Consultant Recommends NM Pension Cuts

New Mexico – A consultant says New Mexico may have to require government workers and educators to pay more into their pension plans or see lower benefits once they retire to shore up the long-term finances of the state's retirement plans.

Buck Consultants told legislators Friday that the finances of the Public Employees Retirement Association and the Educational Retirement Board will decline over the next decade unless contributions increase or pension costs are reduced.

The consultants say many potential changes won't cause a quick improvement in pension finances if they apply only to new hires. It's unclear if retirement eligibility and benefit calculations can legally be changed for current workers.

The Retirement Systems Solvency Task Force is expected to make its recommendations next month to the governor and the Legislature for consideration next year.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.