Retirement Monitor - September 2022

In this issue: Timely and Accurate Employer Reporting; Retirement Date Changes After Application is Submitted; State Health Plan Eligibility - Defining Employees Hire Date; Disability Income Plan of North Carolina (DIPNC) Part I: The First 365 Days; Supplemental Plans Staff Contact Changes; October is National Retirement Security Month; Save the Date: SHP Open Enrollment; Employer & Member Webinars

Table of Contents

 

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Graphic with the words "All in a Day's Work and the NC Total Retirement Plans logo

 

Timely and Accurate Employer Reporting

Employee and Employer contributions are due via the monthly Contribution Summary Instructions (CSI) by 5:00 p.m. on the 5th business day of the month along with the Monthly ORBIT payroll report. If the 5th falls on a weekend, contributions are due the following business day by 5 p.m. This schedule information is also located on our website.

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Retirement Date Changes After Application is Submitted

With the Retirement Online process, you will receive Form 6C by email. The member is cc’d on this communication, so they stay informed of where they are in the process. If a member wishes to change their retirement date after submitting their application, this cannot be updated on the Form 6C. The member needs to cancel their current application and submit a new Retirement Online application with the revised/new retirement date. More information about the Retirement Online process for members can be found here.

 

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State Health Plan Eligibility – Defining Employees Hired Date:

Eligibility for coverage with the State Health Plan as a retiree was amended in SESSION LAW 2017-57 SENATE BILL 257. The bill amends Article 3B of Chapter 135 of the General Statutes to require that retirees must earn contributory retirement service in the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System (or in an allowed local system unit), the Consolidated Judicial Retirement System, and the Legislative Retirement System prior to January 1, 2021, and not withdraw that service, in order to be eligible for retiree medical benefits under the amended law.  Consequently, members first hired on and after January 1, 2021, will not be eligible to receive retiree medical benefits.

The amendment specifies that retirees with contributory retirement service (Membership Service) prior to January 1, 2021, in any of the retirement systems listed are eligible for retiree coverage in the State Health Plan (SHP). If you employ anyone with existing service, they may be eligible for SHP coverage as a retiree even if they are a new employee to your organization. While a new employee hired on or after January 1, 2021, without any prior membership service will not be eligible for the SHP in retirement.

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Disability Income Plan of North Carolina (DIPNC) Part I:  The First 365 Days

What is a Disability?

Under DIPNC, disability is defined as the mental or physical incapacity for the further performance of your usual occupation, provided that such disability was not the result of terrorist activity, active participation in a riot, committing or attempting to commit a felony or an intentional self-inflicted injury.

 

 

What is the mandatory 60 calendar-day waiting period? A member is not entitled to receive any disability benefits for a period of 60 calendar days from the date of disability. During this period the member may be paid continuation of compensation by exhausting accumulated sick, vacation and bonus leave, comp time and/or shared leave provided by the employer.

 

 

 

What is Short-Term Disability? You may have an employee who is temporarily unable to work due to illness or injury. Short-Term Disability provides benefits paid by you for a temporary disability when the employee is not expected to return to work prior to 365 days. The determination for Short-Term Disability may be made by you, the employer, and is paid by the employer. ** You should collect appropriate paperwork for your records. **

 

 

 

What is Preliminary Long-Term Disability?  Preliminary Long-Term Disability means that the disabling condition will last for at least 365 days or until the last day of eligibility for short-term disability benefits, whichever is earlier. If the employee is still in the initial 365-day period, Preliminary Long-Term Disability may be determined by you, the employer. ** You should collect appropriate paperwork for your records. ** We recommend a new application for Long-Term Disability be submitted 90 days prior to the end of the 365 period.

Here are some examples of when a member should be considered for Preliminary Long-Term Disability. 

  • When a member initially applies for short-term disability, the disability may be considered permanent or may last longer than 365 days.
  • There are times during the short-term period, when the disability may be temporary initially, but later the employee’s health deteriorates, and the disability may be considered permanent.

 

 

What is Extended Short-Term Disability? In some cases, you will have employees who are temporarily disabled to the extent they are not able to return to work after the initial 365 days. These employees may be eligible for Extended Short-Term Disability for an additional period not to exceed 365 days. The determination for Extended Short-Term Disability is made by the Medical Board and, if approved, is paid by the Retirement Systems. **A new application for Extended Short-Term Disability is required**

 

    Employer Determination Medical Board Determination Paperwork  
Short-term Disability 365 days or less   For your records
Collect appropriate paperwork
 
Preliminary Long-Term Disability 365 days or more   For your records
Collect appropriate paper work
 
Extended Short-Term Disability An additional 365 days or less   New Application Required We recommend submitting an application 90 days prior to end of the initial 365-day period.
Long-Term Disability 366 days or more   New Application Required We recommend submitting an application at time of employer-determination for Preliminary Long-Term and/or 90 days prior to the end of the 365-day period.

Next issue: Disability Applications & Forms

NOTE:  Disability Reimbursements

  1. Please submit any outstanding reimbursements prior to 7/01/2019 immediately. We will be revising our form 714 for requesting service credit for time period after 7/01/2019.

 

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Staff Contact Changes

Many employers are welcoming new staff onto their teams and with these exciting staff additions come some things to keep in mind when it comes to administering the NC 401(k) Plan and/or NC 457 Plan (Plans). If you are an employer and you would like to add a new authorized contact (payroll contact or human resources contact), please follow these steps:

  • Notify the NC Plans Service team. Contact the NC Plans Service team immediately when a new authorized contact needs to be added, an authorized employer contact or a payroll/human resources contact terminates employment, or if an authorized contact’s job requirements no longer require or permit them to manage the administration of the Plans.
  • Complete and submit the Authorized Representatives Form. This form needs to be filled out for all authorized individuals who are helping to administer the Plans. You must provide at least one primary human resources representative and one payroll representative; however, the same person can serve in both capacities.

Once the Authorized Representatives Form is processed, the new, authorized staff member will receive a user ID and password for the Sponsor Center Website, located on myNCPlans.com. This will allow your colleague to log in directly to the website. Please note that each user should have their own log-in credentials.

If you have specific questions about staff changes and new authorized contacts, please reach out to the NC Plans Service Team by calling 866 NCPlans (866-627-5267), or by email at NCPlans@empower.com. You can also reach out to your dedicated Retirement Education Counselor; click here to find your counselor and their contact information.
 

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October is National Retirement Security Month and we invite you to join us in raising awareness about the importance of planning and saving for retirement. Throughout the month we will have social media campaigns, webinars and educational opportunities for all members from early career to retirement.  Look for updates on our campaign webpage and social media as we near October 2022.  #NRSM22

Week 1:  Start Early & Save Often #SESO
Week 2: Fresh Look on Savings & Security #FLOSS
Week 3: Planning Transition #PT
Week 4:  It’s Here, It’s Happening #IHIH

 

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Save the Date: State Health Plan 2023 Open Enrollment is set for October 10-28, 2022!

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Employer Webinars

MyNCRetirement Employer Training Webinars

Empower Retirement Benefits Webinars

Member Webinars

Retirement Planning Webinars

Empower Retirement Benefits Webinars

 

 

 

 

 

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