Fire & Rescue Pension News - December 2018

In this Issue:; Rosters; Submitting 6FRs; Turnaround Documents (TADs); Payments to Beneficiaries; Additional Death Benefits; Important Dates


State law requires rosters to be filed electronically with the Firefighters’ and Rescue Squad Workers’ Pension Fund (FRSWPF) by the North Carolina Association of Rescue & EMS (NCAREMS) and the North Carolina State Firemen’s Association (NCSFA) on January 31 of each year. FRSWPF service reported on the rosters is referred to as “roster service.”

To receive credit for one year of roster service, eligible squad members and firefighters must meet all FRSWPF requirements, including attending 36 hours of training sessions each year and serving the departments or squads for the entire calendar year. Each squad and department must certify on their respective rosters the names of the squad members and firefighters meeting the requirements.

A new squad member or firefighter who performed less than one year of service during 2018 as a result of beginning service on or after February 2018, but who meets all other FRSWPF requirements, may be reported on the roster and receive a partial year of FRSWPF service credit.

Each department and squad should submit their roster information to their respective associations by mid-January (or as dictated by their association) to be sure their members are included on the rosters the associations will submit to FRSWPF on January 31, 2019.

If your 2018 rosters are not included in the information electronically uploaded to FRSWPF by the associations on January 31, 2019, members of your squad or department will not receive roster service for 2018.

Submitting 6FRs (Retiring from the Firefighters’ and Rescue Squad Workers’ Pension Fund)

Electronic Turnaround Document (TAD) submission will begin in early 2019. This brand new feature will allow you to enter your contribution amounts through ORBIT for each member of your department/squad who has met service and training requirements. Once submitted, these entries will be available to our staff for processing. However, you must still send paper checks to our office following the submission.

In an effort to set up credentials for access to the ORBIT TAD submissions screens, we are asking departments/squads to provide our office with a current contact name and number for those who will be submitting this information for your agency.

The identified person will be the “Administrator” for the department/squad. The Administrator designated at your department/squad will be the sole administrator of the access granted in ORBIT. This role will have the ability to add, delete or reset any user and password designated to access sensitive information within ORBIT. We recommend this be the department/squad chief.

All additional users/passwords created at the department/squad level are the responsibility of the department/squad.

Please take the time to determine the Administrator for your department/squad. For your convenience, we are providing an online form for you to enter this information. You may click the link to the form above, or use the link included in the email sending you this newsletter.

It is our process not to provide sensitive information or credentials to anyone contacting us on behalf of your department/squad unless they are listed as authorized personnel by the chief. Keeping this information current is important.

If your department/squad needs to reset or change a password, notify us immediately at 1-877-627-3287, and select option 5, or send an email to

Keep in mind, our office has no knowledge of any changes or updates to your ORBIT account information unless that information is shared with us.

Once you have provided this information to our office, we will assign a user ID and password to the Administrator along with instructions for how to access ORBIT and enter information into the screens.

For questions, call 1-877-627-3287, and select option 5, or send an email to

Turnaround Document (TADs)

htThe Firefighters’ and Rescue Squad Workers’ Pension Fund (FRSWPF) uses the information reported on the rosters to generate TADs, documents that list the names of each certified FRSWPF member currently enrolled under a squad or department. Our office mails TADs to squads and departments in mid- February of each year.

Squads and departments complete the TADs to report information for members who have paid their $10 monthly contribution and/or to report the monies a squad or department will be submitting to FRSWPF on behalf of their members. The squad or department should complete the TAD and return it to our office along with a check for the entire amount reported on the TAD by the March 31, 2019, deadline.

Departments and squads can report FRSWPF contributions to our office monthly, quarterly, semiannually or annually. However, if contributions are received after the March 31, 2019, deadline, we cannot accept these contributions and cannot grant FRSWPF service for 2018 for the members listed on the TAD. If contributions for 2018 are not received by FRSWPF by March 31, 2019, credit for 2018 must be purchased. Our office will send a letter to the squad or department advising of the process for purchasing the 2018 FRSWPF credit. The department or squad will be given the option to either have their check

returned or to have it posted for current year FRSWPF contributions.

Payments to Beneficiaries

At your death, your beneficiary should notify the pension fund immediately. Your beneficiary may be eligible to receive a return of undistributed contributions, or a monthly Survivor Benefit if you are killed in the line of duty.

Beneficiary Provisions if Death Occurs On or After July 1, 2018

Effective July 1, 2018, Firefighters’ and Rescue Squad Workers’ Pension Fund (FRSWPF) members will be able to name principal and contingent beneficiaries for a return of their undistributed contributions, the Guaranteed Refund (after retirement) due to death and for the survivor benefit if killed in the line of duty.

If you die on or after July 1, 2018, and your death is not in the line of duty, the following beneficiary provisions apply:

  • If you have designated a beneficiary(ies), this person(s) will receive the undistributed contributions in your FRSWPF account.
  • If you do not have a designated beneficiary living at the time of death, your spouse will be the  beneficiary.
  • If there is no living beneficiary or spouse, the proceeds will be paid to your estate.

If you die before beginning to receive your pension, your beneficiary will receive the amount you paid and contributions paid on your behalf into the pension fund.

If you die after you start receiving benefits, your beneficiary will be paid the amount you contributed to the pension fund, minus the benefits you collected. If you die after collecting more from the fund than you contributed, payments stop, and no additional benefits will be paid.

Survivor Benefit if Line-of-Duty Death Occurs On or After July 1, 2018

If you are an active member of FRSWPF and you die in the line of duty on or after July 1, 2018, and you have one eligible principal beneficiary named to receive the return of undistributed  contributions living at the time of your death, that beneficiary must make a choice to receive lump-sum return of your undistributed contributions or receive a lifetime monthly survivorship benefit (currently $170) beginning the month after the month you would have turned 55.

If you were 55 or older at the time of your death, your survivor will be required to make a choice: receive a return of your undistributed contributions or receive this lifetime monthly survivorship benefit beginning the month after your death.

If you are killed in the line of duty and you are already receiving a monthly FRSWPF retirement benefit, your beneficiary will receive the same amount each month for life, beginning the month after your death.

All monthly survivor benefits end at the death of the monthly survivor beneficiary. No other beneficiaries are eligible for any benefits after the death of the monthly survivor beneficiary.

If there is more than one living principal beneficiary or contingent beneficiary(ies) at the time of your line-of-duty death, a lump-sum payment equal to your remaining undistributed contributions will be paid to the eligible beneficiary(ies), or if there are no eligible beneficiaries, to your estate.

All line-of-duty death benefits are payable contingent on approval from the North Carolina Industrial Commission as required in Chapter 143, Article 12A of the General Statutes and are paid retroactively to the applicable benefit effective date.

Please use Form 2FR to designate your beneficiaries. The form must be completed, submitted, and received by our office via fax or mail before your death.

Additional Death Benefits

As a firefighter or rescue squad worker, you may also be entitled to additional death benefits such as:

  • A line-of-duty death benefit of $100,000 which is administered jointly by the North Carolina Industrial Commission and the North Carolina Department of State Treasurer.
  • A line-of-duty death benefit of $350,079 from the Public Safety Officer’s Benefits Program, Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice for fallen law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other first responders.

Contact the North Carolina Industrial Commission and U.S. Department of Justice to find out if you are eligible to apply.

North Carolina Industrial Commission

Help Line: (800) 688-8349 toll free

U.S. Department of Justice

(888) 744-6513 toll free

Important Dates to Ensure FRSWPF Credit for 2018

Mid-January, 2019 – Each unit should submit roster to their association.

January 31, 2019 – Deadline date for associations to submit rosters to FRSWPF.

Mid-February, 2019 – FRSWPF will use information from rosters to create Turnaround documents (TADs) which will be sent to all units who properly submitted rosters.

March 31, 2019 – Deadline date for payments and completed TADs to be received by FRSWPF from units in order to credit roster service for 2018.

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