State News

N.C. Pension Fund Ranks 2nd in Nation

Posted February 21, 2008

— State Treasurer Richard Moore cited a new report that ranks North Carolina's pension fund second nationally among state retirement funds.

Standard & Poor's, the national credit-rating agency, also ranked North Carolina No. 2 in the previous two years.

The report found North Carolina to be one of only five states with enough money on hand to meet its pension obligations, Moore said. The fund had a 8.33 percent return last year, compared with the 5.49 percent return for the S&P 500 index.

“S&P has demonstrated yet again that our pension fund is among the very best in the country,” Moore said in a statement. “North Carolina’s teachers, state employees and other public workers can rest assured that their pensions are safe and protected – even in the current market uncertainty.”

The State Employees Association of North Carolina requested in November that Moore make public records about the fund's management. They followed up that request with a civil suit.

SEANC said Thursday it has received an additional 1,140 pages from state attorneys representing Moore and his office.

Moore confirmed the release of the additional documents during a news conference.

Moore said his office has already complied with the association's original request filed last March and provided 900 pages. He said the latest batch of papers was related to more specific requests the association made to state attorneys last week.

SEANC Executive Director Dana Cope said in an e-mail the group was reviewing the new documents.

8 Comments

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  • colliedave Feb 22, 2008

    For the teachers that rail against those "evil oil companies" I wonder if any of them know the level of the companies stock that is in their pension funds?

  • Through a glass darkly Feb 21, 2008

    IceCreamMan, that's better than my pension. I expect things to get worse when the Baby Boom Bubble is fully into retirement.

  • redant Feb 21, 2008

    IceCreamMan's comment is factual as far as the amount paid to a 30 year teacher upon retirement. However,every employee enrolled in the State Retirement System is able to calculate their pension prior to retirement on the Retirement System website. Additionally, every participant receives a statement annually which provides an estimate of what their pension will be at retirement. It should be obvious to anyone in the System whether or not their pension will meet their needs at retirement. If not, they need to develop a plan which will enable them to meet their needs. NC provides a supplemental retirement through the NC State 401k Program for all employees. If properly planned, State employees can use this investment vehicle or some other plan to fund the difference between their pension check and their actual needs. The State never promised to pension all retirees at full pay and shouldn't.

  • IceCreamMan Feb 21, 2008

    The reason the pension is so secure is that the payout to retirees is so low. A 30 year teacher can get a maximum of 54% of his/her ending salary (4 year avg.) at retirement. Also, the annual cost of living adjustments within the pension are low, meaning inflation eats away at pension benefits pretty steadily.

  • lilwil Feb 21, 2008

    I see WRAL changed the heading (that wasn't the original heading). I wonder why?..............

  • cuteboyd Feb 21, 2008

    With 14 yrs left to go, I hope I can retire in comfort at the age of 52.

  • billybob72 Feb 21, 2008

    The whole point of the information request was to consider any conflict of interest between contracted fund managers and campaign contributions. The pension fund's solvency is not necessarily the question.

  • lilwil Feb 21, 2008

    Isn't that what the group was asking for in the beginning? Why do people make things so difficult?