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July 10, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Treasurer's Office Assesses Risk of Fraud in Retirement Systems

Buck Consultants selected to conduct evaluation, make recommendations for fraud prevention

RALEIGH - The North Carolina Department of State Treasurer is conducting an evaluation of the risk for fraud and waste in the Retirement Systems and other benefit plans administered by the Department. The Retirement Systems Division will use the information provided in this evaluation to prevent abuse of its benefit programs and improve oversight of public resources.

“We recognize the need to protect taxpayer dollars and safeguard the interests of the state’s public employees and retirees,” said State Treasurer Janet Cowell. “We want to make sure we have appropriate quality controls in place, and that we can be more proactive in identifying areas for potential fraud, waste and abuse.”

Buck Consultants, one of four companies that submitted a bid, was selected to conduct the evaluation. The Department released a request for proposals on April 3 to seek an independent vendor for the assessment.

The Department selected Buck Consultants because of the company’s knowledge of public sector retirement, its experiences with major policy and procedure reviews, and its comprehensive technical approach. Buck currently serves as the actuary of record for the Retirement Systems.

Buck’s evaluation will include reviewing General Statutes, policies and internal processes; providing benchmarking analysis; and providing a comprehensive set of recommendations to the Retirement Systems to enhance capabilities to prevent fraud, waste and abuse.

The evaluation is expected to last no longer than one year.

The Department has consistently been proactive in detecting and preventing fraud. During the 2012 legislative session, it introduced House Bill 1074, which grants protection for local government employees reporting suspected cases of fraud, waste or abuse in the Retirement Systems. The bill also empowers the Retirement Systems Division to investigate cases of fraud and makes it a class 1 misdemeanor to keep a person’s disability benefit after his or her death.