FAQ Flip Cards

Answers for You

The sections below are divided into common topics that ERB Members are interested in knowing. Simply hover over a question and the question will flip over to the answer.

Topics below include: ERB General Information; Eligibility Tiers; Contributions and Benefit Estimate; Benefits; Steps to Retirement; and Forms.

For more in-depth assistance, please reach out the Member Services team at 1-866-691-2345 or by completing a Member Services Contact Form

ERB General Information Cards


Question

What is a pension?

Answer

A pension, also known as a defined benefit plan, is a retirement plan that provides a stable monthly payment to retirees throughout their lives.

Question

Is my employer required to contribute on my behalf, into the defined benefit plan?

Answer

Yes, both you and your employer contribute a certain percentage of your income towards your retirement savings. The current rates can be found on the ERB website.

Question

What happens when my contributions are exhausted?

Answer

In the defined benefit plan, once retired, you will continue to receive a lifetime benefit even after your contributions to the plan have been exhausted.

Question

Do I have to contribute to the defined benefit plan?

Answer

ERB membership is mandatory for eligible employees working more than 0.25 Full-Time Equivalency (FTE). It is a condition of employment.

Question

What is ERB’s primary responsibility?

Answer

Our primary responsibility is to oversee any changes made to the Educational Retirement Act, as well as the rules passed by the NM State Legislature and signed by the Governor.

Eligibility Tiers Cards


 

Question

How many tiers are there?

Answer

There are currently 4 tiers:

Tier 1 – Those hired before July 1st, 2010 Tier 2 – July 1st, 2010 – June 30th, 2013
Tier 3 – July 1st, 2013 – June 30th, 2019
Tier 4 – Those hired on or after July 1st, 2019

 

Question

Am I eligible for retirement if I’ve worked under ERB for 3 years?

Answer

You are eligible for retirement when you are vested (meaning you have 5 years of qualified service credit) and meet one of the rules for your tier.

 

Question

When will I be eligible for retirement if I am in Tier 1?

Answer

For Tier 1, you are eligible for retirement under the following criteria:

  • “25 and Out”
  • Rule of 75
  • 65 and 5

Read more on Retirement Eligibility.

 

Question

When will I be eligible for retirement if I am in Tier 2, 3, or 4?

Answer

For Tiers 2, 3, or 4 – you are eligible for retirement under the following criteria:

  • “30 and Out”
  • Rule of 80
  • 67 and 5

Read more on Retirement Eligibility.

 

Question

Are there any age restrictions for retirement eligibility?

Answer

Yes, unless you qualify under the 25 and out rule in Tier 1, there are minimum age restrictions in the Rule of 75, Rule of 80, and in the Rule of 30 and out.

Contributions and Benefit Estimate Cards


 

Question

How much do I contribute from my pay?

Answer

For FY 24, those earning less than $24k contribute 7.9% and those earning more than $24k contribute 10.7%.

 

Question

Can I contribute an additional amount to my pension?

Answer

Defined benefit plan contributions are standardized and made at the same percentage for each member and each employer. (Tips for non-pension savings: pay debts, budget, track spending, and consult a financial advisor.)

 

Question

How much does my employer contribute on my behalf?

Answer

For Fiscal Year 24, your employer is contributing 18.15%.

 

Question

Is there a cap to what I can earn in retirement?

Answer

No. The great thing about the plan is, the longer you work, the higher your payment will be without any maximum cap!

 

Question

How can I determine what my retirement benefit payment will be?

Answer

When you retire you receive a gross monthly benefit based on your Final Average Salary and the formula used for your Tier.

The Retirement Eligibility page provides details about your Tier and FAS formula.

Benefits Cards


 

Question

Will the beneficiary I selected while still working automatically be my beneficiary when I retire?

Answer

No, your pre-retirement beneficiary designation is only for pre-retirement.

 

Question

Am I limited on my retirement beneficiary options, based on my tier?

Answer

No, the retirement beneficiary options are available for all 4 tiers.

 

Question

What if I want to collect my full retirement benefit, what option would I select?

Answer

To receive your highest monthly benefit, you would select Option A, also referred to as the “straight life benefit”.

 

Question

Can I designate my spouse to receive my full benefit when I die?

Answer

Under Option B, you may designate your spouse to receive your benefit. There is a 10-year age provision for a non-spouse option, meaning the beneficiary cannot be more than 10 years younger than the member to receive this benefit.

 

Question

Can my child receive my benefit when I pass away?

Answer

Under Option C, you may designate your child as your beneficiary to receive a 50% survivors benefit for their lifetime.

Steps to Retirement Cards


 

Question

I think I’m ready to retire, what should I do first?

Answer

When you are about 12 months from retirement, we recommend submitting a benefit estimate request, to have an audit on your account and determine what your benefit will be.

 

Question

I’ve let my employer know I would like to retire. Will they initiate the process?

Answer

The next step for retirement will be to complete and submit the retirement application. We recommend doing this around 90 days before your selected retirement date, the sooner the better.

 

Question

I’ve submitted my application, but haven’t heard anything. How long should I wait before contacting ERB?

Answer

After the application has been submitted, the application process can take on average around 45 days.

You can always call in to our member services team to verify receipt of the application and find the status of it.

 

Question

I’ve just received my final retirement packet, when do I receive my first pension payment?

Answer

Upon receiving your final retirement documents and final reporting from your employer, you will be placed on payroll. Benefits are directly deposited the last business day of the month. (e.g. If you retire July 1, the first payment is July 31.)

 

Question

What is COLA?

Answer

COLA is the Cost-of-Living Adjustment. It is variable and based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). It is calculated every year, and you can always find the rate on our website.

Learn more on the COLA page.

To learn more about your next step towards retirement, visit the Steps to Retirement page.

Forms


 

Question

How to I change my name or contact information with ERB?

Answer

Complete a Change in NMERB Records form found on the Forms page of this website. You may also write us a note with your new address, the last four digits of your SSN, date and signature and mail or fax it to ERB. 

 

Question

How do I apply for disability retirement benefits?

Answer

Learn about eligibility requirements on the Disability page and follow the application process.

Member Services can assist you with this process.

 

Question

How do I change my bank account information?

Answer

Complete a new Direct Deposit Authorization Form from our Forms page. You may also email Member Services and we’ll email you a copy or call and we’ll mail or fax a copy to you.

 

Question

How do I get deductions removed or added to my 1099?

Answer

You must complete a new State and Federal Tax Deduction form. Forms are available on the Forms page.

 

Question

What do I do when I’m no longer employed by an ERB Employer?

Answer

Inactive members, if vested, may defer retirement. Inactive members who are vested or non-vested may refund their contributions according to law.

Learn more on the Inactive Members page.

Looking for health care information?


ERB does not provide assistance with Health Care for retirees. Please contact New Mexico Retiree Health Care Authority (NMRHCA).

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Managing the retirement assets of New Mexico Educators since 1957.

Contact Information

Santa Fe
(Main Office)
8am-5pm

Member Services Contact Form

Physical Address
701 Camino de los Marquez
Santa Fe, NM 87505

Mailing Address
PO Box 26129
Santa Fe, NM 87502

Toll-Free
1(866) 691-2345

Main Office
(505) 827-8030

Fax
(505) 827-1855

Albuquerque Office
8am-5pm
Email or call ahead for an appointment.

Member Services Contact Form

Physical Address
8500 Menaul Blvd. NE, Suite B-450
Albuquerque, NM 87112

Phone
(505) 888-1560

Fax
(505) 830-2976

NMERB Publications