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Hill, Justice say increased pensions no factor in leaving legislature

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A few of the Cape Fear’s most prominent legislators are not seeking re-election, but they will get bigger than pensions than if they’d left office earlier.

Representatives Dewey Hill and Carolyn Justice have served 30 combined years in the state house. They are among a group of lawmakers stepping away with special pension perks.

A law passed last year lets lawmakers to add an expense allowance to their base salary. That increases the amount of pensions they can or will get at age 65.

That means 65-year-old Justice (R-16th District) will get more than $10,000 a year.

Hill (D-20th District), 86, will get more than $20,000 a year.

Both say the demands of the job are much more than any part-time job. They insist the change in pensions had no impact on their decisions to leave office.

“I had no idea it was going to be changed to ($10,000),” Justice said. “No, it has nothing to do with it. It’s what I said to begin with. When I said it way back then, you vested at five. I could have retired at five and had it.”

Hill said, “I made up my mind a year ago that I was going to retire at the end of this session. I didn’t announce it, but I made that up. It’s just time to move on.”

Both representatives said they went to Raleigh not for the money, but to make a difference for the state and their districts.

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