Updated: Nov. 27, 2023
Contact: Benefits Manager – ext. 0649
Glossary of Terms
Vested - Five years of continuous contribution to the Optional Retirement Program; five years of cumulative contribution to the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System.
Creditable Service - Credit given for years of service through contribution, sick leave, purchases, and disabilities.
Membership Service - Service given for years of contribution only.
Break in Service - Any period of time contributions are not placed into a North Carolina State sponsored program.
Retirement Benefit - Distribution of funds from a state sponsored retirement program after ceasing employment due to retirement.
The permanent faculty and staff of the University may retire from employment when eligible and upon application. It is recommended that throughout an individual's career, he/she periodically review his/her financial situation, establish and review retirement goals, and adjust supplementary retirement savings programs as necessary. As the individual nears retirement age, he/she may consult with representatives of the appropriate retirement system:
- Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System (TSERS) participants can request estimates of retirement benefits by calling 919-733-4191.
- Optional Retirement Program (ORP) participants may keep in regular contact with a representative of the ORP carrier(s) to assure contributions are allocated according to a sound financial plan. The ORP carriers are:
The University wishes to help guide you in understanding the following:
- When do I become eligible for retirement?
- When should I complete my paperwork to retire?
- How do I retire?
- When should I notify my department of my decision to retire?
When Do I Become Eligible for Retirement?
Retirement eligibility for TSERS is based on age and years of total creditable service. Participants may apply for full retirement benefits at age 65 with at least 5 years of membership service, at age 60 with at least 25 years of creditable service or with 30 years of creditable service at any age. Participants may apply for reduced retirement benefits at age 50 with at least 20 years of creditable service or at age 60 with at least 5 years of membership service.
Retirement eligibility for the ORP is based on years of total membership service. Participants may apply for full retirement benefits after 5 years of continuous membership service regardless of age.
When Should I Complete My Paperwork to Retire?
TSERS - Retirement is always effective the first day of the month in which you choose to retire. Application for retirement benefits can be made no more than 120 days prior to your selected retirement date and no later than the day before your retirement date. Medical benefits are available as long as you are in receipt of a monthly retirement benefit from TSERS. For details refer to the employee handbook available through the NC Treasurer website.
ORP - Retirement is always the first day of the month in which you choose to retire. Application for retirement benefits must be made based upon the carrier’s rules and regulations, contact your carrier for direction. Medical benefits are available during retirement as long as you are in receipt of a monthly retirement benefit from your ORP plan. For details about the medical benefit refer to the employee handbook available through the NC Treasurer website.
How Do I Retire?
Reference the Retirement Process webpage for details, to include resources, actions needed, and contacts. A benefits consultant will assist you with the retirement process within the guidelines allowed by TSERS and the ORP, how Social Security and Medicare work in conjunction with the Retiree Health Plan, and the status of other benefits you elected through payroll deduction. (It is recommended that you process the application for retirement as close to the 120th day prior to your retirement date as possible for TSERS, and 120 to 90 days prior to your retirement date for ORP.)
When Should I Notify My Department of My Decision To Retire?
Notify your department supervisor of your decision to retire prior to or immediately after you sign the Application for Retirement. Note: All employees who complete the Application for Retirement will be asked to sign that they have read and understand the following statement: “I understand that by completing an application for retirement and associated paperwork that I am submitting my intent to retire from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.” It is your responsibility to share a copy of your intent to retire statement with your department at the time you complete your retirement application. Upon receiving such notice, your department will confirm your intent to retire and make arrangements with you concerning the submission of your resignation. Once your resignation is accepted, please be aware that your position may no longer be available if you subsequently decide not to retire.