Employee Benefits

Judicial Branch employees are eligible for the North Carolina State Government benefits package.

North Carolina Judicial Branch Seal

 

Judicial Branch employees are eligible for the North Carolina State Government benefits package. The package consists of a comprehensive collection of benefit options including medical coverage, defined benefit retirement, supplemental retirement, flexible benefits, supplemental insurance, and other miscellaneous benefits.

 

Employment with the Judicial Branch (most positions) includes generous paid time off.

Vacation Leave
Employees receive 14 days of paid vacation leave per year, to start. The amount of annual vacation leave increases with years of service according to the following:

Years of Service Days of Leave
Less than 5 14 Days Per Year
5 but less than 10 17 Days Per Year
10 but less than 15 20 Days Per Year
15 but less than 20 23 Days Per Year
20 or more 26 Days Per Year

Paid Holiday Schedule
The Judicial Branch observes 12 paid holidays per year. Here's the current paid holiday schedule.

Community Service Leave
Three days of leave are awarded per year which can be used to volunteer in support of schools, communities, and non-profit organizations.

Sick leave
Employees accrue 12 days of sick leave per year. Unused sick leave accrues indefinitely.

State Health Plan

The Judicial Branch participates in the State Health Plan. The plan offers a choice of two Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans available to permanent employees who work at least 20 hours per week:

  • 80/20 Plan
  • 70/30 Plan

The State Health Plan contracts with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) for use of their network of providers and hospitals.

The 70/30 Plan and 80/20 Plan vary in monthly premiums and out-of-pocket expenses on co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles. Both plans offer wellness premium credits whereby employees can reduce their monthly premium by completing wellness activities. Wellness activities are described in the plan benefit booklets and includes a wellness credit for those who attest to being tobacco-free or enroll in a tobacco cessation program. Wellness premium credits apply only to the employee premium.

For those working at least 30 hours per week in a permanent or a time-limited position, the State pays the most of the cost of the premium for employees enrolled who attest to being tobacco-free (or enroll in a cessation program). The employee pays the cost to cover dependents under all three plans.

Employees working 20-29 hours per week are eligible for the State sponsored health coverage but are responsible for paying the full cost of coverage (employee cost, dependent cost, employer cost). Exception: Magistrates are eligible for health coverage paid by the State, regardless of weekly work hours. The magistrate is responsible for the cost of covering dependents.

Visit the State Health Plan for additional health plan details.

Teacher and State Employees' Retirement System

Employees become a member of the Teachers' and State Employees Retirement System (TSERS) on the date of hire. Eligible employees are those that are permanent and working at least 30 hours per week for the State of North Carolina. Once you enroll in the Retirement System, six percent (6%) of your gross monthly salary will be deducted from your check on a tax-deferred basis. This is a mandatory contribution. The State may also contribute a percentage of all members’ salaries to pay for benefits for you and other members. Under current law, you become vested after five years of membership. This means that if you work until the qualified age/service requirement or separate from employment and leave your contributions in the system, you will be eligible to draw a retirement benefit. Once you attain certain age and service requirements and wish to retire, you are eligible to apply for monthly retirement benefits. You will be eligible to receive a reduced benefit at age 50 with 20 years of creditable service, or at age 60 with 5 years of creditable service. You may retire with an unreduced benefit at age 65 with 5 years of creditable service, at age 60 with 25 years of creditable service, or at any age with 30 years of creditable service.

If you leave the System for any reason other than retirement or death, you can receive a refund of your contributions or leave your contributions in the System and keep all creditable service you earned to that date.

Enrollment into the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System is mandatory. Once your first contribution has been made, be sure to designate a beneficiary following the instructions on the My NC Retirement website. If you have any questions, please contact your Benefits Specialist.

For more information on TSERS, including the TSERS retirement handbook and other resources, go to the My NC Retirement website.

