NC Treasurer says state employees’ pension plan has rebounded from pandemic-driven losses

NC Treasurer says state employees’ pension plan has rebounded

RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - North Carolina State Treasurer Dale Folwell says the state employees’ pension plan, also known as the North Carolina Retirement System, has rebounded from losses suffered during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, and now has more value than it did at the end of last year.

According to Folwell’s office, the pension plan ended 2019 valued at around $105 billion. It hit a low mark on March 23, 2020 at $93.6 billion, but since then has rebounded to its’ current mark of $107.4 billion. The treasurer credits the conservative way the plan is handled for its’ gains during the uncertain economic time.

“Moody’s is to me what a credit score would be to your viewers or a sanitation grade would be for a restaurant,” Folwell said in explaining the solidity of the plan. “Moody’s ten months ago said that North Carolina was the number one pension plan in the country in terms of its’ ability to withstand an economic shock and continue its funding levels.”

The State Treasurer’s Office reports 301,042 state and local government retirees across North Carolina are currently receiving benefits from the pension plan, more than 9,300 are in the five (Brunswick, Bladen, Columbus, New Hanover and Pender) southeastern counties. Those retirees receive a total of $206 million in benefits every year.

“Our job here is to preserve and strengthen, but also figure out how to sustain this pension plan for the next generation of public service workers,” Folwell said. “With all the anxiety that your viewers are facing, the safety and security of this pension plan for those who teach, protect and otherwise serve, is not in jeopardy.”

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