Fire & Rescue Pension News - October 2019

In this Issue: Contribution deadline; ORBIT secure account; Pilot for Online Agency Contributions; How to apply for your pension; The history of NC Fire and Rescue; Benefits



Banner reminding firefighters and rescue squad workers about the March 31 contribution deadline

In order to be properly credited, your contributions for a calendar year must be received by the pension fund by March 31 of the following year, but this can be done anytime prior to this date.



Banner showing ORBIT screen for members

ORBIT Secure Account

ORBIT is a secure site that allows you to view your personal account information, download retirement forms, and access retirement re-sources 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Your individual account also allows you to track service contributions, creditable service, and update beneficiaries. To set up or log in to your personal ORBIT account, go to the ORBIT website at


Banner showing what employers see when they enter agency contributions into ORBIT

Pilot (ORBIT Agency Contributions)

Fire Departments and Rescue Squads across North Carolina recognized a need to have online contributions to the Firefighters and Rescue Workers Pension Fund on behalf of their volunteer and career personnel. We listened. We delivered!

It has truly been a team effort as we worked through the planning, development and implementation stages. Through the new online system in ORBIT, fire departments and rescue squads will be able to add new members, modify contributions, submit contributions, remove members from the report without removing them from the pension fund and track members through their funded timeline. This tool also allows the departments to view a historical list of previous reports.

The new functionality has been demonstrated at regional association meetings and the Annual Firefighters’ Conference where attendees could have a clear understanding of how it works. The feedback and enthusiasm for the project has been very positive.

The project is moving toward a soft launch with a pilot group. It is the expectation that we will eventually see all contribution reports submitted online through ORBIT. This not only serves as a benefit to the fire departments, rescue squads, and members, but also to our internal team as we work to process these benefits.

List of OAC Pilot participants

WACO Community Volunteer Fire Department

South Iredell Fire and Rescue

Weldon Fire Department

Corinth Holder Fire Department

Fair Grove Fire Department

Colington Fire Department

Swannanoa Fire Department & Rescue Squad

Como Volunteer Fire Department

Scotland Neck Fire Department

Whiteville Fire Department

Black Mountain Fire Department

Cornerstone Fire and Rescue

Cool Spring Volunteer Fire Department

Blowing Rock Fire and Rescue

Number 9 Township Fire and Rescue

Bat Cave Volunteer Fire and Rescue

Collettsville Fire and Rescue

East Spencer Fire Department

Charlotte Fire Department

Durham Fire Department


Graphic with alarm clock on the left and the words "When to Apply for Your Pension?"


You may apply for monthly pension fund benefits after you:

  • Have 20 years of creditable service as a firefighter or rescue squad worker, and
  • Reach age 55

Don't forget, you can continue to serve as a firefighter or rescue squad worker AND receive the Fire & Rescue pension benefit once you meet the eligibility criteria above.


The History of NC Fire and Rescue Benefits

Firefighters’ and Rescue Squad Workers’ Pension Fund benefits that began in January 1, 1960, required 30 years of service, and were paid as follows from January 1, 1960 through June 30, 1977:

Retirement Age Amount
55 $35
56 $38
57 $41
58 $44
49 $47
60 and above $50

Effective July 1, 1977, FRSWPF benefits continued to require 30 years of service, and were paid as follows from July 1, 1977 through June 30, 1981.


Retirement Age Amount
55 $41
56 $43
57 $46
58 $49
59 $52
60 and above $55

Effective July 1, 1981, the FRSWPF statutes changed to allow retirement for all future retirees at age 55 with 20 years of service as an eligible firefighter or rescue squad worker. The monthly amount was increased effective July 1, 1981, to $75 per month for all eligible retirees of the FRSWPF, and has been periodically increased as follows:

Effective date of retirement Amount Effective date of retirement Amount
July 1, 1981 $75 July 1, 2002 $156
July 1, 1981July 1, 1981July 1, 1981July 1, 1986 $100 July 1, 2003 $158
July 1, 1994 $110 July 1, 2004 $161
July 1, 1995 $135 July 1, 2005 $163
July 1, 1997 $141 July 1, 2006 $165
July 1, 1998 $146 July 1, 2007 $167
July 1, 2000 $151 July 1, 2008 $170


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