Consolidated Judicial Retirement System

If you are Justice, Judge, District Attorney, Clerk of Superior Court, Capital Defender, Juvenile Defender, Appellate Defender, Public Defender, Indigent Defense Services Executive Director, or the Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, you are a member of the Consolidated Judicial Retirement System of North Carolina. The employee’s contribution under this system is six percent (6%) of his/her salary.

Once you attain certain age and service requirements and you retire, you are eligible to apply for monthly retirement benefits. You will be eligible to receive a reduced benefit at age 50 with five years of creditable service. You may retire with an unreduced benefit at age 65 with at least five years of creditable service or after age 50 with 24 years of creditable service.

For more information on the Consolidated Judicial Retirement System (CJRS), including the CJRS retirement handbook and other resources, go to the My NC Retirement website.

NCFlex

The NCFlex program offers pre-tax benefit plans available to state employees, and is administered by the Office of State Human Resources. You may cover your eligible dependents under certain plans. NCFlex offers the following benefits:

Dental Plan
High Option and Low Option plans are available. Both options allow you to select the dentist of your choice. The High Option pays a higher percentage of costs and covers preventive, basic, major and orthodontia services. The Low Option pays a smaller percentage of costs and covers preventive and basic services only.

Vision Care Plan
Three plan options are available. The Basic Plan is a full service plan covering examinations and materials. It offers an allowance for frames every two years. The Enhanced Plan offers a higher allowance for frames and offers the allowance annually, as well as some other differences in reimbursements and copays. Both plans offer in-network and non-network benefits. Using an in-network provider will result in less expense for you. The plan also offers a Core Wellness Exam available to employees (only) at no cost except for a $20 copay.

Critical Illness Plan
Critical Illness is administered by Allstate and complements your existing medical coverage, but does not replace it. The coverage pays a lump-sum payment when a covered person experiences a covered condition. You may use the lump-sum payment as you see fit to help keep your finances on track if you experience a covered condition.

Cancer Insurance
The Cancer plan includes three plan options and two coverage levels to choose from depending on how much coverage you need. You can choose the High Option, Low Option, or Premium Option. These plans help pay for expenses related to cancer and 29 other specified diseases. All three options offer the same type of benefits and/or services. However, in most cases, the Premium Option pays a higher percentage of benefits as compared to the Low Option and High Option plans.

Core Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D)
Coverage in the amount of $10,000 is provided at no cost to employees. It can pay a benefit if you suffer a loss as the result of a covered accident while you are insured under the plan. It also pays a benefit if you suffer certain disabling injuries while covered. It includes accidents on or off the job. The coverage is in addition to any other coverage your may have under any other insurance policy. While it is provided at no cost, employees must enroll to receive the coverage.

Voluntary Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D Insurance)
This coverage pays a benefit if you suffer a loss as the result of a covered accident while you are insured under the plan. It also pays a benefit if you suffer certain dismemberment injuries while covered. You select the amount of coverage you want up to $500,000. The coverage is effective 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It includes accidents on or off the job.

Voluntary Group Term Life Insurance
This coverage pays a benefit to your beneficiary(ies) if you die while covered under the policy. This is strictly a term life insurance policy that provides a benefit if you die. There is no accumulated cash value. Your monthly premium is based on your age and the coverage amount you elect
from $20,000 to $500,000.

Health Care Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA)
With this account, you are reimbursed with the pre-tax dollars you set aside to pay for eligible medical, dental or other health care expenses not covered by your insurance plan. You may contribute up to $2,550 per year in this account.

Dependent Day Care Flexible Spending Account (DDCFSA)
Similar to the HCFSA, you are reimbursed for child care or dependent adult care expenses that allow you to continue to work. If you are married, DDCFSA expenses are reimbursed if you and your spouse work or attend school full-time. You may contribute up to $5,000 per year in this account.

TRICARE Supplement Plan
The TRICARE Supplement Plan pays a benefit for costs not covered by TRICARE. If you currently have TRICARE Standard/Extra, Prime, or TRICARE Reserve Select (TRS) offered to the Military Community, you may be eligible for the TRICARE Supplement Plan. The plans work together to maximize benefits and minimize out of pocket expenses. There is no waiting period for pre-existing conditions and there are no deductibles.

