NC 401(k) Plan and NC 457 Plan - Supplemental Retirement Plans

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Information about Empower (Plan Administrator for the NC Plans)

Effective April 1, 2022, Empower officially acquired the full-service retirement business of Prudential.

Review the important information associated with the acquisition

FAQ Document

July 21 Prudential Retirement Press Release

 

You need more than your pension to be ‘retirement ready.’ This means you will be able to replace at least 80% of your pre-retirement income. 78% of participants who are enrolled in a pension, social security and NC 401(k) and/or NC 457 Plan are on the right track. 

Participant Frequently Asked Questions about the NC 401(k) Plan and NC 457 Plan

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The North Carolina Supplemental Retirement Plans consist of the NC 401(k) Plan and the NC 457 Plan and are exclusively available to North Carolina public servants, like you. The NC 401(k) Plan is a tax-qualified, defined contribution plan under Section 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code and are administered by the Department of State Treasurer and the Supplemental Retirement Board of Trustees

The NC 457 Plan is an eligible defined contribution plan under Section 457(b) of the Internal Revenue Code. All state and local governmental employers offer the NC 401(k) Plan and most offer an additional option with the NC 457 Plan. 

For more information. please visit myNCPlans.com/enrollment.html. Here, you will be able to view Plan comparisons. We also encourage you to view the NC 401(k) Highlights and NC 457 Plan Highlights.

For more information, please visit myNCPlans.com/enrollment.html. Here, you will be able to view Plan comparisons. We also encourage you to view the NC 401(k) Highlights and NC 457 Plan Highlights.  

Visit myNCPlans.com/enrollment.html. Here, you will be able to view Plan comparisons and enroll seamlessly online with our web-based enrollment platform.

Some employers offer an additional contribution or match. To find out if your employer offers a match or other contribution, contact your Human Resources/Benefits representative.
 

The North Carolina Supplemental Retirement Plans offer a range of investment options to choose from based on your retirement savings goals and comfort with risk. You can review the fund fact sheets at the Choose Investments link at myNCPlans.com.  

The Supplemental Retirement Plans also offer an optional asset allocation tool called GoalMaker® at no additional cost. GoalMaker offers three risk categories to choose from - Conservative, Moderate, and Aggressive - based on your investment objectives and risk tolerance. Each category has nine model portfolios based on your years to retirement or in retirement - and an age adjustment feature that automatically moves you along the allocations as you move to and through retirement. To learn more about this tool, contact your Empower Retirement Education Counselor.

Visit myNCPlans.com and select Log In at the top of the page.

Logging in to your account at myNCPlans.com. Click Log In at the top of the page. Once logged into your account, click My Service Center at the top. From the next screen, click on Profile & Preferences, and update as necessary;

or

Call the Empower Member Services Center at (866) NCPlans (866-627-5267).

You can update the beneficiary for your Supplemental Retirement Plans account by:

  • Logging in to your account at myNCPlans.com. Click Log In at the top of the page. Once logged into your account, select Add/Review Beneficiaries from the Quick Actions drop-down menu; or

  • Please note that the beneficiaries you designate for the Supplemental Retirement Plans do not update your beneficiaries for the North Carolina pension plan (e.g., Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System, Local Governmental Employees' Retirement System). Likewise, the beneficiaries you designate for the North Carolina pension plan do not update your beneficiaries for your NC 401(k) Plan and/or NC 457 Plan.

You can change the amount of your contributions by: 

Logging in to your account at myNCPlans.com. Click Log In at the top of the page. Once logged into your account, click My Service Center at the top. Then, select Change Contributions from the Quick Actions drop-down menu: or

or

Call the Empower Member Services Center at (866) NCPlans (866-627-5267) and selecting Option 2.

You can change your investment choices by:

Logging in to your account at myNCPlans.com. Click Log In at the top of the page. Once logged into your account, go to the Manage Account section 

or

Call the Empower Member Services Center at (866) NCPlans (866-627-5267).

The NC 401(k) Plan and the NC 457 Plan are single plans that are sponsored by the State of North Carolina and that have over 1,100 participating employers. The NC 401(k) and NC 457 Plans are administered by the Department of State Treasurer and the Supplemental Retirement Board of Trustees.

Empower has been hired by the Department of State Treasurer and the Supplemental Retirement Board of Trustees to provide the recordkeeping and communications services for the NC Supplemental Retirement Plans. These services include hosting the plans' participant website, providing account statements, accepting and processing contributions from your employer, and processing distributions, hardship withdrawals, and loans. The recordkeeping and communications services contract is awarded through a competitive bid process. Prudential Retirement, recently acquired by Empower, has served in this role since 2003 for the NC 401(k) Plan and since 2008 for the NC 457 Plan.

You can learn more about upcoming meetings and review materials from past meetings on our website. The agenda and meeting materials for an upcoming meeting are usually posted at least one week prior to the meeting. Board meetings are open to the public.

