First Steps Toward Retirement

Note: Retirements are always effective on the 1st day of the month

  1. Contact the local Social Security Office about 90 days in advance to file for social security benefits. The phone number for the Social Security office in North Wilkesboro is 336-667-8506. Things to ask the Social Security Office:
    • If you are 65 or older, you will need Medicare Part A and Part B in effect on the 1st of the month you are retiring.
    • If you wish to elect the Social Security Leveling Option, you will need an estimate from Social security that was done within 1 year prior to your retirement date. 
  2. Schedule an appointment with the Office of Human Resources to complete the appropriate retirement forms (see next section for more detail). Forms should be completed not more than 120 days nor less than 1-day prior to the month in which you are retiring. Ex: If your retirement date is January 1, 2001 forms must be completed between September 1 and December 31.
  3. Give your supervisor a written notice of resignation at least two weeks before you leave. Your supervisor must complete a separation notice form and send it to the Office of Human Resources. You will need to schedule an exit interview with the Office of Human Resources as soon as possible.

What to Bring to the HR Appointment

  1. To complete the Application for Retirement (form 6), you will need to bring your drivers license to be photocopied as well as a birth certificate of your beneficiary's birth if you are interested in a joint survivor option. If you wish an estimate for Option 4 (level income) you need an estimate from Social Security that was done within 1 year prior to your retirement date.
  2. To complete the Application for Direct Deposit, bring with you a deposit slip for the account where you wish your retirement check to be deposited. This is for the Retirement System, which is separate from the University's payroll system.
  3. To complete the Application for Medical Insurance, please bring your Medicare card if you are Medicare eligible. The forms listed above are remitted to the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System by the Office of Human Resources. Included on the application form will be the final payroll information and all unused sick leave you have available.
  4. Notice what your sick and vacation leave amounts are by checking your last paycheck stub, going online through the ESS, or by contacting the Office of Human Resources. You will need to verify these amounts at your appointment.

    Important note: One month of service credits is given for every 20 days or any fraction thereof, of unused sick leave. Vacation leave is paid out in your last check up to 240 hours. Vacation leave paid out is included in your average compensation in computing your monthly benefit.

Second Steps Towards Retirement

  1. You will receive a letter from the State Retirement System notifying you that your application has been received and they are in the process of verifying your service credits and computing your retirement amounts.
  2. You will receive a letter offering you a $10,000 death benefit. This is a one-time election, there is a premium involved and it will be deducted from your retirement check should you choose the death benefit.
  3. Your retirement election amounts will be mailed to your home address. Along with your retirement elections will be Form 6E. This is the election of benefits form. Review the benefit calculations carefully! The payment arrangement you select at retirement is a personal decision. You should consider your financial need; the possible financial needs of your beneficiary, if any, your health and the health of your beneficiary. Your decision should never be based on what other members have previously done. The Office of Human Resources will be happy to go over any questions you have about your options. This form must be completed, signed and returned to the Retirement System by the 10th of the month in which you are retiring in order for you to receive your retirement benefits during the same month. Ex: If you are retiring January 1, 2001 and return your forms to Raleigh by January 10, you will receive your first payment on January 25th. If your forms are received later than the 10th, you will receive your first payment on February 25th.
  4. The first retirement check will be mailed to your home address on the 25th of the month. Retirement checks will not be forwarded.
  5. Each month after the first check, your retirement benefits will be deposited into your checking/savings account on the 25th.

University Benefits

The Office of Human Resources will discuss with you the options available to you for the miscellaneous benefits you have on a current payroll deduction.

  1. You are entitled to a free University Parking permit. You must go to Parking & Traffic annually to secure a free retiree parking permit
  2. You may continue using your University ID Card after retirement at the Quinn/Mt. Mitchell Centers and University Library free of charge. You will need to have your ID Card activated for recreational facility use through the AppCard Office at Trivette Hall.
  3. Retirees at Appalachian can use their ID card for the following: 
    a. Free use of the Quinn Center and Mount Mitchell
    b. Free use of Belk Library