Return To Work Program

The Return To Work Program (RTW) allows ERB retirees to go back to work for an ERB employer without having to suspend retirement benefits after they satisfy the requirements of the RTW Program. (The RTW Program is separate from the Greater of 0.25 FTE or $15,000 RTW Exception.) The retiree must complete a Return to Work Application and submit it to the ERB for approval before the retiree can begin working again. Retirees can choose to work full-time or part-time with no restrictions on the income they can earn.

 

Members who retired after January 1, 2001, must complete a 12 consecutive month break in service or layout. The 12 consecutive month period can occur any time after retirement, and it does not have to be immediately prior to applying for the RTW Program. During the break in service or layout, the member cannot work for or render any service to an ERB employer. "Rendering service" includes any work, whether full-time or part-time, substitute teaching, voluntarily performing duties that would otherwise be or have in the past been performed by a paid employee or independent contractor, or performing duties for an ERB employer as an independent contractor, or performing duties for an ERB employer as an independent contractor or an employee of an independent contractor. An ERB employer includes any entity incorporated, formed or otherwise organized by, or subject to the control of an ERB employer, whether or not the entity is created for profit or nonprofit purposes.

 

If you initially retired after January 1, 2001, and later suspended retirement and earned more service credit, you must complete a 12 consecutive month layout each time you re-retire to be eligible for the RTW Program. The only exception to the break in service or layout requirement is for members who retired before January 1, 2001, and have not since suspended their benefits. If you are in that category, you do not need to fulfill the 12 consecutive month break in service or layout period. However, if you retired before January 1, 2001, then subsequently suspended your retirement to earn additional service credit, and then re-retired, you must complete a 90-day layout after re-retiring to qualify for the RTW Program. During the 12 consecutive month layout period, you may work for non ERB covered employers, including employers covered by the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) unless you are a licensed educator working in a position that required such a license for a New Mexico agency that has an educational program (ie: Department of Corrections, Public Education Department, Department of Health, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and Educational Retirement Board.) If you are working for an ERB employer as a contractor or under the Greater than 0.25 FTE or $15,000 RTW Exception, you must complete a 12 consecutive month break in service or layout before you may apply for the RTW Program.

 

The RTW retiree shall make non-refundable employee contributions to the NMERB fund and will not earn additional service credit. The employer will continue to make employer contributions as specified by state statute. RTW retirees are reported on the employer's monthly report to the NMERB.

 

Click here for more information and Q&A on working after retirement.

For more information please see the ERB Member Handbook or email ERB-memberhelp@state.nm.us.