Public employees like educational support staff, snowplow drivers, and addiction recovery specialists work hard to support our children, keep our roads safe, and provide treatment to our family members.
But the hard-earned benefits of North Dakota’s dedicated public employees are now at risk. Why? Because some North Dakota legislators want to eliminate pensions and guaranteed retirement payments administered by the North Dakota Public Employee Retirement System (NDPERS) for new state employees.
Instead of limiting benefits through changes they say will only affect new employees, legislators should shore up the pension fund. They failed to do so for six legislative sessions following the economic collapse of 2008-2009.
If NDPERS pensions fall, pensions for teachers and other public employees may be next in line. We have a chance to protect North Dakota public employee pensions and stand up for every North Dakotan’s hard-earned retirement security.
House bill 1040 intends to replace the current pension plan with a less stable defined contribution plan by 2025. Senate Bill 2239 aims to save our pensions by shoring up the existing pension fund for under $1 billion. In comparison, eliminating pensions would cost $5.5 billion over 20 years; more than five times the cost. Not only does SB 2239 maintain and invest in pensions, it is also clearly the more fiscally responsible choice. North Dakota United supports Senate Bill 2239.
Watch the video below with testimonies from members Jason and Linda on why protecting pensions is critical for North Dakota’s state employees.