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Employee Benefit Options

 
In addition to wages, New Hanover County offers an excellent benefit package.  Benefits are available to regular employees who work at least 50% of full-time.  Costs are computed on a pro rata basis.  Benefits are not provided for temporary positions.  This information is a brief overview of the programs offered by New Hanover County and is not intended to be used as a document for administering benefits.

Group Banking Services
The convenience of banking online can now be yours through our partnership with Bank of America or Wachovia.  Free of charge, Online Banking is a great part of your banking benefits package.  And if you have your paycheck deposited automatically into your Bank of America checking account, you can take advantage of a new special offer – Pay and receive bills online free for the first six months*.
 
Wachovia at work offers discounted services, complimentary tools, and special offers that can help you save money while managing your finances.
 
Online Banking is a convenient way to manage your finances – you can log on anywhere you have Internet access.  View account balances, get detailed transaction information and transfer money between your Bank of America accounts.  Plus, when you add Bill Pay, you can also receive and pay bills online.
 
To enroll in Online Banking or to find out more about the banking services available to you through Bank of America, click here.
 
To enroll in Online Banking or to find out more about the banking services available to you through Wachovia, click here.
 
We hope you enjoy this new benefit and look forward to offering you additional benefits in the future.
 
*Online Banking is always free of a monthly fee. Bill Pay, an optional feature of Online Banking, is free for the first six months. After that, it’s free for Advantage and Money Manager account holders, Premier Banking and Private Bank clients. Otherwise, it’s just $5.95 per month. Other account fees, such as cash advance or excess transaction fees, still apply.
Credit Unions
New Hanover County employees have three options depending on their assigned department.  All employees may join the Hanover Federal Credit Union.  Employees of the Social Services and Health Departments may join the State Employees' Credit Union.  Employees assigned to departments other than Social Services and Health may join the Local Government Employees’ Federal Credit Union which operates out of the State Employees' Credit Union.  To join, take your county identification as proof of employment to the credit union of your choice.
Dental
New Hanover currently offers dental coverage with Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC.  Employees may choose from Employee only; Employee/Child; Employee/Spouse; Employee/Children or Family coverage.
 
Click here for the Blue Cross Blue Shield website.  Click here to read about the BCBC of NC Dental highlights for New Hanover County.
Direct Deposit
Direct deposit is mandatory for all "regular" employees.
Employee Assistance Program
New Hanover County provides an Employee Assistance program and work-life services from ComPsych The Guidance Resource Company.  This employer-sponsored benefit is available at no cost to our employees and their immediate family.  To access services, call 1-877-327-4753 and identify yourself as a New Hanover County government employee.  Effective August 1, 2007, the following benefits are available, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year:
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) - Complete referral assistance to in-person emotional counseling support, helping you and your family members address an array of personal difficulties, including stress, anxiety, depression, family/marital relationships, substance abuse, difficulties at work, etc.

  • FamilySource - Can help you sort out issues like being a new parent, locating a quality caregiver for an elder, sending your child to college, choosing a contractor, finding pet care, and more.  FamilySource will provide expert information and identify specific resources and referrals to help you make your decision.

  • LegalConnect - Provides telephone access to licensed attorneys for information about any legal concern you may be facing, whether it is regarding a home purchase, estate issues, or any legal issue.  If your legal matter requires in-person assistance, you are eligible to receive a free half-hour consultation with the ComPsych selected, in-network attorney, in your area.  After the consultation, you are eligible to receive a 25% discount on his or her customary legal fees thereafter.

  • FinancialConnect - Allows you to consult directly with a financial professional by telephone.  Call anytime for tools and information regarding your specific financial questions on:  budgeting, tax issues, credit cards and loans, investment resources and other money matters.

  • EstateGuidance - Now with EstateGuidance, you have the opportunity to create a will at no cost.  This benefit offers you the ease and simplicity of online will preparation-right on your PC!  By creating an online will you can do the following:  Name a guardian for your children, name an executor(s) to settle your estate, specify funeral and burial wishes, and make revisions at no cost for up to 30 days.

ComPsych is a leading provider of EAP services in the country, and the EAP is strictly confidential, as mandated by law.  Please take advantage of this benefit to help you and your family manage any personal challenges in your life.  To view the Employee Assistance Program Guide, click here.

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Flexible Spending Accounts
There are two optional programs offered through the Laymon Group that allow the employee to save pre-tax dollars for unreimbursed medical expenses and dependent care expenses.  To see a list of providers participating in the Laymon Group Direct Pay Program, click here.  To print flexible spending account reimbursement forms, click here.
 
