by Joseph Coletti
Senior Fellow, Fiscal Studies, John Locke Foundation
North Carolina had the sixth-best funded pension for state employees and teachers in the country in 2017, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts. Past and present state leaders deserve credit for regularly setting aside enough money to meet those pension obligations. The pension system also holds up well in stress tests, though with concerns about how realistic it would be for the state to make its required contributions in event of a significant market downturn.
While the pension plan is reasonably strong, there are two ways in which its condition may seem stronger than other states or than it may actually be:
State leaders need to continue improving the pension system’s health and take steps to address the even larger hole in the future obligations of the State Health Plan.