AN ACT TO PROHIBIT THE RECEIPT OF BENEFITS FROM THE CONSOLIDATED JUDICIAL RETIREMENT SYSTEM FOR JUDGES WHO HAVE BEEN IMPEACHED AND CONVICTED OR REMOVED FROM OFFICE, TO APPLY FELONY FORFEITURE PROVISIONS TO THE NATIONAL GUARD PENSION FUND AND TO THE DISABILITY INCOME PLAN OF NORTH CAROLINA, AND TO MAKE OTHER AMENDMENTS TO THE FELONY FORFEITURE STATUTES.
Repeals GS 135-18.10A(b) (concerning the Teachers and State Employees' Retirement System/TSERS), GS 128-38.4A(b) (concerning the Local Government Employees' Retirement System/LGERS), GS 135-75.1A(b) (concerning the Consolidated Judicial Retirement System/CJRS), and GS 120-4.33A(b) (concerning the Legislative Retirement System/LRS), regarding forfeiture of retirement benefits upon certain felony convictions while a member of their respective System in service.
Enacts GS 127A-40.1, ceasing eligibility of a member of the National Guard to receive a monthly pension under Article 3 upon forfeiture of any retirement benefits under the following specified statutory provisions regarding forfeiture under TSERS, LGERS, CJRS, and LRS: GS 120-4.33, GS 120-4.33A, GS 128-38.4, GS 128-38.4A, GS 135-18.10, GS 135-18.10A, GS 135-75.1, GS 135-75.1A, or GS 135-75.1C. Also clarifies that monthly pension payments under the Article must cease upon ineligibility of a member under the statute.
Similarly, amends GS 135-103, adding a new subsection to cease eligibility of a participant or beneficiary of the Disability Income Plan to receive a monthly pension under Article 3 upon forfeiture of any retirement benefits under the following specified statutory provisions: GS 120-4.33, GS 120-4.33A, GS 128-38.4, GS 128-38.4A, GS 135-18.10, GS 135-18.10A, GS 135-75.1, GS 135-75.1A, or GS 135-75.1C. Enacts GS 135-115 to establish that monthly benefits payable under Article 6 must cease upon ineligibility of a participant or beneficiary under GS 135-103(c), as enacted.
Enacts the following identical provisions: GS 135-18.10(e) and GS 135-18.10A(d) (concerning TSERS); GS 128-38.4(e) and GS 128-38.4A(d) (concerning LGERS); GS 135-75.1(e) and GS 135-75.1A(d) (concerning CJRS); and GS 120-4.33(e) and GS 120-4.33(d) (concerning LRS). Provides that on or after October 1, 2019, the Board of Trustees of the respective System must suspend monthly retirement benefit payments or allowances, as specified, upon notification or discovery of the indictment of a member for a felony offense that would require forfeiture of benefits if convicted. Provides that if the member is not convicted, the Board of Trustees must restore the monthly retirement benefits or allowances and pay a lump sum equal to the amount of monthly retirement benefits and allowances that would have been paid from the System if not for the suspension, plus interest.
Enacts GS 135-75.1C, prohibiting the CJRS Board of Trustees from paying any retirement benefits or allowances to any justice or judge who is convicted on impeachment under Article IV of the constitution or GS Chapter 123, or is removed from office for reasons other than physical or mental incapacity under GS 7A-376(b). Allows for a return of the member's contributions plus interest. Provides that the member is not entitled to any creditable service accrued after January 1, 2020, if the member has vested in the System on or before January 1, 2020. Provides for a reversal of benefit forfeiture and restoration of the benefits upon a conviction on impeachment or removal from office being vacated or set aside. Provides for repayment of accumulated member contributions, at an interest rate of 6.5%, as specified.
Makes conforming changes to expand GS 135-75.1B to include members whose retirement benefits are forfeited under any provision under Article 4 in the prohibition against later purchasing or repurchasing either the forfeited benefits or any creditable membership service associated with those benefits.
Makes conforming changes to GS 7A-376, providing for a judge removed under subsection (b) to receive member contributions plus interest as provided in new GS 135-75.1C.
Directs the General Assembly and the Supreme Court to notify the State Treasurer and the CJRS Board of Trustees of the conviction on impeachment or removal from office of a justice or judge.
Applies to offenses committed on or after January 1, 2020.
Enacts GS 147-86.3, granting the Department of the State Treasurer (Department) or authorizing representatives assisting the Department's staff broad authority and access to examine and inspect persons, records, property, equipment, and facilities in the course of conducting a compliance investigation or fraud investigation. Details the authority and access granted, with procedure on requesting records and certain restrictions on confidential records. Requires providers of social and medical services to a beneficiary of a program administered by the Department to make copies of the records provided to the beneficiary available to the Department to permit verification of the health or other status of the beneficiary required for the payment of benefits. Requires the Department to maintain for 10 years a complete file of all compliance investigative reports, fraud, investigative reports and reports of other examinations, investigations, surveys, and reviews issued under the State Treasurer's authority. Provides for retention of fraud and compliance investigation work papers and other evidence, as specified, under agreement with State Archives, and permits inspection by duly authorized representatives of the State or federal government for a matter officially before them; otherwise provides for confidentiality except upon order of Wake County Superior Court, upon 10 days' notice and hearing, finding access necessary to a proper administration of justice. Provides the identity of any person reporting fraud, waste, and abuse to the Department to be kept confidential and not be maintained as public record.
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