NCRGEA Celebrates Public Service With Virtual Conference

Conference to Replace In-Person District Meetings

In honor of public servants and their service, North Carolina Retired Governmental Employees’ Association (NCRGEA) is excited to host a Celebration of Public Service Week, June 6-10, 2022, as a free virtual conference open to its members and the public. 

As part of the week-long slate of sessions, you will have access to a variety of flexible learning and social activities that can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home. The conference will serve as a replacement for this year’s in-person District meetings, and it will offer interactions surrounding legislative priorities and updates, information on various benefits,  connections with other members, and the presentation of a Public Service Award. There will also be pre-session opportunities related to digital communications. The event is geared towards NCRGEA members but will also include special sessions for others. Our Celebration of Public Service Week also recognizes public employees on the verge of retirement with sessions for them, government Human Resources personnel, and more. 

With multiple sessions offered each day on different topics and using different formats, you can choose to attend each day or drop in and out during the week at your own convenience. Sessions may be accessed on a computer or on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. In addition, you may choose to join sessions live, or catch up later by watching recordings on the NCRGEA YouTube channel when it is more convenient.

As mentioned before, the Celebration of Public Service Week serves as a replacement for in-person District meetings due to Covid-19 cases recently increasing. The online conference serves as an alternate way to reach out to members and share important information. At the end of the week, participants will be able to share feedback about the experience.  

We look forward to you joining us for what will be an enjoyable, educational experience. Register at or visit for session information.

All Call for Active & Engaged NCRGEA Members

Let Us Feature You!

These days, age is just a number, and no one demonstrates that more than NCRGEA members as they redefine what being retired means in 2022. To recognize that, we have started an Active & Engaged member spotlight to feature members who defy traditional ideas about life in retirement. It’s also a great opportunity for us to put a face on the members who are the heart of our organization.

Will you be part of this initiative and represent your NCRGEA district? If so, please use this link – – to fill out the Google Form to share about one of the following:

• Volunteer Efforts
• Special Skills or Second Career
• Pet Companions
• Active Physical & Mental Lifestyle

The information and photographs provided by you are shared on NCRGEA’s Facebook account and other platforms. As of this newsletter printing, five members have been featured, and their photographs and names are shared here. In addition, if you see a Spotlight on social media, we ask that you comment, “like,” and share whenever possible.
Let’s spread the word that NCRGEA is a people-first organization that is reimagining retirement.

If you don’t have easy access to sharing information online, please contact Dr. Deryl Fulmer at 919-980-6681 or

NCRGEA’s Fight for Retiree Healthcare Rights Results in NC Supreme Court Ruling

NCRGEA is extremely pleased with the decision filed by the North Carolina Supreme Court on March 11, 2022 holding that eligible State employees have a vested right in a noncontributory health plan for life. This Association has worked on this case, the Lake Case, to support retirees’ rights for almost 10 years.

As the Court stated, “These employees reasonably relied on the promise of this benefit in choosing to accept employment with the State. They are entitled to the benefit of their bargain, which includes eligibility to enroll in a premium-free plan offering the same or greater coverage value as the one available to them when their rights vested.”

This decision has been a long time in coming. NCRGEA is grateful to the attorneys, led by Christopher Whelchel and Michael Carpenter at the Gray Layton Kersh firm in Gastonia, with great assistance from attorneys Sam McGee and Gary Jackson, who have worked so hard for so long to protect retirees’ rights. We are also grateful to AARP and the North Carolina Association of Educators for their support.

We agree with the Court’s determination that this dispute raises issues of profound importance to the hundreds of thousands of dedicated public employees who devoted their lives to serving their fellow North Carolinians, often for far less immediate remuneration than would have been available to them in the private sector.

The Lake Case court decision may be viewed on the North Carolina Judicial Branch website at

President’s Message: June-July 2022

This is my last letter to you as President of NCRGEA. I do hope that you have found these letters to be informative about what we do for you and how much we consider each of you a member of our public servant family. And what do families do? We stick together and support one another. Well, as I leave my two-year tenure as
your President and 10 years as a Board member, I want you to know that we need to keep on sticking together. You did your duty even in the tough times, and now it’s time for state and local officials to do their duty to our many retirees, whether it be pensions, COLAs or health insurance!

