SANTA FE — The longtime executive director of New Mexico’s teacher pension fund is stepping down to take a job at the helm of a New Hampshire retirement system.
Jan Goodwin, who is also a former state tax secretary, said Monday she will continue working with the state Educational Retirement Board until the end of the current 60-day legislative session.
But she said the offer from the New Hampshire Retirement System, after a six-month national search, was too good too turn down.
“It just seemed like the right time,” Goodwin told the Journal.
As executive director of the Educational Retirement Board, Goodwin has pushed for legislative changes in recent years to assure the pension fund’s long-term financial stability.
That includes pushing for a bill during this year’s 60-day session that would gradually increase the rate of taxpayer-funded contributions paid into the fund. Employee contribution rates into pension fund would not be changed.
However, there have also been other legislative changes enacted in recent years, including a 2013 law that trimmed the annual cost-of-living adjustments for current workers and retirees.
Those changes were upheld by the state Supreme Court after four retired educators filed a court challenge arguing the benefits represented promised property rights.
Before going to work for the teacher pension fund in 2008, Goodwin worked as secretary of the Taxation and Revenue Department for five years after being appointed to the Cabinet position by then-Gov. Bill Richardson. She also was the director of the state Board of Finance for a nearly three-year time period.
In her current job, Goodwin cited a recent University of New Mexico Bureau of Business and Economic Research study that found retired educators have, over the years, received significantly smaller benefits than state workers covered under the state’s other pension fund — the Public Employees Retirement Association — as among her top accomplishments.
The study was commissioned by the teacher pension fund, which currently has more than 61,000 active members and pays benefits to nearly 51,400 retirees.
The ERB board will pick a successor to Goodwin, who currently makes a salary of slightly more than $183,000 per year. The board is also scheduled to hold a Tuesday meeting to appoint an interim director.