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  • NC retirement

    While this board is not very active, many of the posts concern out of state officers looking to move to NC. Retirement in NC is not as generous as some, while being better than others. Having spent my entire career in NC I am content with how it treated me, but retirement is very specific to the individual. NC retirement works best the younger you start.

    Retirement for police officers in NC involves 3 components:

    1. Pension. The pension is not as generous as some states. Full retirement is 30 years or age 55. If you leave at 55 the pension is calculated based on your years. With 30 years you get roughly 57% of your high 4 year average. You can possibly buy out of state local or state time. Early retirement is available at 25 years but involves a substantial penalty. This is a state system. Employees pay roughly 6% per pay period. OT counts as long as it is paid by the employer.

    2. Special Separation Allowance. This requires 20 years as a police officer, retiring with full retirement, and ends at age 62. This is paid by the employer. Years of service factor into the amount, and you can not buy years. If you do 30 years and retire in your early 50s this can be a nice amount of money. If you start after roughly age 25 the amount starts going down, and if you start after 42 you will not qualify. You will hear this called the supplement, but the correct term is Special Separation Allowance. This comes out to roughly 25% of your final 40 hour week salary.

    3. 401K. This is a 5% contribution by the employer and is not a match. You can contribute more. The state calls this the supplement.

    Many employers also offer 457 deferred compensation plans, but these are specific to the employer and are not part of NC retirement.

    My opinion is NC retirement is quite ok provided you do 30 years, retire at full benefits, collect the separation allowance for many years, and put a little extra in the 401k. It can be a decent second retirement if you retire somewhere else as well. There are some decent paying departments in NC, but salaries are frequently lower than some other areas. This is not Long Island. Early retirement is harsh, and can be brutal. Leaving at 25 on early retirement will cost you over half of your initial benefits vs. leaving at 30. To my knowledge, all new hires in NC will contribute to social security, but I could be wrong.

  • #2
    What about medical benefits upon retirement? Are there any and if so does it cover your spouse?

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    • #3
      Medical benefits, if any, come from the employer and are not part of the retirement system.

      To my knowledge, all new hire officers will be enrolled in North Carolina Local Government Employees Retirement System, or a similar system for state employees. NCLGERS does not include a medical benefit. Some employers may offer retiree health coverage, but that is not part of NCLGERS.

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      • #4
        To merge your questions from 2 threads, if you retired at age 55 with 20 years, you would be eligible for the special separation allowance because you retired at full retirement and had 20 years as a police officer. Everything would be calculated using 20 years.

        I encourage you to google North Carolina special separation allowance local law enforcement and read the appropriate law to verify for yourself the details. There are separate laws covering state officers, but they are similar. The separation allowance is paid by the employer but mandated by law. The pension is run by the state.

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