The idea came from someone who worked with the state of North Carolina's retirement division and who also served on the advisory board at one of State Employees' Credit Union.

Six months later, the $22 billion SECU and the Retirement Systems Division of the North Carolina Department of State Treasurer have a partnership in place that aims to provide a transfer benefit for retiring and retired state and local government employees. Members of the Teachers and State Employees' Retirement System and the Local Government Employees Retirement System have a one-time opportunity to transfer all or part of their before-tax funds in the NC 401(k) or NC 457 to their NC Retirement System account, in return for a lifetime monthly benefit.

Retiring members who have a large NC 401(k)/457 balance and whose ongoing monthly expenses exceed their income may be ideal candidates for this new benefit, while members whose NC 401(k)/457 balance is small may wish to keep their funds in the current NC 401(k)/457 as an emergency fund, according to SECU.

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