Extras for public employees include health insurance, retirement plans

Editor’s note: A summary of benefits offered employees of Curry County’s public entities:

City of Clovis
The city offers its employees three health-insurance plans, life insurance and two retirement plans.

The city pays between 61 percent and 84 percent of health insurance depending on the plan chosen. Dental and vision coverage cost extra.

The city pays 100 percent of life insurance premiums.

Like most retirement plans, the city and the employee each pay a percentage of the employee’s salary to the fund. The city offers two retirement plans — International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and Public Employee Retirement Association (PERA). Employees with ICMA may choose how much to contribute to the fund and the city will pay 14 percent of the employee’s gross salary (including overtime, bonuses and any extra income from the city). Employees with PERA pay 13.15 percent of their base salary (no overtime) into the fund and the state pays 9.15 per cent. Police officers pay 16.3 percent of their base salary, and the state pays 18.5 percent. Firefighters pay 15.3 percent, and the state pays 21.25 percent.

Employees receive one day of paid sick leave each month. New employees receive two weeks of vacation per year, then three weeks after six years of employment and four weeks after 14 years of employment.

Curry County
Curry County contributes to health care, life insurance, disability and retirement plans through the PERA. Though the county offers alternate life insurance, dental coverage and vision coverage, the employee pays 100 percent of those costs.

For health-care insurance, life insurance, and disability the county pays 75 percent and the employee pays 25. The county pays 19.01 percent of each employee’s gross salary to PERA, and employees pay 3.29 percent of their gross salary. Deputy sheriffs pay 7 percent of their gross salary to PERA, and the county supplements 18.5 percent.

The county also offers a paid personal day off every six months, eight hours of sick leave per month, 10 days of paid holidays per year and 10 to 20 days of vacation per year, depending on the length of employment.

State of New Mexico
New Mexico state employees receive coverage based on salary for health insurance, life insurance and disability.
Employees whose salary is less than $15,000 annually pay 25 percent of premiums. Employees who earn more than $25,000 pay 40 percent of premiums. The state covers the difference.

Retirement is through PERA.

Clovis Municipal Schools
Health coverage through the school district is the same as the state. Though the district pays the percentage, most of this funding comes from the state.

The district buys each employee a $25,000 life insurance policy and offers the employee options to purchase more life insurance on their own. Employees can get a Section 1.25 — the IRS code — cafeteria account, which when used deducts health, medical, dental and vision premiums from gross salary for tax purposes.

Retirement is through the Educational Retirement Association (ERA). The district pays 8.65 percent of the employee’s gross salary, and the employee pays 7.65 percent into the fund.

Since teachers are nine-month employees they receive no vacation time. Twelve-month employees start with five days vacation the first year of employment and accrue one day per year up to 10 days. Paid sick leave is one allowed day per month. Employees can accrue unused sick leave and can donate one day per year to a sick bank that will allow pay to continue during extended time off due to illness.

Clovis Community College
The health-care coverage is through Blue Cross Blue Shield. The college pays 80 percent of health-care costs for employees who make less than $30,000 annually. The college pays 60 percent of premiums for those who make more than $30,000.

A health-care supplement and dental care are also offered, but employees pay 100 percent.

Cafeteria accounts for health expenses and child care, vacation days and sick leave are also offered.
College officials solict bids for possible changes to employee benefits.

— CNJ Staff Writer Tova Fruchtman