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Retirement Monitor - A monthly newsletter for public sector human resources and payroll specialists
 October 2015

State Health Plan Annual Enrollment is Underway ​​

Please remind employees that the North Carolina State Health Plan Annual Enrollment is under way and ends November 18. Wellness premium credit activities are expanding this year, so it is more important than ever for employees to take action, or they are at risk for paying more than they should in 2016.

Members on the Enhanced 80/20 Plan and Consumer-Directed Health Plan (CDHP) can save money by completing or updating their health assessment on the Personal Health Portal​. To complete or update their assessment, employees can simply visit the State Health Plan’s website at www.shpnc.org and click Personal Health Portal. They may also complete or update their health assessment by calling 800-817-7044.

Visit My Personal Health Portal

Direct employees to the Plan’s website at www.shpnc.org for more information on how to update or complete their Health Assessment in the Personal Health Portal, including step-by-step instructions.

Members on the 80/20 Plan and CDHP can also earn wellness premium credits by attesting to being tobacco-free (or committing to a QuitlineNC smoking cessation program) and by selecting a Primary Care Provider (PCP) for themselves and their dependents, and watching a brief video on Patient-Centered Medical Homes. More details are available on the Plan website and in material mailed to members’ homes. 

For employees to get started, they may visit the Plan’s website at www.shpnc.org​ and click “Enroll Now.”

Visit the State Health Plan Website 

If you have not yet sent a message out to employees about annual enrollment, the time is now!

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Correcting Employer ORBIT Reporting Errors

The North Carolina Retirement Systems Division needs your help to ensure that we have the correct information to prepare and issue Annual Benefits Statements (ABS) next year for your active employees who contributed to their retirement system account as of December 31, 2015. These statements are a great retirement readiness tool. The ABS is a personalized projection that demonstrates whether the employee is on track to receive 80 percent replacement income of their salary each year throughout retirement.

To help us provide an accurate ABS for your employees next year, please correct all outstanding ORBIT reporting errors no later than December 31, 2015. The Employer Reporting Team is providing a comprehensive report to each agency listing all member accounts with outstanding reporting errors for the 2015 year. 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 System through ORBIT reporting.


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TSERS Legislation with October 1, 2015 Effective Date

Encouraging Volunteer Work During TSERS Six-month Waiting Period

Legislation enacted by the NC General Assembly effective October 1, 2015, allows TSERS retirees to serve in positions normally designated as “unpaid bona fide volunteer” positions for a TSERS employer during the six-month period immediately following the effective date of their retirement without a penalty. This change applies to retirees who perform service in a position in which any persons performing that type of service would not be paid. Otherwise, the retiree will be subject to a penalty if other individuals performing that type of service are typically paid.


Reduction of Financial Penalty for Certain TSERS Retirees Who Return to Work During Six-month Waiting Period

Legislation enacted effective October 1, 2015, changes the financial penalty for a TSERS retiree who returns to work with a TSERS employer on a part-time, temporary, interim, or fee-for-service basis during the six months immediately following TSERS retirement, to the lesser of the following as determined by the Retirement Systems Division:

​​(i) The member can be deemed to have retired the month after the month the member performed services for the employer and repay all retirement benefits received and the cost of state-provided State Health Plan premiums until that date.

​(ii) The member can make a lump sum payment to the retirement system equal to three times the compensation earned during the six-month period.

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LGERS Legislation with October 1, 2015 Effective Date

Clarification of LGERS 1,000-Hour Membership Requirement 

Legislation enacted effective October 1, 2015, clarifies the 1,000-hour membership requirement by adding three definitions to the LGERS statutes: 

  • “Regularly employed” is defined in G.S. 128-21(10a) as employment in a position for which the duties require at least 1,000 hours of work in a calendar year, but does not include temporary employment or statutorily required interim employment. 
  • “Temporary employment” is defined in G.S. 128-21(10b) as employment for a limited term which does not exceed 12 consecutive months on a non-recurring basis for an LGERS employer. 
  • “Statutorily-required interim employment” is defined in G.S. 128-21(10c) as “employment as an interim city or county manager for a period that does not exceed 12 months on a non-recurring basis.”

The hours required of the position determine membership in LGERS, not the actual number of hours an LGERS employee works in a calendar year. It is important to remember that the position is key. If the position requires 1,000 hours or more per calendar year, the person in the position must become a contributing member of LGERS. If the LGERS employer knows on the date of hire that the position will require 1,000 hours or more per calendar year, then the person hired into the position must become a contributing member as of the date of hire.


Reduction of Financial Penalty for Certain LGERS Retirees Who Return to Work During their Effective Month of Retirement

Legislation enacted effective October 1, 2015, changes the financial penalty for an LGERS retiree who returns to work with an LGERS employer on a part-time, temporary, interim, or fee-for-service basis during the month in which the retiree’s initial LGERS retirement became effective, to the lesser of the following as determined by the Retirement Systems Division:

(i) The member can be deemed to have retired the month after the month the member performed services for the employer and repay all retirement benefits received until that date.

(ii) The member can make a lump sum payment to the retirement system equal to three times the compensation earned during the month following the initial month of retirement. 

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GASB Update

Congratulations! Most of you have likely made it through the first year of implementation of GASB 68! For those of you who are still working through this challenging standard, please remember that we have multiple tools to assist you, all available on the pension standard page on our website: 

Visit the Pension Standards Page

New to the page are: (1) the instructional document that provides detailed explanations of the journal entries used to develop the financial statements for the City of Dogwood, and (2) the FAQ, which is being updated regularly as needed. The FAQ is dated for each update, and the new information is in red ink so that users can easily identify updated guidance.
 
As you know, pension reporting will be based on this standard going forward, so gathering data and journalizing it will be an annual process. In 2016, we will be providing updated journal entry instructions to help you with Year 2. The data tables, with the related opinion from the Office of State Auditor, will be posted when they are available. Our sample financial statements will be updated as well to show two years of reporting and data. The availability of all of this guidance is announced through our listserve, LGC News. If you are not a subscriber and would like to be, please call us at (919) 814-4299 to sign up. 

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Interested in Employer Training?

The Retirement Systems Division is offering employer training in Goldsboro in November. Click here​ and scroll down to view the subject, date and time.