If you are at the mid-point of your career, below are some resources to help you make the most of your PERA membership as you continue on your path toward retirement.

  • What You Need to Know
    • Give Yourself a Boost

      As a mid-career member, you should be monitoring your service credit. To receive a total service credit verification letter, you can submit a PERA Request form to verify that all service credit reported on your account is correct and up to date. You can also open an online RIO Self Service account to monitor your PERA account 24/7.

      Now that you are a vested member with 5 or more years of service credit, you may consider purchasing service credit so you can retire earlier. It is suggested to buy service credit earlier rather than later because it may cost less to buy service credit now. You have the opportunity to purchase withdrawn service credit, military service credit, and air time service credit. To view the purchase service credit options, view pages 17-19 of the PERA Member Handbook. To request an audited cost estimate, complete and submit a PERA Request form and receive your estimate within 30-60 business days. You can also estimate the cost to purchase military or air time service by logging into your PERA RIO Self Service account and using the purchasing service credit calculator.

      If you are not already enrolled in PERA’s SmartSave Deferred Compensation Plan, you should consider participating. You can save even more toward retirement by enrolling in PERA’s SmartSave Deferred Compensation Plan, which is a 457 (b) supplemental retirement plan. This plan is a voluntary savings plan that is intended to complement and supplement the core PERA defined benefit plan. You defer paying taxes and your investment earning in the plan are also tax deferred. If you are already enrolled, consider increasing your contributions. You’ll never regret having more money in retirement.

      Changing Jobs

      Throughout your PERA career, you may accept other PERA-affiliated job opportunities and switch employers. When you transition to the other PERA-affiliated employer, you will continue to accrue service credit and contributions. There may be a difference in your contributions and pension factor based off the PERA plan each employer offers.

      If you leave for a new position that is not covered under PERA, you can leave your account as is and collect a benefit when you meet certain retirement eligibility requirements or you can choose to take a refund or rollover of your member contributions.

      During your career you may work for an entity covered by the NM Educational Retirement Board or in a position covered under the Judicial or Magistrate retirement plans. Reciprocity service may be combined toward retirement eligibility and used to calculate pension benefits under their specific formulas. Please let us know if you believe you have reciprocity service by completing a PERA Request form and selecting ERB/ERA, JU or MA under the Total Service Credit Verification section. This will notify PERA that you are a reciprocity member. You are required to notify PERA.

      Additional PERA Benefits

      If you get hurt off or on the job, PERA offers a disability retirement option. You do have to meet certain requirements. View PERA’s Disability Retirement Kit for more information. 

  • Next Steps
    • Request An Estimate of Benefits

      When you are within 3 years of retirement eligibility you can request two estimates of benefits in a 12-month period, which can provide you with your first eligible retirement date and what you will receive in retirement. You can also request other dates. You will need to submit a PERA Request form and request an Estimate of Benefits, which is the second option on the form. On that line, you can type/write for example: first eligible, a specific date, a certain percentage, a certain number of birthdays, etc. You can submit your request form by email, fax, in-person, upload to your RIO Self-Service account, or by mail and you’ll receive an estimate within 60 business days.

      Protect Your Retirement

      As an active PERA member, you can designate a refund and survivor beneficiary so upon your death these designees will receive either a lifetime benefit or refund of your member contributions. Ensure that you have the current and correct beneficiary information with PERA. It’s especially a good idea to review this information on an annual basis especially if you get married, divorced or have children. To update your beneficiary designations, please complete and submit a PERA Beneficiary Designation form.

      If your demographic and/or contact information does change, please complete and submit a Change In PERA Records form. This could include a change in your first or last name, marital status, mailing address, etc. If you list a beneficiary, and their information changes, they will need to complete a Change In PERA Records form using their own information. Please keep in mind that the PERA Records Division may request supporting documentation to update your account (divorce documentation, marriage certificate, etc).

      Stay Informed

      Watch our videos in our Video Library, attend a Mid Career PERA seminar, read our LaVoz newsletter and follow us on social media, and visit our website to review current news announcements, handbooks, kits, and forms. 

  • When to Contact PERA
    • If you are at the mid-point of your career and you have questions, you can contact PERA Toll-Free at 1 (800) 342-3422 or you can email PERA at PERA-MemberServices@state.nm.us

      You can submit any forms or documentation to PERA by email, fax, mail, upload into your RIO Self-Service account, or in-person. There are also secure drop off boxes located in front of our Santa Fe & Albuquerque Offices. 

  • Additional Resources