Supplemental Insurance

The Judicial Branch Insurance Committee selects insurance carriers to sell supplemental insurance products to Judicial Branch employees. Unlike the "pre-tax" options found in the NCFlex program, the supplemental insurance products are "post-tax" plans. The following supplemental insurance products are available to employees as of January 1, 2018. To be eligible for all supplemental insurance, except for disability insurance, you must be a permanent or grant funded Judicial Branch employee working a minimum of 20 hours per week. Employees must be actively working 30 or more hours per week to enroll in the disability insurance plan.

Accident Insurance
This product is offered by AFLAC. Accident Insurance is designed to cover out of pocket expenses you may have after an accident. Plan benefits include wellness benefit, telemedicine, initial accident treatment, hospital admission and confinement, in-patient and out-patient surgery, ambulance, physical and alternative therapy, dismemberment, and much more. Plans are offered with guaranteed issue with no waiting period before utilizing benefits. AFLAC’s telemedicine benefit is available to all policy holders. Telemedicine allows those covered to call a toll-free number or go online to connect with a board-certified health provider at any time for a $25 fee. When you have a health issue, you can call or log on to request a provider consultation. Telemedicine can be used to fill and refill prescriptions. Coverage is available for spouses and children. Refer to the plan brochure and rate sheet for additional information.  To enroll, follow the online enrollment instructions, contact Jim Lawrence at (919) 846-0768, or send email to jimaflac@aol.com.

Cancer Insurance
This product is offered by Colonial Life Insurance Company. Cancer Insurance helps provide financial protection through a variety of benefits. Colonial's plan includes a wellness benefit for an annual cancer screening and pays a set benefit amount for surgical procedures (in-patient and out-patient), hospital confinement, hospice, radiation, chemotherapy, experimental treatment, lodging, transportation and anti-nausea medication. In addition to the cancer insurance plan, employees may sign up for group critical care insurance, a plan that pays a benefit if diagnosed with a covered specified disease. Coverage is also available for spouses and children. For more information call (888) 732-6248, send an email, or visit the Colonial Life Website.

Disability Insurance
This product is offered by Colonial Life Insurance Company. The intent of this plan is to provide income replacement for employees who become disabled and cannot perform their job duties. If a covered accident or sickness prevents you from earning a paycheck, disability insurance can provide a monthly benefit to help cover ongoing expenses. Participants select a monthly benefit amount up to 60% of annual income for 3, 6, 12, or 24 month benefit periods. For more information call (888) 732-6248, send an email, or visit the Colonial Life Website.

Hospitalization Insurance
This product is offered by Transamerica and sold by Pierce Insurance Agency. Going to the hospital can be extremely expensive. This plan is designed to alleviate some of those costs and to fill gaps in the State Health Plan’s medical coverage. Plan benefits include telemedicine, daily in-hospital indemnity benefit, hospital admission, ambulance benefit, surgical benefit, and anesthesia benefit. Telemedicine provides a telephonic physician visit without a co-pay. A plan participant can be diagnosed by a licensed physician for common ailments by phone and get prescriptions sent directly to a local pharmacy. Coverage is also available to spouses and dependent children. Call (800) 421-3142 extension 202 for more information or visit the Pierce Insurance Agency Website.

Whole/Universal Life Insurance
These two permanent life products are underwritten by Transamerica and sold by Pierce Insurance Agency. Whole life is a traditional cash value life insurance policy. Premiums remain level and interest is guaranteed throughout the policy's lifetime. Universal life is a flexible policy that accumulates cash value. Both life options include a unique Long Term Care option and have very competitive pricing for employee, spouse, children and grandchildren. Call (800) 421-3142 extension 202 for more information or visit the Pierce Insurance Agency Website.

