From the Desk of the President
Thanks for sharing a variety of questions, thoughts
In the last issue of the @nmsu faculty/staff newsletter, I invited readers to share their ideas, pose questions and give input via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. I received a variety of responses, and I would like to thank those who shared their thoughts.
The feedback I received addressed topics ranging from retirement to graduate assistantships to building teamwork. Space will not allow me to address all of these topics, but since retirement was a topic of much discussion earlier this semester, let's begin with a question on that topic:
Question: As professionals in higher education, why are we not given the choice to select TIAA-CREF as opposed to ERB? Other institutions provide such options to their faculty and professional staff. Professional staff in higher education should be given the same opportunity to make the determination as to which retirement plan best suits their needs. If we are allowed to choose one retirement program over the other, that information has not been made available by university Benefit Services.
Answer: The New Mexico Educational Retirement Board determines eligibility for the Alternative Retirement Plan based on title and reporting structure. Details regarding the eligibility and position titles eligible for the NMARP with TIAA-CREF (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund) or VALIC (Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company) can be found at http://www.nmerb.org/pdfs/arpopmanual.pdf.
Basic eligibility is as follows:
• Employee must first be hired into a qualifying position by any of the four-year institutions or qualifying two-year institutions and not have joined ERB after such employment.
• Eligible employee must elect ARP plan within 90 days of employment.
• Eligibility for ARP must be more than .25 FTE in an ARP position; and must not have a pre-determined termination date of less than one year.
• ARP participation requires 3 percent of the employer share contributed to ERB to fund the unfunded accrued actuarial liability incurred by the loss of these ERB positions.
New employees are identified as being eligible for the ARP by Benefit Services and a list of those individuals are sent to the Santa Fe NMERB office for confirmation of eligibility. Once eligibility is confirmed, those employees are sent information regarding the ARP with the required deadlines for enrollment. Information regarding the ARP plan and eligibility requirements are shared with employees at the New Hire Benefits Orientation offered twice each month and on the Benefits website at http://hr.nmsu.edu/benefits/retire/retireplans.html.
Please consider sharing your questions, thoughts and ideas about how we all can work together to advance our university. Send your feedback to email@example.com.
As always, best wishes for success in your teaching, research and service to NMSU.
Written by NMSU President Barbara Couture.