RALEIGH – When it comes to our retirements. the Department of the State Treasurer is critical because it administers the public employee retirement systems for more than 900,000 North Carolinians, as well as the 401 (k), 457, and 403 (b) supplemental retirement plans for public employees.
In the second of three video voters’ guides for top state offices, AARP heard from the candidates for State Treasuer, incumbent Dale Folwell, and his challenger Ronnie Chatterji.
AARP North Carolina is a co-sponsor of the NC Institute of Political Leadership’s “Hometown Debate Series,” airing this Sunday on Spectrum News. When it comes to the state’s most active voters, those ages 50 plus, top-of-mind election issues include health care access, quality and affordability, the high cost of medications and the ability to save for retirement. AARP North Carolina Director Michael Olender explains, “Although the Treasurer has no direct jurisdiction on some of the key issues for AARP voters, by managing public dollars, this position will have the ability to influence policies on many programs that need state funding.
In addition, many states have looked to the Treasurer to help run important workplace savings plans that help people save more for their retirements. In 2021, the state legislature will make recommendations on the best way for NC small businesses to help workers save more.” In the voters’ guide, AARP asked candidates the following questions:
- Approximately 1.7 million small business employees in our state don’t have a way to save for retirement at work. Knowing that employees are 15 times more likely to save when they have access to payroll deduction, will you commit to working to increase North Carolinian workplace retirement savings options and help reverse the trend of under-saving for retirement?
- Many retirees and current workers with defined benefit plans are seeing cuts to their promised pension benefits and cost of living adjustments. Will you protect the promised public pension benefits that our teachers, firefighters, and other state and local public servants depend upon for a steady retirement?
- Many hardworking North Carolinians and those who are struggling in jobs without health benefits would be eligible for health coverage under the Medicaid option for individuals who earn up to $17,609 a year. Do you support the expansion of Medicaid? If not, how would you expand access to affordable health coverage for struggling workers?
AARP has a proud 34-year history of non-partisan voter engagement and does not endorse or oppose candidates, nor does AARP make contributions to political campaigns or candidates, AARP does encourage voters to ask questions, so they understand where the candidates stand on important issues and make their own decisions this fall.
This year’s “Protect Voters 50+” campaign includes information North Carolinians need about the elections, including information on how to vote safely, absentee ballots and early voting.