MINOT, N.D. — North Dakota’s lawmakers have sent to Gov. Doug Burgum legislation that will close the state’s defined-benefit pension for public workers.
The pension, called the Public Employees Retirement System, or PERS, currently has roughly 53,000 current and retired employees in it, including about 60% who are in local governments. The legislation, which is expected to cost $4.94 billion over the next 30 years, will keep the pension in place for workers already in the system, while transitioning new workers to a defined-contribution plan of the sort that pretty much everyone except government workers has.
It’s pretty clear that the current head of the pension hates this change. “At over $4 billion dollars difference, HB 1040 is about to be the most expensive mistake in the history of the state of North Dakota,” PERS executive director Scott Miller told Bismarck Tribune reporter Jack Dura.
It’s also pretty clear that Miller needs to be fired.