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Are city and county employees retirement plans fully funded?

Ashley Withers

The City of Wilmington participates in the statewide Local Governmental Employees’ Retirement System (LGERS), a cost-sharing multiple-employer defined benefit pension plan administered by the state of North Carolina, according to city spokesperson Malissa Talbert.

The city is required by the General Assembly to kick in its share.

The details for the city’s retirement plan are outlined in the city’s annual financial report. The most recent report states that “plan members are required to contribute 6 percent of their annual covered salary. The City and the Authority are required to contribute at an actuarially determined rate. For the City and the Authority, the current rate for employees not engaged in law enforcement and for law enforcement officers is 6.35 percent and 6.55 percent, respectively, of annual covered payroll. The contribution requirements of members, the City and the Authority are established and may be amended by the North Carolina General Assembly.”

New Hanover County participates in the state’s local government retirement system. Charles Smith, the county spokesperson, said the system is fully funded. The difference between the city and the county’s plan is that the county does not contribute to the retirement fund for all employees.

“New Hanover County puts in the state-required 5 percent to 401Ks for sworn law enforcement only,” Smith said. “Everyone else has the option to participate. It is a voluntary employee deduction.”

Wilmington Law enforcement officers also receive larger contributions from the city than other employees.


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