Pension Payments

Pension benefits are paid to retirees on the last business day of the month via direct deposit into your account at your bank or qualified credit union. For new retirees, the retirement benefit amount during the first six months may be estimated. The benefit amount may be recalculated once your actual final earnings have been reported by your ERB employer.

Benefit Options

When you retire, you must choose one of three beneficiary payment options. Your choice is irrevocable; it may not be changed after you retire and are receiving retirement benefits. There are two exceptions scenarios listed at the end of this section.


Option A “Straight Life” Benefit. If you select this option, your monthly benefit is the full amount due you under the “FAS x service credit x .0235” formula. Option A is a life only annuity; your pension payments end upon your death. There is no monthly survivor benefit under this option. However, your beneficiary or estate will receive the balance of your contributions to the plan if they have not been fully distributed to you in retirement benefits prior to your death. Generally, retiree contributions are paid out within three to five years after retirement starts.


Option B “Joint 100% Survivor” Benefit. Under Option B, your monthly benefit is reduced to provide a designated beneficiary with a
100% survivor’s benefit for the remainder of his or her life. The monthly benefit is based on your age and your beneficiary’s age at the time of your retirement. You beneficiary may not be a non-spouse who is more than ten years younger than you. If your beneficiary dies before you, the “pop up” feature increases your monthly benefit to the amount you would have received under Option A “Straight Life” Benefit.


Option C “Joint 50% Survivor” Benefit. Under Option C, your monthly benefit is reduced to provide a designated beneficiary with a
50% survivor’s benefit for the rest of his or her life. Like Option B, if your beneficiary dies before you, the “pop up” feature increases your monthly benefit to the amount you would have received under the Option A “Straight Life” Benefit.
If you select Option B or C, you may name only one beneficiary and your beneficiary must be a person. You may not name a trust or other entity as the beneficiary. Prior to retirement, you may change your beneficiary at any time. Keep the information about your designated beneficiary current on your ERB account.

Because both Options B and C provide for payments to your beneficiary after your death, state statute requires that your benefit amount be reduced based on actuarial data to ensure total payments over the life of the benefit are the same as they would be under the Option A “Straight Life” Benefit.


In Option B or C, you are choosing a lifetime benefit for the beneficiary in the event he or she outlives you. The “premium” for this protection is a reduced benefit during your lifetime. Please speak to an ERB benefit specialist if you have questions about your
options or would like to receive benefit estimates for each option. Notify ERB immediately of a member’s or a beneficiary’s death. Make sure family members are aware of this important obligation.


Changing Beneficiaries. ERB retirees receiving pension benefits under either Option B or C who have a living designated beneficiary, other than a current or former spouse, will have the option to exercise a one-time irrevocable option to deselect that beneficiary and designate another beneficiary or to receive future pension benefits under Option A pursuant to Section 22-11-29(E) NMSA 1978. There is a $100 processing fee to name a new beneficiary in this specific manner. The new beneficiary designation and the amount of the pension benefit will be subject to court orders regarding division of community property and child support obligations provided for in Section 22-11-42(B) NMSA 1978.