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. 

From the Policy Watch article,

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.


  1. Karen Arnold's avatar
    Karen Arnold
    | Permalink
    Okay Raleigh lawmaker - let's take your retirement health care away and call it good! Bet you wouldn't think that's such a great idea!
  2. Laura Whisnant's avatar
    Laura Whisnant
    | Permalink
    Republicans have been determined to kill public education since they gained the majority. I cannot imagine why anyone who is/has been in the education field (or has family who is) would vote for a party which cares only for the wealthy. They do not want an educated populace, because it would be harder to convince such people to vote against their own best interests.
  3. Marcus Simpson's avatar
    Marcus Simpson
    | Permalink
    Instead of attacking the messenger....answer this question please.<br /> <br /> How do you address the problem of the 25 Billion Dollar unfunded Liability created by the Retirement and Medical Benefits promised to everyone on the State Retirement System which includes local and state workers?<br /> <br /> You do understand what "unfunded" means....and the risk that poses to both the State Government's future Budgets and also to all those who are "promised" those benefits without there being any money invested to ensure those benefits can be paid.<br /> <br /> How do you suggest the State Government pay that 25 Billion Dollars?<br /> <br /> All those years your Democrat Party promised you those Benefits they did not invest any money towards paying for them did they?<br /> <br /> Now tell us your plan Ladies....how you going to pay for it?
  4. Barbara Walter's avatar
    Barbara Walter
    | Permalink
    I was a teacher when teachers first received health insurance in the 70's. I can't believe that anyone would think this is an unnecessary expense. Retirement benefits are teachers have left. You have striped the budget for schools and teachers' salaries to the bare bones and to the point that teachers are buying their own supplies and materials. They can't afford to pay their medical insurance costs when they retire because they wouldn't have enough to live on. Your proposal is a slap in the face of professionals who educated you. You know nothing of what it takes to be a teacher today. I dare you to teach a class for 2 weeks and do everything the teacher would have to do! This cements my long held belief that the NCGA wants the state out of the education business. We have got to have relief at election time!
  5. Barbara Walter's avatar
    Barbara Walter
    | Permalink
    Make cuts in other areas instead of making cuts on the back of education. The future of North Carolina depends on it. Ask other states with state funded education how they manage! Again...step into the classroom for two weeks and see if teachers are appreciated...ever! See how hard the job is. You would only be seeing the tip of the iceberg. I think you should also be evaluated on your performance.
  6. Stephen Zandy's avatar
    Stephen Zandy
    | Permalink
    I worked for the Dept of Transportation.<br /> <br /> I sure didn't stay for the salary or the working conditions.<br /> <br /> I'm retired. I got screw by the Martin administration for 7 years that I was not put on full permanent payroll.<br /> <br /> I could not afford to buy those years, so they were just lost.<br /> <br /> Did you know that legislators collect a higher percentage in retirement than regular state employees????<br /> <br /> People stay with the State for the retirement benefits.<br /> <br /> The people who are saying we don't deserve our retirement. How 'bout we take theirs away and see how they like that.
  7. Robin's avatar
    | Permalink
    UNFUNDED? Isn't that what education is to begin with? I did not join the teaching profession to get rich but I prefer to stay off social assistance. If the number of actual hours were factored in, our wages would fall in the extreme poverty column. Wish people who have children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews could really see how the NCGA has raped education. As teacher, I want ALL children to get an education and do not begrudge private and/or parochial schools. We have some very good available. HOWEVER, public educationa should be supported and funded by the public; Private education should be funded privately, not under the table by fat cat Boss Hogs! We have some very bright children in our state that will never get the chance. We have the best educators anywhere and they consistently do more with less and implement many, MANY unfundated programs.
  8. Chris's avatar
    | Permalink
    Marcus Simpson, you obviously do not know what it means by unfunded. It does not mean it is not paid for, it means it is not being paid for by the retirees themselves. There does not need to be a *new* plan to pay for it, it is already being paid for.
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