Leaving NC State Employment

Health Plan

If the last day worked is the 16th of the month or after, health benefits will be effective through the last day of the following month. For example, with a separation date of January 17th, health plan coverage is effective through the last day of February.

If employment separation occurs between the 1st and 15th of the month, health plan coverage is effective through the last day of the month of termination. For example, an employee who terminates employment on January 5th will have health plan coverage through the last day of January.

NCFlex Benefits

NCFlex benefits will at the end of the month in which employment ends.  For example, with an employment end date of April 17th, NCFlex benefits are effective through April 30th.

MetLife Life, Supplemental Disability and Hyatt Legal Plans

These benefits will at the end of the month in which employment ends.  For example, with an employment end date of April 17th, NCFlex benefits are effective through April 30th.

Continuation of Health and Other Benefits

In most cases, health and NCFlex benefits can be continued for up to 18 months through COBRA provisions. Other benefit plans offer conversion and portability options. Plan vendors automatically send out COBRA packets to home addresses when employees employment end.

Retirement Plans


Being vested in the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System means that at some point in the future, a participant will be eligible for both a monthly, lifetime retirement benefit as well as health insurance. Depending on the amount of creditable service, leaving contributions in the TSERS account may be a wise choice. There is no minimum account balance requirement and contributions continue to earn interest, currently 4% compounded annually.

Withdrawal or rollover or contributions (and interest, if vested) are options to waiting for retirement benefit eligibility; however, a withdrawal of contributions will result in losing accumulated service credit, the death benefit and Disability Income Plan eligibility. At the point of withdrawal, state and federal taxes are assessed, as well as a 20% penalty if you are under the age of 59 1/2. Taxes and penalties are avoided if the account is rolled to a qualified plan.

If a withdrawal or rollover is processed and you return to NC state government service at a later date, previously withdrawn accounts can be purchased after contributing to TSERS for 5 years. Furthermore, a return to service within 5 years of the termination date results in a reinstatement of the employee’s sick leave balance.

A Form 5-Application for Refund of Retirement Contributions is required for withdrawal or rollover. If the withdrawal/ rollover request is being made within 3 months of the termination date, return the notarized original to the University Benefits Office for processing; otherwise, the form may be sent directly to TSERS, at the address on top of the form.

Optional Retirement Program

Optional Retirement Program vesting occurs after 5 years of plan participation. On separation from service, participants may receive a lump sum payout or monthly annuity distributions. Retiree health benefits are included only if the participant elects a monthly annuity distribution option.

Note: Fidelity participants should consult with a plan advisor for options.

If separation from employment occurs prior to being vested, 100% vesting in the ORP employer contribution occurs provided all of the following criteria are met.

  • Your new employer is a higher education institution that sponsors a substantially similar or “like” retirement plan, and
  • The successor plan offers a “like retirement plan” that is underwritten by one of the four carriers currently underwriting the ORP benefit and
  • You begin participation in the successor plan as your “core retirement plan” within 12 months following your termination of employment with NC State

Terminating employees who wish to withdraw or rollover ORP accounts, or who will participate in similar plan with another educational institution must complete the form ORP3 and return it to the University Benefits Office by fax or mail.

Supplemental Retirement Plans

On termination of employment, contributions to supplemental retirement plans are no longer permitted; however, if similar plans are offered by other employers it is possible in some cases, that contributions may be resumed with the new employer’s plan. Contact the supplemental retirement plan to inquire further.

Transferring to Another State Agency

If you are leaving employment with the University to work for another NC state government agency or university, contact your Benefits Consultant, as special provisions will apply. If a transfer to another state agency or UNC System school occurs, annual, sick, and bonus leave balances may or may not transfer. This depends on what type of position you are transferring into (SPA or EPA) and if the receiving agency accepts each type of leave.

Leave Balances

If eligible, annual leave balances up to 240 hours are paid out either with the final pay or the month following. All bonus leave hours are paid out on termination from employment if not transferring to another State of North Carolina agency or UNC System school. Only mandatory retirement system contributions (TSERS or ORP) will be deducted from the leave balance payouts along with any applicable taxes. Sick leave balances are not paid out; however, if one returns to NC state government employment within 5 years of termination, the accumulated balance will be reinstated.

NC State Exit Interview Program

Feedback is valuable to the growth and development of a strong NC State faculty and staff. The NC State Exit Interview Program is designed to collect information from exiting employees to identify work environment data that contributes to both retention and turnover and to provide exiting employees an opportunity to voice concerns and make suggestions. Exiting faculty and staff may also turn in university assets during the exit interview process.