Governor Establishes PERA Solvency Task Force

Michelle Lujan Grisham header 2

Governor Establishes PERA Solvency Task Force

SANTA FE — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham today ordered the creation of a Public Employees Retirement Association Solvency Task Force.

The governor, in an executive order, established the makeup of the task force and directed members to immediately begin identifying reasonable and measured changes to contributions and benefits that will both prevent the need for more significant changes in the future and address the liabilities associated with the state’s pension plans.

“I expect diligent, expedient work from this group of stakeholders,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “My expectation is we will assume this shared burden in an equitable fashion to reach our solvency goals, and this group will, I am certain, assure a steady future for PERA.”

The governor, in signing the order, recognized the work of the PERA board but also the crucial need for balanced, intergenerational equity for both current and future retirees and members. She also specifically applauded the work and leadership of Rep. Tomás Salazar during this legislative session and his broader work through the Investments & Pensions Oversight Committee. “I know this task force will continue the good work he and the committee have started on behalf of New Mexico’s working professionals,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said.

The task force will comprise all member groups and participating entities so as to ensure the work of strengthening PERA’s ability to meet its current and future obligations is done with substantive input from all affected stakeholders.

Recommendations to preserve PERA’s defined benefit system will be made to the governor no later than Aug. 30, 2019. These will subsequently be presented during the legislative session in 2020. The task force may also consider the governance and administrative structure of PERA and make recommendations with regard to the composition of the board of trustees, according to the order.

Membership of the 19-member task force will include the PERA chair, chief investment officer and executive director; a bipartisan and equal number of legislative representatives; the president of the Retired Public Employees of New Mexico; and representatives from the Albuquerque Fire Department Retirees’ Association, AFSCME, Communication Workers of America, the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Association of Police Organizations, the New Mexico State Police Association, the New Mexico Sheriffs’ Association, the New Mexico Professional Fire Fighters Association, New Mexico Counties and New Mexico Municipal League; and the governor’s executive advisor for labor/management affairs, who will serve as chair.