You have heard already that, after 10 years, the Supreme Court ruled on the Lake Case in the favor of state public servants who had joined the State workforce for a salary often below the market rate, with the promise that health insurance would be provided at no cost for an 80/20 plan. When the State reneged on that promise in 2011 by charging a fee for our health insurance, 28 plaintiffs, including Justice I. Beverly Lake, and one past and one current NCRGEA Board member, sued the State. NCRGEA supported that suit on behalf of our members from the very beginning and has spent over $300,000 supporting that effort. Yes, it was a gamble over those 10 years when the outcome was not certain, but we knew NCRGEA needed to stand up for its members and all other retirees. Look for more news about the Lake case in this newsletter on page 2.

Previously, I announced that we had hired an interim ED while we searched for a new one. I want you to know that Bryan Setser and his team have not only kept the trains running on time, but they are producing more new services than ever before. If you have checked our website, you have already seen the first efforts at making the site more modern and user friendly while adding much new content. Over the next few years, you will find the NCRGEA website to be the “go-to site” for the lifestyle of retirees. We want to be the one place where you can go to be connected to all kinds of services you need to live a better, richer life. As I write this letter in April, we are in the midst of the Executive Director search led by Martha Sue Hall. Hopefully, we will be informing you of the new Executive Director at our June board meeting.

Elsewhere in this publication, you will learn details about one of the staff’s greatest achievements – a week-long virtual celebration of Public Service and Public Servants for the first full week of June. Instead of a few district meetings this Spring, all 65,000 of you will have access to presentations spread over most of the week, so you
can choose what topics you want to learn about. The topics are those traditionally offered at our district meetings, plus many, many more. You can read much more about these opportunities in this newsletter on page 4 and on the website and social media.

You will also find in this newsletter several opportunities for you to participate in our efforts to recognize the contributions you and others make to our state, counties and municipalities. As a family of public servants during our careers, and even in retirement, let’s celebrate that.

You and I are proud to have been public servants and I am honored to have served you on our Board.

Vann Langston, NCRGEA President

NC Pension Plans Have Minimal Exposure to
Russian Companies

NC Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA

From the moment Russian missiles and artillery began to rain on Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odessa and the Donbas region of Ukraine, calls have come from the West to reject all things Russian, including the divesting of state pension plans from Russian companies and securities. As justified as these calls may be, it may not be as easy or as impactful
as you may think.

The Department of State Treasurer has held Russian securities as part of emerging markets portfolios for decades. But the Russian securities currently held in its international equity portfolio are minimal, as is the Supplemental Retirement Plan portfolio, which has holdings all within the international equity and index funds. The plans remain one of the most secure in the country, if not the world.

Other state systems have much larger Russian exposure, including the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and California State Teachers’ Retirement System, for example. They have investments of nearly $1 billion and $171.5 million, respectively.

However, getting rid of the holdings is proving to be far more complicated than hitting the “sell” button on your computer. Many financial-services providers are backing away from dealing in Russian-backed securities, and Western sanctions related to the financial and banking sectors make disposing of the assets problematic. Additionally, most holdings in Russian securities are now essentially worthless, forcing many into a difficult
decision because selling them at this time would guarantee substantial losses.

That’s why I recently called on Congress to amend federal law to give your state pension plan a pathway to recover what could be hundreds of millions of dollars in nationwide economic damages including the value of losses to the North Carolina Retirement Plans resulting from Russia’s unprovoked military attack on Ukraine.

The North Carolina House of Representatives supported my call when they unanimously passed House Resolution 981 sponsored by House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland. We are asking Congress to amend the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 (FSIA). The act generally exempts foreign-owned property from seizure
under U.S. law, effectively prohibiting states and others from recovering adverse judgments made against other countries including Russia.

District Community Connections

Fellow Retirees,

Deryl Davis Fulmer, PhD/Community Liason

The NCRGEA has planned a great celebration during the week of June 6-10. We continue to be active toward growth and want to see you at this virtual week-long event replacing our usual district meetings. Bring your friends and join us for exciting sessions throughout each day.

Get to Know the NCRGEA Trivia Game

The May Trivia game is available at this link and on our website under the “news” tab. Our March $50 gift card winner is Annie Doris Garner, from Garysburg, NC, Northampton County (District 5). Please find out more about Doris on page 13 of the newsletter and on Facebook.

Trivia answers for March 2022:

Questions: How many registered lobbyists does the NCRGEA contract? What do they do when the General Assembly is in session?

Answers: The NCRGEA has a team of 4 registered lobbyists. They attend House/Senate committees, track bills relevant to NCRGEA, and meet with legislators/staff to promote NCRGEA’s agenda. They cultivate relationships with legislators, legislative staff, the Office of the State Treasurer and other government agencies. They speak to support/oppose legislation of positive/negative consequence for NCRGEA members.

Celebration of Public Service Week- Local Engagement Day Thursday June 9th

During the conference, on Thursday, June 9th, we are focusing on “local engagement.” You will be able to hear about the joys of retirement from a panel of your peers and learn more about the Community Advisory Boards (CABs), followed by a chance to meet fellow retirees in your respective districts. Besides the NCRGEA prizes offered, AARP North Carolina is sponsoring the Bingo games/prizes and exercise sessions will be offered daily!

On Monday, June 6, we will give our first annual Public Service Award. Please be sure to nominate members
you know who are doing great service to our communities. You can nominate yourself as well. Additional information is in this newsletter and on the website at:

Services Available

Please be sure to visit your local Humana Neighborhood Centers or visit them online at Meals on Wheels (MOW) needs volunteers. Contact your local MOWs
or visit: And, if needed, contact Transitions LifeCare, which provides comfort and support for people of all ages experiencing life-changing illnesses. There are similar services across the state in your local areas

And finally, in honor of Older Americans Month (May), we recognize our entire NCRGEA membership and your contributions in making NC a great place to live, work and enjoy retirement! This year’s theme is “Age My Way, an opportunity for all of us to explore the many ways older adults can remain in and be involved with their communities.”


Dental and Vision Updates

Hello NCRGEA members and affiliates, Josephine Lanier Insurance Director here with some Dental and Vision reminders. First, I would like to thank you for being a member of our wonderful association and allowing me to service you with your dental and vision needs. I understand due to the Covid outbreak many of us who were enrolled in the Standard Dental Plan and Superior Vision plan did not use our coverage. With activities opening up again and Dentist and Eye providers scheduling more appointments, I hope you will use your dental and vision coverage and make an appointment.

Josephine D. Lanier
NCRGEA Director of Insurance Services

A few things to remember with your dental and vision coverage:

  • Please verify that you have a Standard Dental card. In 2020, we changed Dental providers from Metlife to the Standard Insurance Co. which uses the Ameritas network of providers. Remember, you may see any dentist you choose; however, you will see the biggest savings if you utilize a dentist in the Ameritas network. These dentists have agreed to charge a lower cost on most procedures.
  • If you do not have a Dental card, need to check your enrollment/account status or if you need help locating a provider in network in your area, you may call the Standard customer service number at 1-800-547-9515.
  • You may also contact Superior Vision customer service at 800-507-3800, for a replacement card and coverage information. In addition, you can ask for assistance in locating an eye provider in your area or you may just ask your provider if they are in the Superior Vision network when you call to make your appointment.

Please go to our website and look under dental and vision benefits for details of the plans. If you do not have web access, call our office, and we will be more than happy to mail out the plan information. The numbers are (919) 834-4652 or (800) 356-1190. Dental and vision insurance is a great thing to have in case of emergencies. However, we mustn’t forget the importance of our eye and dental health. Stay healthy and be happy!