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Volunteer Fire Departments and LGERS Membership

Nonprofit-incorporated fire/rescue departments are sometimes called "volunteer fire departments" (VFDs) but often have paid employees. Based on federal law and IRS guidance, VFDs cannot join the Local and Governmental Employees Retirement System (LGERS) as employing units, because they are not governments, but nonprofit incorporations. 

Certain towns in LGERS recently inquired about whether employees of a VFD serving the town's jurisdiction could participate in LGERS as employees of the town if the town agreed to be the formal employer and "lease" the employees to the VFD. 

The North Carolina Retirement Systems (RSD) asked for an analysis by our tax counsel, Groom Law Group. The document listed below contains two pages of summary guidance from RSD and a ten-page memorandum from Groom outlining the relevant issues and questions. RSD urges employers considering a "leased employee" agreement to review the Groom analysis carefully and make their own determination based on the questions raised, and understanding the risks of misclassification.

Fire/Rescue Leased Employees Memo

Retirement and Legislation Affecting the Retirement Systems

In 2021, the General Assembly made several changes that affect the Retirement Systems. Click here for a  brief explanation of some of the changes.  

Retirement

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Retirement Online is the most efficient way to apply for your retirement. Located in your secure ORBIT account, Retirement Online is available 120 days from your retirement date for members of the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System (TSERS) and Local Governmental Employees’ Retirement System (LGERS). For more information about the process, click here

If you have already submitted your retirement application, you can cancel your application through your ORIBT account or by sending a signed and dated cancellation letter. 

If you have already received and cashed your first retirement check, you are not able to cancel your retirement. 

If you cancel your retirement, you will need to resubmit a retirement application when you are ready, and these are processed in the order received. 

Resubmitting a retirement application may present a delay in the available retirement date and payment, which require processing time as we head into the busy retirement season. 

If you are considering cancelling your retirement, it is important to also communicate directly with your employer to confirm the availability of your position.

Member Services Turnaround Time

Please be aware that Member Services Turnaround time is three business days.