NM court hears case over educator pension cuts

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico highest court will issue a decision later over whether the state can cut cost-of-living increases for retired educators to shore up the pension system’s finances.

The state Supreme Court heard from lawyers Wednesday in a case brought by four retirees, who contend the state Constitution protects their pensions from reductions such as those required under a law enacted this year. There’s no deadline for a ruling by the justices.

The retirees say they have a property right in their retirement benefits, but the attorney general’s office told the court that the cost-of-living adjustments can be changed to preserve the pension plan’s solvency.

The retirement system covers nearly 100,000 educators and retirees.

Retirees saw their pensions increase by just under 2 percent despite the cuts implemented in July.

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