In this Issue:
Final Reminder: Correcting Employer ORBIT Reporting Errors-last time before ABS statements issued
The Retirement Systems Employer Reporting team indicates that nearly 70% of state and local employers have at least one error that will prohibit one or more of their employees from receiving their Annual Benefits Statement next year.
To help us provide an accurate ABS for your employees next year, please correct all outstanding ORBIT reporting errors no later than February 5, 2016. If errors are not corrected in a timely manner, your employees may not receive their ABS, or may receive an incorrect statement.
We appreciate your important role and continuing support in providing timely and accurate information about your employees to the Retirement Systems Division through ORBIT reporting.
Reporting Re-hired Retirees in ORBIT
Employers are required to report all re-hired retirees who return to work in the same retirement system from which they retired to the Retirement Systems Division each month. These re-hired retirees should be reported in ORBIT with the appropriate pay period, pay type, plan code, salary and all other applicable fields as defined by the ORBIT file format requirements, via the monthly ORBIT payroll report. For detailed information regarding ORBIT requirements, see the “Government Employers” page on our website at www.myncretirement.com.
If the report is not received by the Retirement Systems Division within 90 days of the end of each month in which a retiree is re-employed, the Retirement Systems Division is required to assess a penalty of 10% of the compensation of the unreported re-employed retiree during the months the employer did not report the re-employed retiree, with a minimum penalty of $25.00.
To help employers report all re-hired retirees and avoid a potential penalty, the Retirement Systems Division created a tool via ORBIT Employer Self-Service to help employers track employees who are returning to work. This tool was designed to assist you in verifying which of your employees are retired and have returned to work, so you will know which re-hired retirees to report to the Retirement Systems Division. To use this tool, you should:
Statement of Income Forms to be Mailed to Disability Recipients in February
The Retirement Systems Division will mail approximately 13,000 Statement of Income (SOI) forms in February 2016, to members receiving disability benefits from RSD. State law requires each disability benefit recipient to complete and submit a Statement of Income form to report earnings from employment and/or benefits from certain other sources each year to RSD. Any employee failing to return the form by April 1, 2016, may have his/her monthly disability benefit suspended. If the monthly benefit is suspended, any health coverage the benefit recipient was receiving through the State Health Plan, if applicable, will also be suspended. If the benefit is suspended, and we later receive the required information, the monthly benefit may be re-instated retroactively; however, the State Health Plan coverage, if applicable, will not be re-instated retroactively. As a result, an employee may experience a lapse in health coverage, which means the employee may not have health coverage for a month or more.
Re-employment Earnable Allowance Limits Increased for 2016
The Retirement Systems’ Boards of Trustees have increased the amount of compensation a re-employed retiree may earn in 2016. This change is for any retiree who has returned to work with an employer participating in the same retirement system from which the employee retired, but in a position that does not require retirement system membership. The increase, which became effective January 1, 2016, is equivalent to the 0.7% increase in the national Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the period from January 1, 2015, to December 31, 2015.
As provided under North Carolina law, the retiree’s retirement benefit will be suspended on the first day of the month following the month in which the retiree exceeds the limit for the remainder of the calendar year.
For calendar year 2016, the earnable allowance limit is the greater of:
These earnings restrictions apply for the 12 months immediately following the effective date of retirement and for each calendar year following the year of retirement.
Health coverage provided to retirees of the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System under the retiree group of the State Health Plan will also be suspended if the retiree’s retirement benefit is suspended. If the member’s benefit is suspended and later re-instated, his or her State Health Plan retiree group coverage will not be re-instated retroactively. As a result, the member may experience a lapse in health coverage, which means he or she may not have health coverage for a month or more.
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Employer Spotlight: Charlotte Housing Authority
Seeking Hosts Statewide for Retirement Planning Conferences
2013 Annual Benefits Statements Available Until March 31, 2016
For Your Information - Upcoming Mailings to Retirees and Benefit Recipients
NC Open Book