NM court hears case over educator pension cuts

September 4, 2013 • State News

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico highest court will issue a decision later in a potentially far-reaching legal challenge over whether the state can cut cost-of-living increases for retired government workers to shore up a pension system’s long-term finances.

The state Supreme Court heard from lawyers Wednesday in a case brought by four retired educators, who contend the state Constitution protects their pensions from reductions such as those required under a law enacted this year. There’s no deadline for a ruling by the five justices.

The outcome of the case could end up affecting the benefits paid to nearly 70,000 current retirees in New Mexico’s two main retirement plans — one for educators and another for state and local government workers.

“It’s very important. It gets to a very fundamental question of whether or not the Legislature is allowed to make changes in the retirement plan,” Jan Goodwin, executive director for the Educational Retirement Login to read more

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