National Association of State Retirement Administrators

North Dakota

The North Dakota Public Employees Retirement System administers pension, health insurance, and other benefits for most public employees in the state except teachers. In addition to providing coverage for state employees, the system administers benefits to employees of 260 political subdivisions.

The North Dakota Teachers Fund for Retirement administers pension and other benefits for certified employees of school districts, state agencies, colleges and universities, and other educational institutions in North Dakota. Assets are managed by the State Investment Board.

Authorizing Statutes

State Employees

Chapter 54-52 of the North Dakota Code creates the Public Employees Retirement System.

54-52-02. Formulation of plan - Exclusion of employees covered by plans in existence. All departments, boards, institutions, commissions, or agencies of the state of North Dakota, the Garrison Diversion Conservancy District, district health units, the supreme court, and the district courts, hereinafter referred to as agency, shall participate in a retirement system which will provide for the payment of benefits to state and political subdivision employees or to Page No. 2their beneficiaries thereby enabling the employees to care for themselves and their dependents and which by its provisions will improve state and political subdivision employment, reduce excessive personnel turnover, and offer career employment to high-grade men and women.

Local Employees

Chapter 54-52-02.1 of the North Dakota Code authorizes North Dakota political subdivisions to join the Public Employees Retirement System:

54-52-02.1. Political subdivisions authorized to join public employees retirement system. 1. A political subdivision may, on behalf of its permanent employees, on behalf of its peace officers and correctional officers separately from its other employees, and permanent noncertified employees only in the case of school districts, enter into agreements with the retirement board for the purpose of extending the benefits of the public employees retirement system, as provided in this chapter, to those employees.

Educational Employees

Chapter 15-13-01 of the North Dakota Code establishes the Teachers Retirement Fund.

15-39.1-01. Teachers' fund for retirement created. There is hereby created the teachers' fund for retirement, which, upon the effective date of this chapter shall consist of the following: 1. All moneys contained in the teachers' insurance and retirement fund accumulated pursuant to chapter 15-39; and 2. All moneys thereafter received by the state treasurer under the provisions of this chapter.

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Ex Officio

North Dakota Public ERS






North Dakota Teachers Fund for Retirement







Per the U.S. Census, in FY 2021, employer contributions to North Dakota state and local government pension plans were 2.07 percent of all state and local government direct general spending.

Constitutional Protections

No explicit constitutional protection and not much recent caselaw. Courts will likely protect against the impairment of contract rights. Payne v. Board of Trustees of the Teachers' Ins. & Retirement Fund, 35 N.W.2d 553 (N.D. 1948)(recognizing that public pension plan is not a gratuity and rather gives rise to binding contractual rights and obligations upon satisfaction of all conditions); Quam v. City of Fargo, 43 N.W.2d 292 (N.D. 1950)(same); Klug v. City of Minot, 795 N.W.2d 906 (N.D. 2011)(home rule city had the authority to combine police pension with city employee pension plan; defined benefit plan consists of a general pool of assets of which a plan member is entitled to a fixed periodic payment upon retirement not a claim to any particular assets). (ND CONST., Article X, §12) Source: Robert Klausner, Esq., State Constitutional Protections for Public Sector Retirement Benefits

Flag of North Dakota (November 9, 1943)

Population (2022) 779,261

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



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