Retirement Process Overview

NOTICE: Retiree health insurance coverage will no longer be provided for employees hired on or after July 1, 2016.


Retirement Eligibility

An employee will be considered eligible for certain retirement benefits if the following criteria are met:

  1. Has at least 10 years in a regular continuous employment status without a break in service prior to the date of retirement and receives an Educational Retirement Board (NMERB or NMARP) benefit immediately upon termination of employment.
    • To be eligible for the retiree health plan, the employee must have been hired before July 1, 2016 AND must have been covered on the employee health insurance through NMSU for the 10 consecutive years prior to retirement, either as an employee or as the dependent of an employee, without a gap in coverage.
    • To be eligible for the retiree life insurance plan must have been covered on the Group Life and Accidental Death & Dismemberment insurance through NMSU for the 10 consecutive years prior to retirement without a gap in coverage.
  2. An employee of the Cooperative Extension Service must be eligible for and receive federal retirement.

Download a copy of the NMERB Handbook

Retirement Process

Retirement Presentation by NMSU Benefit Services & NMERB from September 2017 – Part 1 (NMERB) | Part 2 (NMSU)
Questions regarding the NMERB presentation should be directed to Lealia Nelson at the NMERB at 866-691-2345 or

6 Months Prior to Retirement

Request an estimate of retirement benefits from the NMERB at least 6 months prior to retirement, but no more than 1 year before retirement. The request for estimate form can be found at: Please be advised: The NMERB can take 6-8 weeks to prepare the estimate.

For an immediate unofficial estimate, you should login to your member account at If you need assistance with login information, please contact the NMERB directly at 1-866-691-2345.

  • If you are divorced at any time during your years of contribution, NMERB will need a copy of the divorce decree to determine if any benefits are due the ex-spouse.
  • If you have prior service under PERA, NMERB will need to request PERA data to compile the estimate request for retirement.

Individuals planning for retirement before 55 years of age should consult with their tax advisor as additional penalties may apply

fullres_cruces_cactus_0608033 Months Prior to Retirement

Schedule an appointment with Benefit Services at least 3 months prior to your retirement date. Plan to spend 45 minutes to an hour with Benefit Services to complete all retirement paperwork.

  • 9 month academic employees may retire July 1st or January 1st of each year.
  • 12 month employees may retire the first of any month.

Employees retiring under the NMARP must contact the ARP vendor for the appropriate retirement distribution paperwork prior to meeting with Benefit Services.

Click here to schedule an appointment to complete the retirement packet:

  • You must be able to provide the following information:
    • Aggie ID Number
    • Date of Retirement – must be the first of a month
      • If you are an NMERB Retiree – you must have confirmed your eligibility to retire prior to completing the retirement packet with NMERB. This can be done by contacting NMERB directly or by logging into your NMERB account at
      • If you are an NMARP Retiree – you must be prepared to either bring your ARP distribution paperwork to the meeting with you or have it sent to Benefit Services prior to the date of retirement for signature by the Plan Administrator.

If you are not ready to complete the retirement packet, but have questions regarding the retirement process, please contact Benefit Services at 575-646-8000 to schedule a 30 minute Question and Answer meeting.

Pre-retirement Resources:


Retiree Medical Insurance Plans

NOTICE: Retiree health insurance coverage will no longer be provided for employees hired on or after July 1, 2016.

Review medical insurance benefit plans available

Social Security

You may be entitled to collect a retirement benefit through Social Security. Please contact them directly at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to inquire about benefit eligibility.

Other SSA Resources:

  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Presentation scheduled for May 5, 2017
    • A representative from Social Security presented information on social security. Due to technical difficulties, we were unable to record the audio presentation. The presentation slides are available above. Questions regarding social security should be directed to the Social Security Administration office.

Emeritus Faculty Benefits

Emeritus status for faculty is based upon two conditions:

  1. The faculty member is eligible for retirement under the New Mexico Educational Retirement act or the Federal Civil Services; and
  2. The faculty member is tenured; or is a non-tenure track faculty at the rank of professor.

Read more about Emeritus Faculty Rights at