PERA Retirement Info.

Volunteer Firefighter Retirement

According to the handbook - Pera Retirement - All affiliated Volunteer Firefighter Departments are required to submit an annual report to PERA beginning January 1st but no later than March 31st of each year. This deadline is set by statute (Section 10-11A-6(B), NMSA 1978) and must not be ignored. Service credit will not be given to any volunteer firefighter if completed reports are not submitted by March 31st. -

MEMBER ENROLLMENT - WHAT YOU NEED TO DO: Each volunteer firefighter must complete a membership form and submit a copy of his/her Social Security card at the time they become a member. The form is available from PERA or at under ‘FOR MEMBERS’ then ‘Forms/Kits/Handbooks’. - See Volunteer Firefighter Enrollment Form (Sample Form A) - IMPORTANT: ALL blanks must complete unless they are not applicable. Please ensure that writing is legible. The member must use his/her name as it appears on legal documents, and not a nickname (e.g., “Charles Smith” rather than “Chuck”). The Fire Chief must complete the Department Certification section. WHEN YOU SHOULD DO IT: The application should be completed and submitted to PERA no later than the time the annual report is submitted (March 31st each year), but should be submitted when a new member joins the Volunteer Fire Department.

Established in 1983, the Volunteer Firefighters Retirement Act applies to volunteer non-salaried firefighters who:
Are listed as an active member on the rolls of a fire department, and;
Whose first year of service credit was earned during or after the year they turned 16 years old.

Effective January 1, 2009 you will earn one year of service credit as a volunteer firefighter for each year that you:
Attend 50% of all scheduled drills;
Attend 50% of all scheduled business meetings, and;
Participate in at least 50% of all emergency response calls you held responsible to attend.

To qualify for a pension from PERA, you must be age 55 or older with 10 or more years of service credit. The monthly amount of you pension is determined by your years of service.
At least age 55 with 25 or more years of service you will receive $250 per month
At least age 55 with 10 or more years of service you will receive $125 per month

You may continue as a volunteer firefighter after you retire however you will not be allowed to earn additional service credit.

If you cease to be a volunteer firefighter prior to meeting the age and service condition for retirement and you have at least 10 years of service credit, you are entitled to a deferred pension payment when you meet the age and service requirements.

Upon your death you surviving spouse or dependent child will be paid two-thirds of the amount of pension you were receiving at the time of your death. A pension to a surviving spouse terminates upon either remarriage or death. A pension to a dependent child ceases when they reach age 18 or death.

PERA's Volunteer Firefighter Reporting Guide can be found here.


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