Retirement Plans

NC State University offers both mandatory and voluntary retirement plans to help eligible faculty and staff plan a financially secure retirement. The university offers several retirement plan options and resources to help employees achieve their financial goals.

Mandatory Plans

Eligible faculty and staff must enroll in one of two state-mandated retirement programs within 30 days of their hire/eligibility date. If enrollment information is not submitted within 30 days of retirement eligibility (hire date or date of benefits-eligible employment), employees are defaulted into the TSERS plan. Once a mandatory retirement plan election has been submitted, it is a binding choice even if the submission is made with more time remaining within the 30-day enrollment window. 

The employee contribution to the mandatory retirement plans, both ORP or TSERS, is a state-mandated 6% on a pre-tax basis. The contribution to the mandatory retirement plans cannot be increased or decreased, per state law. In order to contribute additional funds towards retirement, employees can participate in voluntary retirement plans.

  • NOTE: NC State will take an after-tax “general retirement” amount of 6% of base salary during the 30-day enrollment period.  Once a retirement plan is selected, the general retirement amount is refunded and then sent to the selected vendor on a pre-tax basis. 


Regular, non-temporary SHRA (hired on or after 1/1/2013) or EHRA employees-working at least 30 hours per week (.75 FTE or greater), for nine or more months per year on a recurring basis-are eligible to select the Optional Retirement Program (ORP) or Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System (TSERS).

  • Special Provision: SHRA employees originally hired prior to 01/01/2013 and who are transferring to another position, and have NOT been eligible to opt into the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) in the past, have 60 days from the start date of their new position to choose to either stay with TSERS or move to the ORP. Once this choice is made, employees will not be eligible to choose another retirement option in the future. Employees considering this option should contact their assigned benefits consultant.
Mandatory Retirement Plan Decision Guide Retirement Plan Comparison Tool Retirement Choice Video


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Additional Retirement Resources

Voluntary/Supplemental Plans Phased Retirement Program Medicare and Retiree Health Insurance Retirement at NC State

Human Resources Guiding Policy Disclaimer