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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The Legislature’s watchdog agency says North Carolina’s pension plan for teachers and state employees is well funded and is not considered lavish when compared with similar retirement systems in other states.

The Program Evaluation Division presented a study Monday to an oversight committee about the pension fund, which covers more than 500,000 participants and has at least $50 billion in value. Employees and government agencies pay into the plan.

The report says North Carolina’s pension plan benefits are average or less generous compared to other states.

The study also says it’s unclear whether it would make financial sense to move from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan because the switch could make it more difficult for the state to recruit and retain workers.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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