HeadLocke No. 83: Reforms needed to shore up N.C. public pension fund

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HeadLocke No. 83: Reforms needed to shore up N.C. public pension fund

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North Carolina’s Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System, TSERS, is widely recognized as being among the nation’s healthiest pension plan systems, currently almost 90% funded at a time when the average public pension plan has only three-quarters of the assets on hand today that will be needed to support future retirement promises. Despite applying a number of best practices for running a financially solvent pension system, the system’s funded ratio has nonetheless been dropping over the last 20 years. A system that was overfunded at the turn of the century today has $9.64 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, or pension debt. A new report prepared by researchers from the John Locke Foundation and Reason Foundation documents the current situation and suggests helpful reforms. Reason’s Leonard Gilroy and Jen Sidorova discuss their findings. JLF’s Joseph Coletti explains why now is a good time for policymakers to address the issue.

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