Retirement Monitor - March 2019

<p>In this issue:</p> <p>Employer contribution rates for LGERS;&nbsp;Our Website is Being Upgraded;&nbsp;2019 Employer Manuals Now Available;&nbsp;2018 myNCRetirement Statements coming in April!;&nbsp;Online Retirement Doing a Booming Business;&nbsp;Spring Cleaning: Updating Your Employee Records;&nbsp;Reminder: Changes to Short-term Disability;&nbsp;Kudos!​</p>

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Table of Contents

Employer contribution rates for LGERS

Effective July 1, 2019, the “base” employer contribution rate will change:

  • Law enforcement officers (LEOs) rate will increase from 8.50 to 9.70 percent of reported compensation.
  • Rate for all other employees will increase from 7.75 to 8.95 percent of reported compensation.

Additional rates, such as rates associated with death benefits or past service liabilities, will be added to the base rate to determine the actual contribution percentage for each employer. As in past years, each employer’s total contribution rate for the upcoming fiscal year will be calculated by the Retirement Systems Division and communicated in a letter before the end of April 2019. 

The Board’s policy now anticipates further increases in the “base” rates effective July 1, 2020, and July 1, 2021, equal to 1.20 percent of reported compensation each year, as follows:

Effective Date Non-LEO "Base Rate" LEO "BaseRate"
July 1, 2019 8.95% 9.70%
July 1, 2020 10.15% 10.90%
July 1, 2021 11.25% 12.10%

During the meeting, the Board was presented with several options and, with the support of local government association groups, chose this gradual increase over no action. The charts below highlight what the consulting actuaries project would happen in fiscal year 2022-2023 when the ECRSP expired. The black line represents what is projected if no policy adjustments were made, while the red line shows how this Board decision will gradually increase contribution rates. 
 

Our Website is Being Upgraded

The Retirement Systems Division is hard at work redesigning the myNCRetirement.com website. We are developing a different menu structure to make the site easier to navigate. The new site will launch in mid- to late April. Once you reach the new site (you can still use myNCRetirement.com), you may want to update any links you have bookmarked to the new ones. Please note that this redesign will not affect ORBIT.

 

 

Image of the covers of the employer manuals with the message that the 2019 versions are now posted on our website

2018 myNCRetirement Statements coming in April!Image of the cover of a myNCRetirement Statement

Remind employees to download their 2016 myNCRetirement Statement before they are deleted!
 
In April, your employees will receive an email with instructions for accessing their 2018 myNCRetirement Statement (MRS). This statement is full of helpful information, completely customized to each individual, which gives your employees a snapshot of their progress toward retirement readiness.

These statements are created each year, but we only have the ability to store two statements per person. On March 29, 2019, employees’ 2016 statements will be permanently deleted and no longer retrievable to make room for the 2018 statements. Please encourage your employees to download their 2016 statements if they have not done so already.

If an employee worked in state or local government for the entirety of 2016, they can view, print or download their statement. They would simply login at Orbit.myNCRetirement.com, click “View myNCRetirement Statement” then click the year they wish to view.

Thanks for reminding your employees about this valuable resource!

 

Online Retirement Doing a Booming Business

 

Since the launch of our Online Retirement application in November, 493 of your employees have completed their retirement process through the ORBIT system. Our feedback from employees and employers has been overwhelmingly positive. We appreciate your promotion of Online Retirement with your employees. Please continue to encourage your employees to create an ORBIT account by logging in to ORBIT.myNCRetirement.com.

Did you fill out our online form designating a contact for your agency for Online Retirement? It’s not too late! Click here to provide that information for your agency.

 

Spring Cleaning: Updating Your Employee RecordsGraphic showing items needed for spring cleaning, such as a broom and bucket of sudsy water

Despite the frigid temps here in North Carolina, Spring is actually coming (so says the groundhog). While your spring cleaning list at the house is probably pretty long, it’s important to do a little cleaning up of your employee records. 

Prudential Retirement and the Retirement Systems Division rely on you to keep your employee records up-to-date to ensure every plan participant’s status is accurately reflected. If an employee is terminated – whether for retirement or for voluntary or involuntary reasons – it’s important that their employment status is current, so their retirement accounts are, too.

Updating employee information is easy
We understand that as an employer, you’re no stranger to turnover. Luckily, the plan sponsor site makes it easy for you to maintain your employee database and, more importantly, note when there is a change in employment status. In addition, you can edit employee information, such as a change in address, last name or other personal information. The site makes it easy for you to keep all employee information up-to-date.

Your role in employee loan repayments
The plan sponsor site is your primary tool for reporting and maintaining your employees’ loan repayments as well. An employee may need to take a loan out from his/her account, which is allowed and subject to certain provisions. However, when this happens, it’s your responsibility, as the employer, to initiate the loan repayment as soon as you are notified. The plan sponsor site notifies you when a loan payment needs to be started or stopped for your employees. Loan payments should be initiated as soon as you receive notification; otherwise, your employee’s loan could be defaulted and subject to penalties.

The Retirement Systems Division and Prudential work diligently to make sure you have the tools you need to succeed as a participating employer in the plans. We encourage you to use tools like the plan sponsor site to maintain your employee records. That’s one thing you can check off your list! 

If you have specific questions regarding the site features, you can email us or contact your Retirement Education Counselor.  Not sure who that is? Find your Retirement Education Counselor to learn more.

 

Reminder: Changes to Short-term Disability

Amended Short-term Disability Employer Reimbursement Policy

The state law regarding short-term disability employer reimbursement has been amended. Currently, employers are responsible for administering and paying for disability income payments and health insurance premiums and are then reimbursed those costs for eligible employees during the second six months of the short-term disability benefit period. These costs are paid out of the Disability Income Plan of North Carolina (DIPNC) trust fund. Employers continue to be responsible for administering and paying for short-term disability benefits and health insurance premiums, but based on this legislative change, employers cannot be reimbursed for any short-term disability benefits that begin on or after July 1, 2019.

Please see this DIPNC Employer Reimbursements web page for an analysis of the DIPNC employer reimbursements for costs incurred during the second six months of the short-term disability benefit period as provided for in G.S. 135-105(d). This analysis is unaudited and provided for informational and budget planning purposes only and is based solely on data transmitted by employing agencies to the Retirement Systems Division during fiscal years 2014 through 2018.

 

Kudos!

Kudos to employers for their role in helping their employees reach retirement financial readiness

 

 

 

 

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