 31, 2003 participated in Plan 1 or Plan 1 Enhanced. Eligibility requirements under these plans are as follows:

    • Age 65 with 5 or more years of service credit;
    • Age 64 with 8 or more years of service credit;
    • Age 63 with 11 or more years of service credit;
    • Age 60 with 12 or more years of service credit; or
    • Any age with 14 or more years of service credit.