RALEIGH -

A union representing tens of thousands of North Carolina state workers says it's hired an outside company to scrutinize the employee pension system after a similar review raised questions about potential conflicts from several years ago.
    
The State Employees Association of North Carolina announced Monday it's asked Benchmark Financial Services to examine the Teachers and State Employees Retirement System in several areas.
    
A law firm hired by state attorneys released last month a report looking at transactions involving nine investment firms while Richard Moore was state treasurer. Many transactions were related to placement agents, which are hired by firms looking to manage pension system money.
    
Current Treasurer Janet Cowell has restricted agents while expanding ethics rules since taking the job in 2009.
    
The association calls its review a proactive approach.