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Government Benefit Recipients


Coming Soon: ORBIT Redesign!

The NC Department of State Treasurer is planning to launch its redesigned ORBIT​ site. ORBIT provides members secure access to their personal retirement account information 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
 
The new site will have a “responsive” design – meaning it will be easier to access from mobile devices, such as cell phones. The site will also have enhanced security features, to help make members’ personal information more secure. Lastly, the new design will incorporate NC Total Retirement branding to maintain a consistent “look and feel” across RSD websites. We will let you know when the improved ORBIT site is available, and we hope you will enjoy using it.

Tax Changes for Benefit Recipients

The Internal Revenue Service and the N.C. Department of Revenue have updated the income tax rates for 2017, which are used to calculate the tax withholding for benefit recipients of the Retirement Systems. This change will affect members’ benefit payments beginning in January 2017. Members with Bailey Class Exemption status will not be affected.

If you wish to determine how a change would affect your benefit, log into ORBIT and choose Maintain Direct Deposit. If you choose Edit for either your federal or North Carolina tax withholding, you have the option to see how a change would impact your benefit payment, by choosing Estimate Monthly Payroll Impact. If you wish to make a change, click on Save.

Please contact the North Carolina Department of Revenue, or the IRS for more information about the income tax rates. The Retirement System does not provide tax advice or legal advice.  We suggest that you consult your financial advisor, accountant, attorney or tax preparer for additional guidance to determine any implications for you.


COLAs Explained

The Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System (TSERS) and the Local Governmental Employees’ Retirement System (LGERS) are defined benefit plans. Defined benefit plans use a formula to calculate monthly retirement benefits once eligibility requirements have been met. Your contributions, your employer’s contributions, and the investment earnings on total contributions pay the cost of providing your retirement benefits. After retirement, cost-of-living adjustments may be granted, but are not guaranteed. The NC Total Retirement Plans has produced an explanation of how and when TSERS and LGERS COLAs are granted. Click here​ to view the document.
  

Rehired Retirees Health Coverage May be Affected by Recent Legislation
 
The North Carolina General Assembly recently approved legislation to create a new category of eligibility under the State Health Plan to enable employing units to avoid tax penalties imposed under the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA). This new category extends eligibility to non-permanent full-time employees who traditionally have not been eligible for coverage with the State Health Plan. The benefit available to these employees is a high deductible health plan (HDHP). In addition, legislation was also passed that requires employing units to cover re-hired State retirees as active employees and specifies that during the time of their full-time employment, re-hired State retirees are not eligible for retiree health benefit coverage. 
 
Employing units are responsible for determining the eligibility of their employees and for notifying the State Health Plan when a retiree is eligible for coverage with the employing unit. While eligible retirees are not required to enroll in the HDHP, the retiree is no longer eligible for the State Health Plan retiree group coverage under the Retirement System. Upon notice from the employing unit of the retiree’s eligibility as a full-time employee the State Health Plan will terminate the retiree from the State Health Plan retiree group coverage under the Retirement System and will issue a letter to the member confirming the termination.
 
Any re-hired retiree who enrolled in the HDHP will be offered COBRA, if the individual is no longer eligible for the HDHP. In addition, loss of eligibility is a qualifying life event under the State Health Plan enrollment rules and retirees will have 30 days to re-enroll in their State Health Plan coverage under the Retirement Systems. If they fail to re-enroll within the 30 days, they will be unable to come back on the Plan until the next enrollment period.
 
For more information, visit the State Health Plan Website​.

 

Return to Work 

Some retirees of the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System and Local Governmental Employees’ Retirement System will officially retire and later be reemployed. If the retiree returns to work for an employer in the Retirement System from which they retired, certain earnings limitations may apply.

The Retirement Systems prepared the following guidance publications for LGERS and TSERS about the return-to-work laws.
The earnable allowance is the amount the retiree is allowed to earn per year during reemployment, under most circumstances. Please click on the "Educate Yourself" tab in ORBIT to learn more about reemployment after retirement. Retirees of the Consolidated Judicial Retirement System, Legislative Retirement System, and Registers of Deeds’ Supplemental Pension Fund should contact the Retirement Systems Division to discuss reemployment provisions for their systems.

 

What to Expect After Retirement

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