State Treasurer May Sue To Protect State Pension Fund
Posted February 6, 2003 7:05 a.m. EST
RALEIGH, N.C. — After more than 30 years of working for the state, retiree LeMonte Mitchell takes pleasure in home life. He worries whether some of his colleagues will be able to do the same.
"Employees who now have to work for 20 to 25 years to retire, they want to have a good retirement when they do. I feel for them," Mitchell said.
According to state Treasurer Richard Moore, the General Assembly has to pump more than $250 million into the fund over the next two years or risk stability. He said if legislators do not pay up soon, they could face a lawsuit.
"I swore an oath to make sure all the money that comes into that fund comes, and we will use whatever means to make sure that promise is kept. If I have to use the courts, I'll do it," Moore said.
State employees put 6 percent of their pay into the retirement fund. For years, the state chipped in; however, this budget year, nothing went into the pot.
Mitchell said he feels that pain for his friends who have yet to retire from the state. He hopes their years of service will pay off.
Moore said retired workers should not worry -- checks will be in the mail. He said if the situation does not turn around, the retirement fund would not be affected for another 10 years.