Currently, there are numerous proposals in the legislature to advance the sunset clause on Return to Work that would replace the sunset date from 2012 to 2007. Other proposals require a change in statute that would force any entity who "rehires" retirees - to pass an official document that says the position would fill a "critical need." AFT opposes any changes in the Return to Work law, primarily because these positions are already geared to fill critical needs in our schools. Furthermore, there is no evidence that there is overuse of our Return to Work program or that adjusting it would have a positive impact on our retirement fund.
HERE ARE THE FACTS ABOUT RETURN TO WORK
ERB has approximately 62,000 active members, 29,500 retired members, and approximately 925 members in a Return to Work status (RTW).
Many ERB employers have used the RTW program to fill hard to replace positions. This bill would most likely reduce new entrants into the RTW program.
The original intent of the RTW legislation for ERB was to alleviate the teacher shortage by enticing retired teachers to return to the classroom. The program was developed with the aid of ERB’s actuaries who stated that the program would be actuarially neutral if retirees were required to wait one year from retirement before returning to ERB employment.
It was thought this would prevent large numbers of members from retiring earlier than normally contemplated to take advantage of a double stream of income.Any provision that entices a member to retire earlier than normal means the fund will have to
pay out retirement benefits longer than was actuarially expected, thus having a negative effect on the fund.
However, ERB’s actuaries have indicated that the RTW program has had no
negative actuarial effect on the ERB fund. That means that so far the program has not been a financial burden to ERB.
There is a concern among some that there will be continued attempts to change ERB’s RTW program to shorten the waiting period from one year to 90 days as provided for by the Public Employees Retirement Association, a position that AFT New Mexico supports.