FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 12, 2017
Treasurer Folwell meets with more than 400 employees
Raleigh, N.C. --Within the first 48 hours of his tenure, North Carolina State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA has met with more than 400 employees at the North Carolina Department of State Treasurer. Treasurer Folwell was elected in November and is the 28th Treasurer to serve the state.
Folwell and N.C. Department of State Treasurer employees are responsible for almost $90 billion in pension investments for over 950,000 state employees, teachers, retirees, local governments, law enforcement and volunteer fire fighters. The North Carolina State Health Plan is also a division of the Department of State Treasurer providing healthcare coverage to more than 700,000 state employees, retirees and their dependents.
“I felt it was a priority to meet with all employees of the Treasurer’s office within the first two days,” said Treasurer Folwell. “While I’m the State Treasurer, they are the real ‘keepers of the public purse’. I wanted to thank them for their service and to outline the vision that I have for the department going forward.”
Folwell emphasized to employees that while the state pension plan is regarded as one of the best run in the country, challenges remain as the plan has not met its expected rate-of-return of 7.25 percent on average in the last 15 years. At the same time, investment costs have increased, totaling more than $600 million in fiscal year 2015-2016.
Of additional concern is the fact that retiree coverage in the State Health Plan has never been fully funded, representing a $32.5 billion liability for North Carolinians. Together, fully funding retiree health coverage and the pension plans could take over $4 billion a year from the annual state budget for the next 15 years. This annual required contribution would consume approximately 20 percent of the yearly state budget.
“Most people don’t wake up every morning thinking about these issues,” said Treasurer Folwell. “But I do and so do the hard working employees at the Department of State Treasurer. If we don’t solve these problems, then things you do think about – education, law enforcement, roads and taxes - will be negatively impacted. We have an opportunity to make a generational difference for North Carolinians by finding solutions to these issues.”
Treasurer Folwell has pledged to cut $100 million in management fees from the state’s pension plan and to make the State Health Plan more affordable for families. In addition, he has promised to let plan-participants know where their money is, how it is performing and how much is being paid in management fees.
“Four years from now we’ll be talking about results, not problems,” added Folwell.
About Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA
Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA is the 28th North Carolina State Treasurer. He was elected in November with almost 53 percent of the vote. Treasurer Folwell was a four-term member of the N.C. House of Representatives, including two years as Speaker Pro Tempore. During that time, he sponsored 29 major pieces of legislation enacted with bi-partisan support. More recently, he was assistant secretary of commerce with the Division of Employment Security (DES), where he took the most “broke and broken” unemployment system in the United States and turned it into national leader in debt-repayment, quality and customer service. Treasurer Folwell is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with a B.A. and Masters in Accounting from UNC-Greensboro. Married for 28 years with three children, he lives in Winston-Salem.