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Governor signs judicial-retirement overhaul

March 8, 2014 • State News

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez signed legislation Friday to shore up the long-term finances of pension plans for judges and magistrates.

Under the new laws taking effect in July, judges and magistrates must contribute more of their salaries to their retirement plans and government employers will pay more.

New judges and magistrates — those who take office starting in July — must work eight years to qualify for a pension. That’s up from five years for those already in office.

The judicial and magistrate retirement funds currently have less than three-fifths of the assets needed to cover future pension benefits. With the changes called for in the legislation, the funds should be fully funded or close to it in 30 years.

Martinez vetoed a bill that would have provided the retirement plans with extra revenue to improve their solvency.

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