(Raleigh, N.C.) – Currituck County is taking great strides to strengthen its ability to pay future retirement benefits to employees, and State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA, praised the coastal county for its efforts.
“Currituck County has committed to invest a total of $1 million through the Ancillary Governmental Participants Investment Program (AGPIP) offered by the Department of State Treasurer (DST). This bold leadership will go a long way towards ensuring those who teach, protect and otherwise serve that they will have the benefits they were promised in their retirement years,” Treasurer Folwell said.
He cited County Manager Ben Stikeleather, County Board of Commissioners Chairman Michael Payment and Finance Director Sandra Hill for their leadership of the tourism-dependent county through the economic lockdowns of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They have been prudent in recent years in finding out what’s right, getting it right and keeping it right while improving their General Fund and financial condition,” Treasurer Folwell said. “Putting money aside for the pension and health care of retired public servants takes not only foresight but courage. By allocating the money into interest-bearing investments the county will be able to whittle away at its unfunded liabilities.”
The county, which has no incorporated municipalities and provides the services for its 27,000 residents, filed enrollment applications with DST to create trust funds with an initial deposit of $500,000 each for the County of Currituck Law Enforcement Officers Special Separation Allowance (LEOSSA), and Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB). It has unfunded liabilities of $2.6 million in LEOSSA and $29.6 million in OPEB.
The county is statutorily required to pay LEOSSA, a special allowance for retired officers under the age of 62. It is a pension plan benefit for the county’s qualified sworn law enforcement officers who have completed at least 30 years of creditable service or have attained 55 years of age after serving as an officer for at least five years.
OPEB plans are benefits other than pensions that are provided to retirees. Currituck County offers varying levels of retirement coverage under its group health plan depending on date of hire and years of service for employees hired prior to Jan. 1, 2017.
The Investment Management Division serves as the investment arm for the Department of State Treasurer. The division employs more than 20 investment professionals that provide the expertise for state government investing, including the Ancillary Governmental Participant Investment Program (AGPIP). For more information about the Investment Management Division click here.