North Dakota lawmakers consider legislation to help tackle $1.8B state pension shortfall

(Fargo, ND) -- North Dakota's retirement fund for public employee's is facing a shortfall, and House Majority Leader Mike Lefor and other lawmakers are taking steps aimed at making up the difference.

"I've been focused on this for many years. So, the bill that we have in front of us, House Bill 1040, would close the defined benefit plan to state employees going forward starting January 1 of 2025," said Lefor.  

Lefor says the state retirement fund is only 65 percent funded and says the fund could be insolvent 25 years from now if nothing is done to address the shortfall. He says the state currently has a $1.8 billion dollar unfunded liability. Lefor is backing legislation that would switch state workers to a defined contribution plan. 

Lefor shared the comments during a legislative update with WDAY News First. 

He also discussed how lawmakers are taking steps to provide $68 million in funding to help pay for new career tech training centers around the state.

"I'm hopeful that it'll get to the governor's desk very soon so these entities can start moving forward with those capital projects that they're doing," said Lefor. 

Original Air Date: 
Monday, January 23, 2023