National Association of State Retirement Administrators

North Carolina

Benefits for most public employees in the state of North Carolina are administered by the North Carolina Retirement Systems (NCRS). NCRS exists as a division of the North Carolina State Treasurer's office, with the Treasurer serving as the sole trustee of the system's assets. NCRS features two major plans; one for teachers and state employees, and one for local government employees.

Authorizing Statutes

Chapter 135 of the North Carolina General Statutes establishes a retirement system for teachers and state employees. According to Chapter § 135-2:

A Retirement System is hereby established and placed under the management of the Board of Trustees for the purpose of providing retirement allowances and other benefits under the provisions of this Chapter for teachers and State employees of the State of North Carolina. The Retirement System so created shall be established as of the first day of July, 1941. It shall have the power and privileges of a corporation and shall be known as the "Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System of North Carolina," and by such name all of its business shall be transacted, all of its funds invested, and all of its cash and securities and other property held.

Board Composition


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Plan Members

Ex Officio

North Carolina Retirement Systems







Per the U.S. Census, in FY 2021, employer contributions to North Carolina government pension plans were 3.28 percent of all state and local government direct general spending.

Constitutional Protections

Wiggs v. Edgecombe County, 632 S.E.2d 249 (N.C. App. 2006)(recognizing contractual right to rely on the terms of the retirement plan when retirement rights vest); Simpson v. N.C. Local Gov't. Employees' Retirement Sys., 363 S.E.2d 90 (1987}, affirmed per curiam, 372 S.E.2d 559 (1988) (holding that relationship between the retirement system and vested state employees is contractual). Article I, Section 19 of the North Carolina Constitution is known as the "law of the land clause" and provides that "no person shall be oo·disseized of his freehold, liberties, or privileges, or 000 deprived of his 000 property, but by the law of the land." (N.C. CONST., Article 1, §19) Source: Robert Klausner, Esq., State Constitutional Protections for Public Sector Retirement Benefits

Flag of North Carolina (March 2, 1885)[4]

Population (2022) 10,698,973

North Carolina public pension statistics, per U.S. Census Bureau as of FY 2022 ($ in 000s)



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