Prudential 401(k) Retirement Program, Nationwide Retirement Solutions Deferred Compensation Program, and AXA Advisors.
Under these programs, the amount contributed is payroll-deducted, and earnings are tax sheltered. With both programs, employees may borrow against their balance. There are numerous investment options. For participating sworn law enforcement officers, the County makes a contribution of 5% of gross wages to the 401(k) plan.  For more information about the 401(k), click here or call toll free at 1-866-NCPlans (1-866-627-5267).  For more information about deferred compensation through Nationwide Retirement Solutions, click here. For more information about AXA Advisors, click here.
Holidays
Employees assigned to regular positions, who on the day preceding and following the holiday were at work or in an approved leave with pay status, are eligible for holiday pay.  Employees assigned to work schedules other than the standard 2080 hours per year receive holiday pay on a prorated basis.
 
For this year's Holiday schedule, click here.
Optional Insurance

The county offers a variety of optional insurance programs through payroll deduction.

  • After-tax:  Short-term disability, term life, and universal life
  • Pre-tax:  Cancer, vision

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Retirement

Employees begin participating in the North Carolina Local Governmental Retirement System at the end of their probationary period.  Participation is mandatory.  The employee contributes 6% of gross wages to the retirement program.  The County also contributes, based on guidelines provided by the Retirement System.  Click here to link to the Retirement System's website.
 
For the Local Governmental Employees' Handbook, click here.
 
For the Law Enforcement Officers' Handbook, click here.
 
Long Term Disability
Regular employees are covered on the first day of the month following 60 days of employment.  The coverage is provided at no charge to the employee.  If an employee becomes disabled, the first 90 days are considered the waiting period and are not compensable under the plan.  On the 91st day, the disabled employee would be eligible to receive benefits at 60% of base salary for up to two years, depending upon the disability.  Benefits would accrue for 30 days, and the employee would receive the first check at the end of the 30 day period (or approximately 120 days after employee became disabled).  Thereafter, benefits are paid every 30 days until the employee returns to work or the benefit period is exhausted, whichever comes first.
Medical
Since August 1, 2005, New Hanover County has been self-insured.  The Blue Options plan administered by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of North Carolina is the county’s plan of choice.  Blue Options is a PPO plan with in-network co pays for office visits, prescriptions drugs, and urgent care and emergency room services when using network providers.  The plan has in-network and out-of network deductibles for other services. The employee contributes toward the monthly premium.
 
Employees may choose from Employee only; Employee/child; Employee/children; Employee/spouse; or Family coverage.  To view the benefit booklet, click here.  To connect to the Blue Cross website, click here.
 
 
 
TRICARE Supplement
For New Hanover County employees who are also retired from the military, New Hanover County offers a second choice in medical coverage.  Premiums are paid by the employee.   For more information about TRICARE, click here. 
WAY On-Site Health Clinic
New Hanover County provides an on-site health clinic which regular employees may use free of charge.  The program is designed to assist employees in identifying and treating chronic diseases, coordinate care, and treat episodic conditions.  Employees must participate in an initial health assessment in order to participate in the program.  The clinic is open Monday-Thursday, 7:30 AM-4:00 PM and Friday from 7:30 AM-11:30 AM.  Employees may call 910.798.7171 (Human Resources) to schedule an appointment. 
 
Miscellaneous Programs
In addition to the programs and policies listed above, New Hanover County also provides the following:
  • Free flu and tetanus immunizations
  • Discount Prescription Program (through the NHC Health Department)
  • Up to 16 hours per year leave for blood donations

Community Eye Care Providers

Leave Information
New Hanover County has established policies which relate to the following leave types.  Please refer to Article VII of the personnel policy and locate specific information.
  • Paid personal leave
  • Paid sick leave
  • Family and medical leave (FMLA)
  • Paid bereavement leave
  • Military leave
  • Paid civil leave
  • Paid administrative leave
  • Paid community services leave
  • Membership in Sick Leave Bank Program
Social Security Contribution (FICA)
New Hanover County matches your contribution for these benefits provided by the Federal Government.
Training and Promotions
New Hanover County is committed to providing training opportunities to its employees to enhance their abilities on the job. Various professional and personal development courses are available. It is also the County's desire to create career opportunities for its employees when possible. Promotional vacancies are publicized in the various departments, and applicants are assessed on the basis of their qualifications and work record - without regard to age, sex, race, color, religion, national origin or disability.
Workers' Compensation Insurance
New Hanover County provides required Workers' Compensation Insurance for on-the-job injuries and illnesses.  Legal/Risk Management oversees workers' compensation.  For inquiries, you may contact the county safety officer at (910) 798-7037.  
 
*Benefits are subject to the approval and renewal of the Board of Commissioners on a yearly basis.  Questions regarding the benefit package may be addressed to Human Resources, Benefit Section, at (910) 798-7178.