Term Life Insurance
This product is offered by Colonial Life Insurance Company. Term life covers an insured person for a certain period of time, i.e., the "term" that is specified in the policy. Employees can elect $20,000 up to $250,000 benefit amounts with guaranteed level premiums for 10, 20, or 30-year terms. There is no pre-existing conditions clause with the term life plan. Plus, policies are sold with guaranteed issue for employees enrolling within 30 days of hire. Coverage is also available for spouses and children. For more information call (888) 732-6248, send an email, or visit the Colonial Life Website.

Supplemental Retirement

The State of North Carolina offers two Supplemental Retirement plans to provide additional ways for you to save money for retirement. Participation is voluntary and does not replace your mandatory 6% contribution to your State Retirement Plan.

Both plans are now provided by Prudential Retirement, administered by the N.C. Department of State Treasurer and sponsored by the State of North Carolina.

The NC 401(k) Plan is a defined contribution plan, which means you may contribute a certain amount to the Plan, plus you get to choose how you want to invest your money based on your unique retirement goals and how many years you have until you retire.

The 457 Plan is a governmental 457(b) deferred compensation retirement savings plan that allows eligible employees to supplement any existing retirement and pension benefits by saving and investing pre-tax dollars through voluntary salary deferral. Contributions and any earnings on contributions grow tax-deferred until money is withdrawn.

Distributions are usually taken at retirement when many participants are typically receiving less income, and may be in a lower income tax bracket than while working. Distributions are subject to ordinary income tax.

Additional information is available online or by calling Prudential Retirement at (866) 627-5267.

Other Benefits

North Carolina Prepaid Legal Services
The North Carolina Prepaid Legal Services Corporation was created by the North Carolina State Bar to provide for the prepayment of legal services on a low-cost basis. A few of the benefits include office interviews, will and trust preparation, real estate services, and domestic relation issues. If you have questions or need further information contact a prepaid legal representative at (800) 232-4936.

National College Savings Program (529 plan)
North Carolina's National College Savings Program (529 plan) was established by the State of North Carolina to enable residents of any state to invest funds to pay for higher education expenses. Parents, grandparents, relatives, friends can open an account for a person of any age, even a newborn. You can even open an account for yourself. You can contribute the amount of money that works best for you. Monthly contributions can be set up through payroll deductions. Occasional contributions are also welcome.

You can select from a variety of investment options that cover a range of strategies, from conservative to aggressive. N.C. taxpayers may qualify for a tax deduction for the contributions to NC's 529 plan. Your earnings grow tax-free. There are NO federal taxes or, for N.C. residents, state taxes on your earnings.

The beneficiary can use the funds for virtually any college anywhere. The beneficiary can also use the funds for expenses that include tuition, fees, room, board, books, and supplies and equipment required for enrollment.

For more information, please visit the College Foundation of North Carolina or call toll free at (800) 600-3453.

State Employees' Credit Union
The State Employees' Credit Union is a cooperative, non-profit financial institution owned and operated by and for the benefit of State employees. Membership is open to full-time and part-time employees, spouses and dependent children. The interest paid on regular passbook savings accounts and the interest rates charged on personal and mortgage loans are highly competitive in comparison to other financial institutions. Other services offered include financial counseling, checking accounts, travelers' checks, money orders, and governmental savings bonds. Details may be obtained from any local Credit Union office or at the SECU website.

Employee Organization
You may wish to join the State Employees' Association of N.C., Inc. (SEANC), the largest non-union organization in the nation. Annual dues may be paid directly or by payroll deduction. Contact the State Employees' Association of North Carolina, 419 North Harrington Street, Raleigh, NC 27611 at (919) 833-6436 or (800) 222-2758 for more information, or by accessing their website.

Benefits Eligibility

Employees of the North Carolina Judicial Branch have the opportunity to participate in an array of benefit offerings depending on employment status. The Benefits Eligibility Chart describes benefit eligibility by employment status.

Employment Eligibility Verification

The North Carolina Judicial Branch participates in E-Verify, an Internet-based system that compares information from an employee's Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility.