Town Talk 01/23/20: NC Treasurer Folwell Assures State Pension is Secure

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THIS STORY IS PRESENTED IN PART BY DRAKE DENTISTRY

NC State Treasurer Dale Folwell appeared on WIZS Town Talk Thursday at 11 a.m.

Folwell has served as the North Carolina State Treasurer since 2017 and is the former Speaker Pro Tempore of the North Carolina House of Representatives.

Overseeing the 26th largest public pool of money in the world, Folwell explained that his office manages retirement, healthcare and pharmaceutical benefits for 900,000 state and local employees in NC.

“At the end of the day, what I like to say is that we are in the check delivery business. Every 30 days we are spending nearly $750 million. We manage an amount of money eight times that of the state budget.”

Acknowledging that, statistically speaking, 2 out of 10 Town Talk listeners most likely have something to do with the State’s pension, health and/or pharmacy benefit plan, Folwell said those involved in the system can rest assured that employee retirement plans are secure.

“The pension plan is one of the five most solvent and secure pension plans in the United States, if not the world,” said Folwell. “A rating agency just posted us as number one in the country in terms of the ability to fund the pension plan during an economic downtown.”

Reminding listeners that economic downturns are historically “when not if” occurrences, Folwell said he was confident in the strength of the State’s pension system.

On the other end of the spectrum, Folwell said the State’s health plan is “one of the most insolvent in the US. All of our efforts right now are on state healthcare costs.”

Despite rising costs, Folwell said the State is committed to keeping insurance rates as affordable as possible for employees and retirees. “We have frozen all premiums for the second straight year even in light of the fact that costs are increasing at a faster pace than the governor’s budget and legislature’s budget appropriates money to us.”

Folwell said listeners may also be interested to know that the State currently has $700 million in unclaimed property, mostly in stocks and bonds, that can be viewed at any time, by first and last name free of charge at www.nccash.com. To learn more about the Treasurer’s Office, visit www.nctreasurer.com.

To hear the interview with Folwell in its entirety, go to WIZS.com and click on Town Talk.

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