ORBIT

State Law Enforcement Officers

North Carolina State Highway Patrol officer in his car beside the road

You become a law enforcement officer (LEO) member under the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System (TSERS) on the date of your hire if you:

  • are a permanent, full-time, paid employee of the state (or any of its agencies, departments, bureaus or educational institutions); and
  • you are actively serving in a position with assigned primary duties and responsibilities for the prevention and detection of crime or the general enforcement of the criminal laws of the state or serving civil processes; and
  • you possess the power of arrest by virtue of an oath administered under the authority of the state.

As a LEO, when you become a member of TSERS, you are automatically a member of the NC 401(k) supplemental retirement plan as well.

Probation and Parole Officers

As of July 1, 2017, probation and parole officers will earn service credit as a LEO. A current probation/parole officer with no prior service as a LEO must work at least five years (vesting) from this date to be eligible for an unreduced retirement as a LEO at age 55. Prior service as a non-LEO (including service as a probation or parole officer prior to July 1, 2017) will not count toward the five-year vesting as a LEO. Please check with your employer for any questions about your retirement benefits as a LEO.

Becoming Vested

You become vested in the retirement system once you have completed a minimum of five years of creditable service as an officer.

This means that you are eligible to apply for lifetime monthly retirement benefits upon reaching the age requirement based on the formula shown below, provided you do not withdraw your contributions. You may also be eligible for retiree health coverage.

Annual Retirement Benefit

Your annual retirement benefit is based on this formula:

1.82 percent of average final compensation
x (multiplied by)
years and months of creditable service

Retirement Application Process

Once you decide to retire and meet the eligibility requirements for monthly benefits, there are certain steps that must be taken to begin the retirement process. Please refer to the "Applying for and Receiving Monthly Benefits" in your retirement handbook.