(Raleigh, N.C.) – State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA announced today that the N.C. Department of State Treasurer (DST) intends to pursue recovery of employer pension contributions from public officials who are convicted of job-related felonies.
Under North Carolina’s felony forfeiture law, the department can reduce or terminate payments from the state pension plan to employees who committed crimes while serving in public office. However, the law does not allow DST to recover contributions made by government employers, sometimes referred to as a “match”, towards benefits such as 401(k) accounts. Treasurer Folwell said the department will pursue legislation to change that.
“We have learned that local taxpayers are getting stuck with the bill for employer contributions made by local governments,” said Folwell. “Public officials who commit crimes related to their public service should not get to enjoy taxpayer-funded benefits that we can’t recover after they are convicted.”
Folwell added that DST would work with the North Carolina League of Municipalities, the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners, and the chairs of the House and Senate Pensions & Retirement committees, including Rep. Allen McNeill, Rep. Stephen Ross and Senator Andy Wells to expand the felony forfeiture law.
“Representative Jordan has been a leader in holding public officials accountable for crimes connected to their official duties,” said Folwell. “I look forward to working together in the legislature to make sure people who violate the public’s trust don’t get rewarded for their actions.”
The North Carolina Retirement Systems provides retirement benefits and savings for more than 900,000 members, including teachers, firefighters, police officers, state and local government employees and other public workers. For more information, visit www.nctreasurer.com