View, print, and download all the Supplemental Retirement Plans' governing documents, including plan documents and policies, from our website.

For information on the domestic relations orders for the NC 401(k) Plan or NC 457 Plan, visit our website. The website includes model orders for the NC 401(k) Plan and NC 457 Plan, as well as a guide to domestic relations. Domestic relations orders are required to separate an account for a non-participant ex-spouse or other alternate payee. Orders should be sent to Empower by fax to (866) 439-8602 or by mail to Empower, Attention: [Insert name of plan, i.e., NC 401(k) or NC 457], P.O. Box 5340, Scranton, PA 18505.

For the NC 401(k) Plan and NC 457 Plan, please refer to the loan policy and plan documents. Only one loan is allowed from each plan at any time, and you must be actively employed by an employer who participates in the plan. Payments are made by payroll deduction, if available. Other restrictions apply. Contact Empower at (866) NCPlans (866-627-5267) for additional information or to initiate a loan. You can also initiate a loan online by logging in to your account at myNCPlans.com. Click Log In at the top of the screen. 

Limitations and other information on hardship withdrawals are available in the plan documents for the NC 401(k) Plan and the NC 457 Plan. Copies of these documents are posted on myNCRetirement.com.

You can get additional information and request a hardship distribution by:

Logging in to your account at myNCPlans.com. Click Log In at the top of the page. Once logged into your account, go to the Manage Account section.

or

Calling the Empower Member Services Center at (866) NCPlans (866-627-5267).

If you retire or otherwise leave your current employer, you are permitted to leave your assets in the NC 401(k) Plan and NC 457 Plan, until such time that you are required to begin taking distributions pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code. However, upon termination of your current employment, you do have the option to withdraw part or all of your assets to the extent permitted by the Internal Revenue Code and the plan documents for the NC 401(k) Plan and the NC 457 Plan. The distribution options are summarized in the in the Plan Features chart on myNCPlans.com.

Note: The NC 401(k) Plan and the NC 457 Plan are single plans that are sponsored by the State of North Carolina with over 1,100 participating employers; therefore, participation in the NC 401(k) Plan or the NC 457 Plan is not terminated solely because a participant terminates employment with one participating employer and begins employment with another participating employer. If you leave one participating employer for another, then you remain an active employee under the NC 401(k) Plan or NC 457 Plan, as applicable, and your distribution options are limited to those of an active employee.

For questions or further information, you can:

Employer Frequently Asked Questions about the NC 401(k) Plan and NC 457 Plan

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The North Carolina Supplemental Retirement Plans consist of the NC 401(k) Plan (Supplemental Retirement Income Plan of North Carolina), the NC 457 Plan (North Carolina Public Employee Deferred Compensation Plan).

The NC 401(k) Plan is a tax-qualified, defined contribution plan under Section 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code. The NC 457 Plan is an eligible defined contribution plan under Section 457(b) of the Internal Revenue Code. The NC 401(k) Plan and the NC 457 Plan are single plans that are sponsored by the State of North Carolina and that have over 1,100 participating employers. The NC 401(k) and NC 457 Plans are administered by the Department of State Treasurer and the Supplemental Retirement Board of Trustees.

For additional information, please visit http://www.myNCPlans.com.

To compare the plans, please refer to the Plan Comparison Chart on myNCPlans.com.

From an employer’s compliance perspective, there are differences among the plans in what is considered compensation (please see FAQ below regarding what is considered compensation) and what types of employer contributions are permitted or required (see FAQs below about contributions to employees' accounts). In addition, the NC 401(k) Plan and the NC 457 Plan are state-sponsored plans that are administered by the Department of State Treasurer and the Supplemental Retirement Board of Trustees.

If you have questions about the plans, you can:

The NC 401(k) Plan and the NC 457 Plan are single plans that are sponsored by the State of North Carolina and that have multiple participating employers. The NC 401(k) and NC 457 Plans are administered by the Department of State Treasurer and the Supplemental Retirement Board of Trustees.

Empower has been hired by the Department of State Treasurer and the Supplemental Retirement Board of Trustees to provide the recordkeeping and communications services for the NC Supplemental Retirement Plans. These services include hosting the plans' participant website (myNCPlans.com/), providing account statements, accepting and processing contributions from your employer, and processing distributions, hardship withdrawals, and loans. The recordkeeping and communications services contract is awarded through a competitive bid process. Prudential Retirement, recently acquired by Empower,  has served in this role since 2003 for the NC 401(k) Plan and since 2008 for the NC 457 Plan.

As a participating employer in the NC 401(k) Plan and/or NC 457 Plan your responsibilities include:

  • Notifying Empower Retirement if a participant is no longer employed by you;
  • Receiving your employees’ deferral elections and loan repayment directions as provided to you by Empower Retirement;
  • Properly processing and withholding these amounts from your employees’ pay as soon as administratively practicable;
  • Remitting the correct deferral and loan repayment amounts from your employees’ pay to Empower Retirement as soon as administratively practicable; and
  • Remitting the correct employer contributions to Empower Retirement as soon as administratively practicable. If you employ law enforcement officers who are subject to N.C.G.S. § 143-166.30(e) or 143-166.50(e), you are required to remit five percent of each officers’ compensation as an employer contribution.

The Plan Sponsor Website gives you access to information that is important for helping you to fulfill your obligations as a participating employer in the NC 401(k) Plan and NC 457 Plan. The information on the Plan Sponsor Website includes employee deferral amounts (including updates), loan repayment amounts (including updates), loan starts and stops, and aggregate statistics on your plan participants. You should check the Plan Sponsor Website at least two days prior to each pay cycle.

You can log in to the Plan Sponsor Website. If you have questions or require training on the Plan Sponsor Website, please contact the Empower Member Services Center at (866) NCPlans (866-627-5267) or your Retirement Education Counselor.

You can log in to the Plan Sponsor Website.

Employer contributions can be valuable incentives to offer your employees for both retention and recognition. To establish an employer contribution program for your employees in the NC 401(k) Plan and/or the NC 457 Plan. Please contact the Empower Member Services Center at (866) NCPlans (866-627-5267) or your Retirement Education Counselor. Employer contributions are often in the form of a certain percentage of employees’ compensation or a match of employees’ contributions.

Restrictions apply to employer contributions, including the restrictions in Section 3.02 of the plan document for the NC 401(k) Plan.

State law requires that state and local governmental employers of law enforcement officers (LEOs) contribute five percent (5%) of each LEO’s compensation to the NC 401(k) Plan for their benefit. This employer contribution is required regardless of whether a LEO also contributes to the NC 401(k) Plan. 

In addition, LEOs have a portion of court costs contributed to their NC 401(k) Plan accounts.

See N.C.G.S. §§ 143-166.30(e) (state LEOS) and 143-166.50(e) (local LEOs).

NC 401(k) Plan

(Note: Definition of “Compensation” from the plan document for the NC 401(k) Plan.)

“Compensation” means all salaries and wages prior to any reduction pursuant to Sections 125, 132(f), 401(k), 403(b), 414(h)(2), and 457 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), not including any terminal payments for unused sick leave derived from public funds, which are earned by a Member while an Employee of an Employer. Compensation shall not include any payment, as determined by the Board of Trustees, for the reimbursement of expenses or payments for housing or any other allowances whether or not classified as salary and wages. However, compensation for a plan year shall not exceed the annual dollar limit.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, effective as of January 1, 2004, with respect to a member who is a member of the NC General Assembly contributing to the Legislative Retirement System, “compensation” means salary and expense allowance paid to a member for service as a legislator in the North Carolina General Assembly, exclusive of travel and per diem. Notwithstanding the foregoing, effective January 1, 2009, compensation shall include differential wage payments within the meaning of Section 3401(h) of the IRC.

NC 457 Plan

(Note: Definition of “Includible Compensation” from the plan document for the NC 457 Plan.)

The information required to be reported under Code §§ 6041, 6051, and 6052 (i.e., “Wages, Tips and other Compensation” on Form W-2), as modified by Code § 415(c)(3) and the Treasury Regulations and IRS guidance thereunder, and to include post-severance payments as defined by the final Treasury Regulations under Code § 415 and as may be deferred and treated as deemed compensation under Code § 415. Pursuant to the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008, amounts paid as differential military pay are included in the Code definition of includible compensation. Includible Compensation does not include amounts treated as “deemed 125 compensation” because of an Employer’s requirement that its Employees participate in an Employer-sponsored health insurance program unless they state that they are provided health care coverage elsewhere

Your employees can change the amount of their contributions by: 

  • Logging in to their account at myNCPlans.com. Click Log In at the top of the page. Once logged in, click My Service Center at the top. Then, select Change Contributions from the Quick Actions drop-down menu: or

  • Call the Empower Member Services Center at (866) NCPlans (866-627-5267) and selecting Option 2.

Please do not accept contribution changes directly from your employees. Instead, direct them one of the two options above.

One seamless way to have contribution amounts increase automatically is with the Contribution Accelerator. This tool, if adopted by you, allows your employees to elect to have their payroll deductions automatically increase, at their preferred percentage, every year up to eight percent (8%) of their paycheck. The election can be turned off at any time and is not required. To learn more about Contribution Accelerator, contact your Retirement Education Counselor.

You can learn more about upcoming meetings and review materials from past meetings on our website. The agenda and meeting materials for an upcoming meeting are usually posted at least one week prior to the meeting. Board meetings are open to the public. You can attend a meeting in person at the Department of State Treasurer's office at 3200 Atlantic Avenue in Raleigh or by calling the conference line published in the agenda.

View, print. and download all the Supplemental Retirement Plans' governing documents, including plan documents and policies, on our website.

For questions or further information, you can: