Introducing: The Navajo Nation Enhanced Retirement Program | #retirement | #elderly | #seniors
Ready to Retire?
By John Christian Hopkins
Tired of bad news when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic?
How about a chance for early retirement?
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Vice President Myron Lizer, and the Department of Retirement Services have announced the implementation of the Navajo Nation Enhanced Retirement Program.
The ERB is for Navajo Nation employees who are most at risk of the Coronavirus and those seeking to retire.
“This is a challenging time and we recognize that some high-risk individuals who are employed with the Navajo Nation may want to retire sooner than later to reduce any potential risks – the Enhanced Retirement Program provides that opportunity,” Nez said. “We are proud to recognize those who have dedicated their career to and in support of the Navajo Nation. We would like to remind all Navajo Nation employees that they are supported, valued, and they are indeed essential.”
The 24th Navajo Nation Council’s Budget and Finance Committee approved a bill in support of the Enhanced Retirement Program on May 4. The Department of Retirement Services will be working with the Executive Branch and Legislative Branch employees to offer enhanced retirement benefits in recognition of their years of service.
The Enhanced Retirement Program offers an incentive of an additional three years of service when calculating an individual’s retirement benefit payment, which increases their lifetime benefit by an average of six-percent.
The program is completely voluntary and is available to the following employees:
• Regular status employees who were sixty (60) years of age and have served at least ten (10) years of service as of March 31, 2021.
• Retirees who retired on or after April 1, 2020 are also eligible if they would have met the same criteria if they had continued working through March 31, 2021.
Navajo Nation Employees interested in participating in the Enhanced Retirement Program will need to retire by September 30, 2021.
Enhanced retirement benefit payments will begin on October 1, 2021.
For those who retired on or after April 1, 2020, the benefit will automatically be adjusted to reflect the enhancement beginning in October as well.
All eligible employees will receive information about the Enhanced Retirement Program and how to apply later this summer.
Unfortunately, the Department of Retirement Services is unable to extend this program to certain “essential” employees such as Judges and Commissioned Law Enforcement Officers, with respect to specific retirement plans implemented within the three-branch government.
For more information about the Enhanced Retirement Program, contact the Department of Retirement Services at (928) 871-6944 or visit: https://www.nndrs.navajo-nsn.gov.