Retiree Benefit Payments | ORBIT Help (2024)

As a retiree from the North Carolina Retirement Systems, you receive a monthly lifetime benefit. ORBIT allows you to view, maintain and update items related to benefit payments. In ORBIT, retirees can:

  • View payment history
  • Generate a Verification of Income letter
  • Update direct deposit
  • Review and update tax withholdings
  • View important tax documents
  • Confirm annual Return-to-Work allowance

Tab/Accordion Items

Retiree Benefit Payments | ORBIT Help (1)

Retirees receive a monthly retirement benefit via direct deposit. Your direct deposit notification statement is only available through ORBIT.

If you wish to view your benefit payment history:

Log in to  ORBIT.

  1. Click on “View Payment History”
  2. Click on the >[year] you wish to view the payment history (example: >2022)
  3. Click "View"
  4. Print a statement by choosing print from your browser window

Retiree Benefit Payments | ORBIT Help (2)

It is common for a third party (a bank, for example) to request proof of income from a retiree who is requesting a loan or trying to rent an apartment. A retiree has two options when generating their Income Verification letter:

  1. Send via Email
  2. Send via Mail or Print a PDF copy

Income Verification letters are sent within one business day. A copy of your Income Verification letter can be downloaded and printed immediately upon request.

To generate an Income Verification Letter:

  1. Log in to ORBIT
  2. If you have more than one account, please select the account in which you would like to view
  3. Click “Request Income Verification Letter” in the left navigation
  4. Select “Send Via Email” or “Send Via Mail or Print”
  5. Fill out required information
  6. Letter will be immediately available to print or sent within one business day 

Retiree Benefit Payments | ORBIT Help (3)

Current Direct Deposit information is located in your ORBIT account.

To view your Direct Deposit information:

  1. Log in to ORBIT.
  2. If you have more than one account, please select one of the accounts.
  3. Click “Maintain Direct Deposit” in the left navigation. Here you can view your current Direct Deposit information, edit Direct Deposit and view Direct Deposit change history

Security features are in place when you make changes to your Direct Deposit information.

Click here to view Benefit Pay Days. 

Retiree Benefit Payments | ORBIT Help (4)

The North Carolina Retirement Systems encourages you to review your tax withholding preferences each year or when you have a life event that may have tax implications.

Federal and State tax withholdings can be viewed in your ORBIT account. These can be modified at any time through your secure ORBIT Self- Service account, but please note that any changes made to your election will not be displayed in ORBIT until the effective date.

To review or change your tax withholding:

  1. Log in to ORBIT
  2. Click “Maintain Tax Withholding Election” in the left navigation
  3. Your current elections for Federal and State tax withholding will be displayed on the screen
  4. Click ‘Edit’ to make changes to your withholding
  5. Tax Withholding change history is also displayed on this page
  6. Changes can be made at any time and will take place on the Effective Date shown on the screen 

Retiree Benefit Payments | ORBIT Help (5)

Federal Income Tax

Unless you specify a monthly withholding rate or amount for federal taxes, your pension account will default to the rate of "married" with three allowances. If you have already designated a withholding preference, no action is required.

You may elect to have federal and/or North Carolina income tax withheld or not withheld from your retirement benefit.

Your election will remain in effect until you revoke it. You may also change your election online at any time during the year by logging into your personal, secure ORBIT account and following the instructions to change your tax withholding. An election or revocation received by the 10th of the month will be effective that month. If a change is not received by the 10th, it will likely be effective the next month. If you are in the process of retiring and using our online retirement application, you will make your tax withholding elections as a part of the process.

Still having trouble understanding what tax withholdings are and how to determine your filing status? The IRS explains tax withholding concepts further on their website.

Benefits from the North Carolina Retirement Systems (NCRS) receive special income tax treatment. However, NCRS cannot give you detailed tax advice concerning your retirement benefits. If you need more specific information with regard to how your retirement benefits are taxed, we suggest you consult the Internal Revenue Service, the North Carolina Department of Revenue, your attorney, or your accountant.

Retiree Benefit Payments | ORBIT Help (6)

North Carolina Income Tax

Unless you specify a monthly withholding rate or amount for state taxes, your pension account will default to the rate of "single" with zero allowances. This means that more money may be deducted from your benefit payment each month if you do not log in to ORBIT and designate your withholding preferences. If you have already designated a withholding preference or are exempt from paying state taxes, no action is required.

Benefits from the North Carolina Retirement Systems (NCRS) receive special income tax treatment. However, NCRS cannot give you detailed tax advice concerning your retirement benefits. If you need more specific information with regard to how your retirement benefits are taxed, we suggest you consult the Internal Revenue Service, the North Carolina Department of Revenue, your attorney, or your accountant.

Retiree Benefit Payments | ORBIT Help (7)

1099R Income Tax Statements

Each year, by January 31, a Form 1099-R (similar to Form W-2, Statement of Income and Tax Withheld, that you received annually while you were working) will be available to you. Form 1099-R shows the amount of your retirement benefits, the taxable portion (if any), the amount of tax withheld (if any) and related information. Copies will also be sent to the Internal Revenue Service and North Carolina Department of Revenue. Therefore, you should report your retirement benefits on your federal and state tax returns regardless of whether you owe any income tax.

You can now update your delivery preference in ORBIT. Log in to your ORBIT account and click 1099/W-2 in the left navigation. Select e-Delivery and your 1099/W-2 will only be uploaded to your ORBIT account where you can download and print. This is the quickest and easiest way to access this important tax document. If you have not selected e-Delivery, your 1099/W-2 will be mailed to you by January 31.

To opt-in for paperless tax documents, you need to update your preference by December 31.

Access and print your tax documents in ORBIT.

  1. Log in to ORBIT
  2. Click “View 1099/w2 Tax Documents” in the left navigation
  3. Review and edit your Tax Document Delivery Options
  4. Download and print your 1099/W-2
  5. You may also view past years’ documents 

Retiree Benefit Payments | ORBIT Help (8)

Tax Withholding Preferences

To change your withholding, complete the following steps:

  1. Log in to ORBIT. If you have not used ORBIT before, you will need to register by clicking on the Register button on the same page. To complete the registration, you need to supply your Social Security number, birth date, and the net pay from your most recent benefit payment
  2. Once logged in, click on the tab “Maintain Tax Withholding Election” tile on the Retiree “Welcome” screen
  3. Click on the link “Change your current tax withholding for this account?” near the bottom of the page
  4. Enter the changes you would like to make and click “Save”
  5. If you are in the process of applying for benefits, and using the Retirement application, you will be making your tax withholding elections as a part of the process

Retiree Benefit Payments | ORBIT Help (9)

After you have officially retired and are receiving monthly benefits, you will be subject to the reemployment provisions described below if you perform work in any capacity for an employer under the same Retirement System from which you retired. These provisions may require you to work under an earnings limitation or to re-enroll as a contributing member of the Retirement System.

You will be subject to reemployment provisions based on the nature of the work you perform for an employer under the same Retirement System from which you retired, regardless of your job classification or your technical employment status (which may include being assigned to work for the employer by a private company such as a temporary staffing agency).

In ORBIT, you can view your annual Return-To-Work allowance.

  1. Log in to ORBIT
  2. Click “View Earnable Allowance” in the left navigation
  3. Your annual earnable allowance for re-employment purposes is shown for the calendar year

For additional information, please see Return to work Laws on the Retirement Division website. 

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Retiree Benefit Payments | ORBIT Help (2024)

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