Refunds Online

Refunds Online Overview 

As a contributing member who is no longer employed with a participating employer, you are eligible to receive a refund for the contributions you have made each month to the North Carolina Retirement Systems and 4% interest on those contributions.  

The most efficient way to apply for a return of contributions you have made to the North Carolina Retirement Systems is online. The Refunds Online application is located in your secure ORBIT account. You may apply for a refund after you have left employment.

Simply log in to your account, click Refunds Online in the left navigation and begin the guided process to receive a return of your contributions. 

Refunds Online guides you through each step of the process.  

  • Your identity is verified through your ORBIT account, so a notary is not required.  
  • You can easily upload additional requested information and documents. 
  • A status page keeps you informed of where your application is in the process.  
    Keep in mind, that you will only see a status update when a change or request is made. 

If you withdraw your contributions (receive a refund), you will forfeit all current or future rights to your retirement service credit and any  

  • pending or accrued benefits, including any state-paid health coverage, if applicable, provided by the Retirement System, and/or 
  • disability benefits through Retirement System and/or the Disability Income Plan of North Carolina. 

If you are vested (5 or more years of retirement service credit), you may be  

  • forfeiting your potential monthly retirement benefit for yourself, once your age qualifies you, as well as any survivor and/or beneficiary benefits for all serviced earned up to the time your application is approved. 

By law, no refund checks can be issued until 60 days after your effective date of termination. 

Your refund application will be processed AFTER your application has been correctly completed and all necessary information and documentation has been received from you and/or your employer. 

The Retirement Systems will accept the paper application – Form 5 (Withdrawing Your Retirement Service Credit and Contributions). However, there are some additional steps in completing a paper form that may increase processing time.  

  • You will need to have the form correctly completed, with accompanying documentation, and notarized prior to sending in all paperwork.  
  • If you choose to mail the form and documentation, you may experience delivery delays. We typically recommend allowing 7-10 business days for receipt of mailed forms and documents.