ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - The New Mexico Educational Retirement Board says it has come up with a plan to recoup the nearly $1.7 million in interest overpaid to beneficiaries.
The nearly 700 people affected will be notified within the next few weeks and told to pay up.
"We first want to apologize for the unintentional error and we are making every effort to correct this as soon as possible," said board member Mary Lou Cameron.
The error occurred last year.
The ERB said a software glitch caused an over-payment of interest last July and August to 693 retirees.
The checks ranged from a few cents to $300,000, the total adds up to nearly $1.7 million.
"There is always the possibility of human error and when people make a mistake, we have to admit that a mistake has been made and then we have to recoup the funds," said board member James Lewis.
During a special meeting Monday the board decided staff would either call or mail a letter to each of the overpaid beneficiaries in an attempt to get the money back.
State Education Secretary-Designate Hanna Skandera, who is also a member of the ERB, said the audit took way to long after the glitch was discovered.
"I think its unacceptable and I think we addressed that today and said let's reset the clock and say what is our sense of urgency, let's have a plan, lets get it out there and lets be transparent and accountable with ourselves and with the people we serve," Skandera said.
Even so, board members admit trying to get the money back will not be easy.
"Some people will be very upset, other folks will say we want to work with you," Lewis said.
The board said the ERB is ready to work with them, with payment plans if necessary.
Also discussed during the meeting, taking a look at the ERB staff to find out how this happened to begin with.
"There'll be a review of the policies going forward and how did this happen and let's make sure it never happens again," Skandera said.
The ERB said more than $1.3 million of those interest over-payments were rolled over into other retirement accounts, which could make it more challenging to get back.
On top of over payments there were underpayments too, all together 15 retirees were shorted more than $1,400.
Four and a half years after he went to prison, former state senate leader Manny Aragon is out.
A suspected meth kingpin the FBI thought might be hiding out in New Mexico has been captured.
The popular Capulin Snow Play Area near Sandia Peak will be closed for the second year in a row.
While the roads were looking clearer late Thursday afternoon in the Albuquerque area, they could get dangerous again as temperatures drop later in the evening.
New details were released Thursday in Albuquerque's latest police shooting.
The southeast part of the state is getting hit hard with winter weather.