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City Of Albuquerque > Employee Services > Retirement Information > Administrative Instruction NO. 7-27 (Revised) Retirement Process  

Administrative Instruction NO. 7-27 (Revised) Retirement Process

April 9, 2003

SUBJECT: Retirement Process


The purpose of this administrative instruction is to revise the established Policy and Guidelines regarding the retirement process to include calculating deferred compensation "catch-up" provisions, hazardous duty leave, vacation and sick leave "cash out" payments and regular wages for the last pay period. This will allow a sufficient amount of time to ensure all payments and calculations are timely and accurate.


In order to ensure that retirees are transferred into Early Retirement in a timely manner and to ensure that all sick and vacation balances are accurate and Deferred Compensation lump sums payments are done accurately and in a timely manner the following process will be enforced:

Employee Responsibilities:

1.      Employees are advised to submit a request for Total Service Credit Verification, using the PERA Request Form (attached) or a request letter, at least one year prior to their planned Early Retirement date or planned PERA retirement date. PERA addresses and telephone numbers are listed on the last page of this Instruction.

2.      The Employee must contact the PERA office and schedule an appointment to complete their retirement application at least 90 days prior to retirement or, if using Early Retirement, 90 days prior to Early Retirement date.

3.      Prospective retirees must submit a memorandum to their Department Director, through their immediate supervisor, advising them of their intent to retire. This memorandum should include the effective date of retirement. A copy of this memorandum will then be submitted to the Insurance and Benefits Division of HRD.

4.      Immediately upon completing the retirement application, the employee must contact the Insurance and Benefits Division for an appointment to chart out their Early Retirement schedule, to finalize cash out payments and to complete basic life beneficiary forms. At this initial appointment, the employee must submit a copy of the PERA verification of Total Service Credit and a copy of the PERA retirement application.

5.      Employees electing to defer a lump sum payment to their Deferred Compensation plan under the "catch-up" provision must contact their Deferred Compensation representative to complete the necessary forms. Forms must be submitted to the Insurance and Benefits Office at least three weeks prior to the actual retirement date. The employee must ensure that the amount being deferred is equal to or less than the vacation/sick leave balance the employee is entitled to receive at retirement. Once this deferral is processed adjustments cannot be made so it is important that the amounts and paperwork be correct.

Operating Departments

1.      To forward notices of resignation to the Human Resources Department Insurance and Benefits Office within 24 hours of receipt from the employee.

2.      To reconcile the retiring employees vacation and sick leave balances and forward the reconciled P-29 and employees clearance form to the Insurance and Benefits Office on the employees last workday.

3.      To ensure the employee has taken their birthday leave, managerial leave and floating holidays and has used or is paid for compensatory time prior to the employee transferring into Early Retirement.

4.      To ensure that the employee is coded correctly on the last payroll so that there is no delay in submitting a certification to PERA.

Human Resources

l.      To process all early retirements and process "cash out" payments timely and accurately and in a timely manner.

2.      To ensure the Deferred Compensation "catch up" provisions are processed in accordance with the rules and regulation and to coordinate with the respective Deferred Compensation representative and City payroll as necessary.

3.      To ensure the reconciled balances of all vacation and sick leave hours are "cashed out" in accordance with the designated timelines.

4.      To distribute this Administrative Instruction annually to all employees with twenty-three years, of service or more, or eighteen(18) years for Police and Fire, as reflected in the payroll system.

5.      To present this Administrative Instruction at all pre-retirement seminars.

6.      To ensure that all medical and dental benefits for retiring employees are in effect through the end of the corresponding month.

Early Retirement

1.      Employees must schedule an appointment with the Insurance and Benefits Office ninety (90) days prior to entering into Early Retirement. An employee may take leave with pay equivalent to the amount of sick and vacation leave the employee has accumulated.

2.      The employee must deliver a copy of the PERA Verification of Total Service Credit, a copy of the PERA retirement application, and a current P-29 form at the time of their Early Retirement appointment.

3.      HR will transfer employees to Early Retirement at the beginning of a pay period in accordance with a leave chart which establishes the entry date into Early Retirement and which schedules leave usage up to the retirement date.

4.      Employees in Early Retirement are not entitled to salary increases afforded other City employees and may not use donated leave or hardship leave in early retirement. Employees using sick and vacation leave in Early Retirement are not eligible to accrue sick or vacation leave while in Early Retirement.

Retirements During Calendar

l.      Retirees will receive a paycheck with regular wages for the last pay period corresponding with their effective date of retirement, on the next regularly scheduled pay date.

2.      If the employee has a balance of vacation and/or sick leave that is to be paid out in cash, this amount will be paid on the next regular pay date after the pay date in which the employee received their final regular wages.

End of Year

1.      Retirees will receive their last biweekly wages on the first payday in January to include any regular hours worked through December 31.

2.      For employees opting for the split "catch-up" clause for deferred compensation, the first portion of the "catch-up" will be processed on a special payroll run during the last regular payroll in December.

3.      For employees opting for the split "catch up" clause for deferred compensation, the second portion of the deferral will be paid on the second payroll in January.

4.      For employees not deferring, the remainder of vacation and sick leave balances will be paid by check to the retiree on the second payroll in January. This check will not be mailed, but must be picked up by the retiree at the City Insurance Office.

Other Special Circumstances

1 .      Employees covered by the Police union are permitted, by contract provision, to defer sick and vacation leave at year end if they are retiring at any time prior to the end of the following calendar year. Such employees are to declare retirement and file paperwork with the City Insurance Office in accordance with the policy outlined in this Administrative Instruction before the end of the calendar year prior to the year in which they intend to retire. Upon filing the required paperwork and being credited with the first deferral payment, retirement is not revocable.

2.      Employees using deferral of sick and vacation leave to purchase prior service credit or uniformed service credit from PERA may defer leave 90 days prior to retirement date in order to allow sufficient time for the necessary fund transfers. The 90-day advance deferral will be subject to processing of retirement paperwork as outlined in the Administrative Instruction. It will also be necessary for employees to submit a letter requesting approval from the Director of Human Resources for the sell back, a copy of the Credit Service Letter from PERA, and a copy of the estimate from PERA for the purchase of the credit service time. Upon completion of the advanced deferral, retirement is not revocable.

Pre-Retirement Seminars/Counseling

City employees will receive updated information regarding the retirement process through regularly scheduled Pre-Retirement Seminars (every other month for the general employee population and quarterly for sworn officers). Schedule of meetings will be announced in the "Retirement Message" newsletter issued to employees every two months.

Effective Date:

This policy will become effective for all retirements occurring on or after April 21, 2003 and forward.

Jay Czar /s/                                                     4/9/03     
Jay Czar, Chief Administrative Officer          Date

Last modified at 6/22/2012 12:25 PM  by Weisheit, Denise A. 
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