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New Mexico's Pension Fund Confronts Rising Obligations

Jun 15, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's retirement fund for public schools and colleges is confronting an $800 million increase in needs after pension managers lowered expectations for future investment returns.

Education Retirement Board Executive Director Jan Goodwin said Wednesday that meetings with pension members are being arranged to discuss measures to shore up the fund. Possible changes include future reductions in benefits or increased contributions.

Public pension funds across the country are lowering expectations for investment earnings, acknowledging that more money will likely be needed to pay people as they retire. New Mexico's education pension fund estimates it now will need 84 years or longer to catch up with its funding obligations without reforms.

The gap between promised pension benefits and current assets is $12.6 billion at New Mexico's two major public pension funds.