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

Always Access ORBIT for Forms ​​

The Retirement Systems Division continuously updates our forms contained in ORBIT. To ensure that you and your employees are using the most recent version of a form, it’s always a good idea to visit ORBIT​ for a form when you need it, versus keeping an old v​ersion on your website, or downloading and keeping a form for your employees’ use. When outdated forms are submitted for retirement processing, refunds and disability benefits, it could result in delayed retirements or payments, and requests for correct or additional paperwork.


$750 Compensation Bonus Not Subject to Retirement Contributions

Most employees who are employed in state-funded positions on November 1, 2015, will be paid a one-time “compensation bonus” of $750 during the month of December 2015. 

This $750 bonus:

  • Is not subject to TSERS employee and employer retirement contributions and should not be reported on your ORBIT payroll report(s) for December 2015
  • Will not be included in the calculation of a TSERS member’s average final compensation at retirement


Changes to TSERS Educational Leave Purchase Requirements Effective July 1, 2015

Effective July 1, 2015, a leave of absence or interrupted service may be approved for educational leave purchase in TSERS for a period of employment as a teacher in a charter school. Any other leave of absence or interrupted service will qualify for educational leave purchase in TSERS only if all of the following conditions have been met: 

  • During the time of the leave or interrupted service, the member is enrolled and participates in a full-time degree program at an accredited institution of higher education. 
  • The member is not paid for the activity in which he or she is acquiring knowledge, talents, or abilities. 
  • The service is not purchased for any month in which the member performed any services for the following organizations or their successors: State Employees Association of North Carolina, North Carolina Association of Educators, North Carolina State Firemen's Association, North Carolina Highway Employees’ Association, North Carolina Teachers' Association, State Employees' Credit Union, alumni associations of state-supported universities and colleges, local professional associations of teachers and state employees, and North Carolina School Boards Association.

Accounting Reminders:

Reminder: Verifying Submission of Your ORBIT Report 

The ORBIT Employer Report encompasses two distinct transactions to comply with monthly contribution reporting to the Retirement Systems Division:

Detail File: This file captures all employee demographic and pay information

Contribution Summary Instructions (CSI): This is remittance of employer and employee contributions for employees to receive retirement credit

After each file submission, you will receive a confirmation page; please ensure that you have a copy of both confirmation pages for each monthly report. The ORBIT file is not considered submitted unless both the Detail and CSI are posted for the given reporting month.

If you are having trouble submitting your monthly file, please contact the ORBIT Reporting Team at 1-877-627-3287 prior  to the deadline for file submission so our staff can assist you with remittance of your monthly ORBIT report.

Reminder: Correcting Employer ORBIT Reporting Errors

The Retirement Systems Employer Reporting team indicates that almost 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 December 31, 2015. 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.