Thursday, November 15, 2018

North Carolina Retirement Systems Division Launches Online Retirement Preparing for 77 Percent Increase in Retirees and $9 Billion in Yearly Gross Payments

Nov 15, 2018


Contact: Frank Lester (919) 814-3811


North Carolina Retirement Systems Division Launches Online Retirement

Preparing for 77 Percent Increase in Retirees and $9 Billion in Yearly Gross Payments

(Raleigh, N.C.) – The North Carolina Retirement Systems, a division of the N.C. Department of State Treasurer, announced the launch of an online retirement application, a powerful new option for retirement available to members of the Teachers' and State Employees' (TSERS) and Local Governmental Employees' (LGERS) Retirement Systems.

As of this year, of the approximately 900,000 members of TSERS, LGERS and other members, more than 47,000 are currently eligible for an early or full retirement. According to a 2015 study, in just 10 years, the North Carolina Retirement Systems Division is projected to have more than 468,000 retirees who are actively receiving monthly benefits. That's an increase of 47 percent over the 319,000 retirees currently receiving monthly benefits. In the next 20 years, the total number of retirees is expected to increase by more than 77 percent.

“Given the projected increases in retirees, the necessity of having an online option has never been greater.  But having the option to fill out the application online also underscores the need to simplify options for employees nearing retirement," said State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA. “Since some people will be completing the process without a counselor, they don't need to be faced with multiple retirement decisions that could negatively impact their income for the rest of their lives."

Folwell stated his appreciation of staff's foresight to both anticipate a need, as well as create and launch such a robust tool that surpassed expectations. He also applauded the North Carolina General Assembly and Boards of Trustees for supporting and funding the effort.

Members of TSERS and LGERS who are ready to retire can log in to ORBIT, the web portal for participating public servants, to get a customized estimate of their benefits and start their retirement application. The online application provides a wide range of benefits to members:


  • Step-by-step guide. The online application has a wizard-like user experience that guides employees through the entire process.

  • Integrated help and resources. The online application integrates videos, examples and links aimed at educating employees on a topic at the exact point they are asked to make a decision.

  • Built-in pension rules. The online application ensures that each detail entered in a retirement application is within the allowable range of choices. These built-in rules ultimately prevent delays in the processing of retirement applications.


“This is the culmination of two years of work to build a secure resource that would make the retirement process simpler for our members, all in the hopes that it would reduce the stress associated with this significant life change," said Steve Toole, Executive Director of the North Carolina Retirement Systems. “I'm proud of the work our team accomplished."

The North Carolina Retirement Systems is the 9th largest public pension fund in the country and provides retirement benefits for more than 950,000 North Carolinians, including teachers, state employees, local government employees, firefighters, police officers and other public workers.


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