Raleigh Lawmaker Says Retirement Benefits Should Have Been Eliminated "A Long Time Ago"
Rep. Gary Pendleton (R-Wake) is catching heat for his recent remarks that he thinks retirement benefits for state employees, one of the key recruitment and retention tools, should have been eliminated "a long time ago." For a person with a lot of state employees in their district, these are extreme comments for sure.
In a meeting Wednesday where House lawmakers discussed key differences between the two chambers’ 2015-17 budget proposals, Rep. Gary Pendleton (R-Raleigh) said he was all for eliminating retiree medical benefits for future teachers and state employees.
“That’s something that should have been done a long time ago,” said Pendleton after legislative staff outlined the differences between salaries and benefits in the House and Senate budgets.
Senate lawmakers have included in their budget proposal eliminating retiree health care for teachers and state employees who are hired after January 1, 2016.
Proponents of the idea cite an unfunded liability of $25.5 billion associated with the retiree health fund and the need to find ways to reduce that cost. But opponents say cutting retiree health benefits will make it much harder to attract and retain good teachers and state employees.