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Issue Explainer

Pension Security

North Dakota Public Employees Retirement System’s (NDPERS) and Teachers' Fund for Retirement (TFFR) are defined-benefit pension plans that are a valuable recruiting tool for North Dakota job growth and provide stable retirement savings for our public workers and educators.
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Published: September 2023

Ensuring that NDPERS’ defined benefit pension plan stays in place is an issue we have been tracking and working on continually, while the Legislature has been ignoring it since 2011.

In the 14 months leading up to the 2023 legislative session, a study was conducted on how to close the plan to new hires. The study found that closing the plan will result in the fund becoming unstable over time unless significant additional contributions are made by the state and/or the employees in the plan. The Legislature’s actuary told the interim committee that closing the plan would be the biggest waste of taxpayers’ money.

In spite of this finding, members of the legislature disregarded the facts and chose to vote ideologically, based on numbers from a think-tank instead of an actuarial report provided by NDPERS. 

Because of this, HB 1040 passed and will close the defined benefit pension plan to new employees. There were some changes made at the last minute and we will keep monitoring the situation. We will continue to keep the heat on legislators about their decision now and when the true cost becomes apparent during the next legislative session.

TFFR, the pension plan for educators, remains intact. However, when asked about the potential of shutting down TFFR, Legislators like Jeff Delzer said "anything was possible". 

Frequently Asked Questions About Pensions

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A Union of Professionals in Public Education and Public Services

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