System Office Benefits Plans

UNC System Office employees and their families have access to benefits plans and services promoting health, well-being, and programs to help you save and plan toward retirement. Your benefit offerings include medical, life insurance, retirement (mandatory and supplemental plans), employee leave programs, tuition benefits, and other supplemental programs bringing together a comprehensive package designed to meet your specific needs.

Health and Welfare Benefits

The State Health Plan, North Carolina’s state employee health insurance plan, is available to all permanent University employees who work at least 20 hours per week.  In addition, coverage is offered to our temporary employees who work at least 30 hours per week. For information on the various plan levels and costs, visit the State Health Plan website or select the appropriate link below:

NCFlex is a collection of pre-tax benefits offered by the State of North Carolina. The plans include dental, vision, health care and dependent day care flexible spending accounts, and more. For information on the various plans and their costs, visit the NCFlex website or download the UNC System NCFlex guide.

For information on other health and welfare programs, including North Carolina Health Choice, visit the Health and Welfare Benefits page

Mandatory Retirement Plans

Permanent UNC System Office staff working at least 30 hours a week are required to enroll in a mandatory retirement program. You have a choice of two mandatory retirement plans: the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System (TSERS) or the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP)

  • TSERS is a defined benefit plan. The benefit you receive at retirement is based on a predetermined formula. This formula considers your years and months of creditable service (any period during which you contribute to TSERS, provided you do not withdraw your contributions), your age and your average final compensation (the average of your salary during your four highest consecutive paid years). The amount of the guaranteed benefit you will receive at retirement is not directly determined by the investment experience of the plan assets or the amount of contributions. Under TSERS, the State controls the investments and assumes all of the investment risks. The plan funds are invested by professional money managers selected by TSERS.
  • The ORP is a defined contribution plan. The value of your benefit is not based on a predetermined formula. Contributions to your account are made by you and the UNC System. The contributions are invested and the returns are credited to your account. The value of your account is based on the amount of contributions made to your account and the performance of the investment funds you select. Your accumulated balance provides monthly income during your retirement. Again, you control your investment choices and distribution methods.

Supplemental Retirement Plans

You have the option to invest in one or more of the four supplemental retirement programs available to System Office staff.

  • UNC System 403(b) Plan: All employees, except UNC Health Care employees, who pay FICA are eligible to participate in the UNC System 403(b) Plan. This plan is offered through the UNC System. You own the account and have the opportunity to make contributions pre-tax and/or after-tax through a Roth account. Your earnings grow tax-deferred until retirement. 
  • UNC System 457(b) Plan: All UNC System employees, including UNC Health Care employees, who pay FICA are eligible to participate in the UNC System 457(b) Plan. This plan is offered through the UNC System. Your contributions are made pre-tax and/or after-tax through a Roth account. Your earnings grow tax‑deferred until retirement. Your account is held in a trust by the UNC System exclusively for participants and their beneficiaries.
  • State’s 457 Deferred Compensation Plan: All North Carolina public employees are eligible to participate in the State’s 457 Deferred Compensation Plan. Your contributions are made pre-tax and/or after-tax through a Roth account. And, your earnings grow tax-deferred until retirement. Your account is held in a trust by the State of North Carolina exclusively for participants and their beneficiaries. 
  • State’s 401(k) Plan: All permanent employees who participate in TSERS or ORP are eligible to enroll in the State’s 401(k)Plan. This State-sponsored plan also allows you to make contributions pre-tax and/or after-tax through a Roth account. And your earnings grow tax-deferred until retirement. Your account is held in a trust by the State of North Carolina exclusively for participants and their beneficiaries.

Group Term Life Insurance

The UNC MetLife group after-tax term life insurance is available to you, your spouse, your domestic partner, and your children. Participants also have access to will preparation services at no cost from a network of more than 18,000 attorneys. For coverage and benefits information, see the links below. To help you understand how much supplemental life insurance to consider, try MetLife’s life insurance calculator at www.lifeonlinecalculator.com.

System Office employees also have access to the pre-tax group life insurance plan available through NCFlex. Coverage is available for you, your spouse or domestic partner, and your children, and each plan offers different coverage amounts and benefits to meet the needs of your family. Benefits and enrollment information about the NCFlex group term life insurance is available at NCFlex Group Term Life or the UNC System NCFlex guide.

Disability Plans

Everyone hopes they will never need income replacement during a short- or long-term period of disability. If you do need those benefits, though, they are available. All permanent employees have access to the Disability Income Plan of North Carolina, and can enroll in an additional voluntary supplemental disability program based on their mandatory retirement plan choice.

  • The Disability Income Plan of North Carolina (DIPNC) provides monthly replacement income to individuals in the form of short-term, extended short-term, and long-term disability benefits if you become disabled while you are a permanent employee and are enrolled in either the UNC Optional Retirement Program (ORP) or the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System (TSERS).
  • Separate voluntary supplemental disability plans are also available for TSERS members (underwritten by Lincoln Financial) and ORP participants (underwritten by The Standard).

Notice to Non-Full-Time Individuals Enrolled In Our Medical Plan 

As a large employer, the Affordable Care Act requires us to prepare a Form 1095-C for all individuals enrolled in our employer sponsored self-insured medical plan. For the 2020 reporting year, the distribution requirements have changed, and we are no longer required to mail the form to any individual who is not a full-time employee for any month of the calendar year. However, if you were enrolled in our self-insured medical plan during the 2020 calendar year, you may request that a form be sent to you by contacting Ronnean Collins in the UNC System HR office: 
Email: rdcollins@northcarolina.edu 
Mail: 140 Friday Center Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27517
Phone: 919-843-5186 

Benefits at a Glance

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Retirement Newsletter