Effective Date: 07/01/95

Policy Statement 11: Retirement Benefits

Retirement Benefits

State law requires that all 75% or above permanent employees of the University become members in a retirement program outlined by the State Legislature. Employees who are required to become members of a retirement program should complete the necessary paperwork upon enrollment of employment at the Human Resources Department. Part-time employees who work less than 30 hours per week or who teach less than 75% in a permanent position are not eligible for membership and/or cannot make personal contributions to any of the retirement programs.

Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System (TSERS)

  1. Eligibility for membership in TSERS: All 75% and above permanent SPA or EPA employees are eligible with the exception of those with academic rank who have elected membership in the Optional Retirement Program.

  2. Employee Contribution: The employee is required to contribute 6 percent of his or her salary to the System that will be deducted from gross earnings before state and federal taxes are deducted.

  3. University Contribution: The University is required to contribute a set percent as designated by the N.C. Legislature of all employee salaries that are subject to retirement deduction. A part of this percentage is to cover the cost of the death benefit, disability benefit and health benefits for retirees.

  4. Practices, Policies and Procedures for Retirement:

    1. Monthly payments at retirement are based on your salary, age and years of credit.

    2. Unreduced retirement benefit at age 65 with 5 years of credit, or at age 60 with 25 years of credit, or any age with 30 years of credit; reduced benefit at age 50 and 20 years of credit, or at age 60 with 5 years of credit.

    3. A right to a reduced benefit at age 60 after 5 years of credit, regardless of whether you are working.

    4. Survivor monthly income if you die in active service with 20 years of credit regardless of age; or after 60 with 5 years of credit.

    5. Several payment options are available to continue income to your beneficiary following your death or after retirement.

    6. Retirement is always effective on the first calendar day of any one month and the effective date cannot precede the completion of all work assignments and payment of all salary due from the University.

    7. The sequence of procedures for retirement are as follows:

      (1) File an application (Form 6) with the Human Resources Department no earlier than 90 days in advance of the retirement effective date. It is suggested that at least 60 days in advance would be required to insure payment being made the effective date of retirement. Paperwork must be submitted in advance of the effective date and if submission of paperwork is less than 60 days notice the first benefit check may not be received on the first month of retirement but will be paid retroactively. At this time a health insurance application and direct deposit form will be completed.

      (2) Application for retirement, health insurance and direct deposit form will be forwarded to the State Retirement System as soon as a projection can be made on remaining salary to be paid.

      (3) The State Retirement System will acknowledge to the employee receipt of the application.

      (4) The employee will receive a sheet from the State Retirement System giving the different options and the estimated benefit amount and a Form 6E which should be completed to designate the chosen option. No benefit can be paid until this form has been returned to the State Retirement System.

      (5) Monthly benefits are handled by direct deposit except for the first payment. All payments are made on the 25th of the month.

    A handbook entitled Your Retirement Benefits is available for all employees. Additional information may be acquired from this booklet or from the Benefits Section in Human Resources Department.

Optional Retirement Plan

All 75% and above permanent employees with academic rank of instructor or above may at the time of their initial appointment enroll in the Optional Retirement Plan instead of the State Retirement Plan. Choice of selection is with the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America and the College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA/CREF), Fidelity, Lincoln Life and VALIC. An employee may choose to enroll in two companies at once by putting the University's contributions with one company and his own contributions with another company.

  1. Employee Contribution: Employees who are members of the Optional Retirement Program must contribute 6 percent of their gross earnings as set by the N.C. Legislature, before state and federal taxes are deducted.

  2. University Contribution: The University will contribute a percent as set by the N.C. State Legislature to the Optional Retirement Program carrier of the employees' gross salaries for distribution as designated by the employee in the different investment options. An additional set percent by the N.C. State Legislature is submitted to the Teachers and State Employees' Retirement System as payment for medical insurance and disability benefits.

  3. Employees should make application for benefits during the initial orientation at the Benefits Section in Human Resources Department. Each employee is given the phone number and name of the agent for each carrier so he can deal directly with the program of his choice to answer detailed questions and for further investment information.

  4. Repurchase Agreement: It is required by State Law that for an employee to be enrolled in the Optional Retirement Plan he or she must consent for the University to repurchase its portion of contributions should employment terminate with less than five years coverage under the Optional Retirement Program, and should the participant retire or commence employment with an employer not having a retirement program with an Optional Retirement Plan carrier.

  5. An election by the employee to participate in the Optional Retirement Program shall be irrevocable according to State law unless qualification for enrollment in the plan is not maintained.

  6. Employees are allowed to change their carriers with the Optional Retirement Plan at any time according to the Payroll schedule for either the employee's or employer's contributions.


Information on the UNC ORP performance comparisons and UNC ORP carriers is available at .