Ex-N.C. United Way Head in Pension Fight Points Finger at Predecessor

January 20, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The former president of the United Way of Central Carolinas, fired last year and denied a controversial $2.1-million supplemental retirement plan, is now arguing her predecessor got a richer pension than she will, according to media reports.

A Charlotte Observer news story said Gloria Pace King made the comments about former President Donald Sanders, whom the newspaper said received a larger base pension because he worked at the agency for a longer period than King.

After discharging King September 30, 2008, the agency’s board of directors asserted it would pay only a base pension worth up to $645,000 and not the $2.1-million supplemental package directors had approved in 2006, according to the Observer. King is appealing the pension decision.

The Observer quoted agency marketing Vice President Dani Stone as saying that Sanders, who worked at the United Way 34 years, received $1.05 million when he retired in 1994. King had been associated with United Way for 14 years.

The base pensions of both former presidents were based on a formula that applies to all United Way employees, and takes into consideration salary, years of service and age, the United Way said.

When Sanders worked at the United Way, the agency also contributed to a retirement plan that resembles a 401(k) – just as it does for all eligible employees. The agency said it could not immediately determine its contribution, but Sanders said it was less than $20,000.

King also has money coming from a similar plan, but it is unclear how much she will receive, the news story said.

In mid-December 2008, the United Way of America asked all its affiliates to read a report on the North Carolina pension dispute (See United Way Circulates Report on Pension Misdeeds ).