New Mexico Supreme Court Rules State Is Permitted To Trim Pension Benefits

Dec 19, 2013

New Mexico's highest court is allowing the state to trim pension benefits for retired government workers to improve the long-term finances of public employee retirement programs.

The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled against retired educators who sued to stop pension administrators from reducing annual inflation adjustments for current retirees as well as workers who are eligible to retire but remain on the job.

Under a law enacted this year, retirees saw their pensions go up by either 1.6 percent or 1.8 percent instead of the 2 percent they would have otherwise received.

Retirees had argued they had a "vested property right" in their pensions and were entitled to cost-of-living adjustments previously promised.

The court decision was a victory for legislative efforts to improve the solvency of pension plans for public employees.

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