§ 143‑166.41.  Special separation allowance.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, every sworn law‑enforcement officer as defined by G.S. 135‑1(11c) or G.S. 143‑166.30(a)(4) employed by a State department, agency, or institution who qualifies under this section shall receive, beginning in the month in which he retires on a basic service retirement under the provisions of G.S. 135‑5(a), an annual separation allowance equal to eighty‑five hundredths percent (0.85%) of the annual equivalent of the base rate of compensation most recently applicable to him for each year of creditable service. The allowance shall be paid in equal installments on the payroll frequency used by the employer. To qualify for the allowance the officer shall:

(1) Have (i) completed 30 or more years of creditable service or, (ii) have attained 55 years of age and completed five or more years of creditable service; and

(2) Not have attained 62 years of age; and

(3) Have completed at least five years of continuous service as a law enforcement officer as herein defined immediately preceding a service retirement. Any break in the continuous service required by this subsection because of disability retirement or disability salary continuation benefits shall not adversely affect an officer's qualification to receive the allowance, provided the officer returns to service within 45 days after the disability benefits cease and is otherwise qualified to receive the allowance.

(a1) Repealed by Session Laws 2014‑88, s. 3(j), effective July 30, 2014.

(b) As used in this section, "creditable service" means the service for which credit is allowed under the retirement system of which the officer is a member, provided that at least fifty percent (50%) of the service is as a law enforcement officer as herein defined or as a probation/parole officer as defined in G.S. 135‑1(17a).

(c) Payment to a retired officer under the provisions of this section shall cease at the first of:

(1) The death of the officer;

(2) The last day of the month in which the officer attains 62 years of age; or

(3) The first day of reemployment by any State department, agency, or institution, except that this subdivision does not apply to an officer returning to State employment in a position exempt from the North Carolina Human Resources Act in an agency other than the agency from which that officer retired.

(d) This section does not affect the benefits to which an individual may be entitled from State, federal, or private retirement systems. The benefits payable under this section shall not be subject to any increases in salary or retirement allowances that may be authorized by the General Assembly for employees of the State or retired employees of the State.

(e) The head of each State department, agency, or institution shall determine the eligibility of employees for the benefits provided herein.

(f) The Director of the Budget may authorize from time to time the transfer of funds within the budgets of each State department, agency, or institution necessary to carry out the purposes of this Article. These funds shall be taken from those appropriated to the department, agency, or institution for salaries and related fringe benefits.

(g) The head of each State department, agency, or institution shall make the payments set forth in subsection (a) to those persons certified under subsection (e) from funds available under subsection (f). (1983 (Reg. Sess., 1984), c. 1034, s. 104; 1985, c. 479, s. 143; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 1014, ss. 51, 52; 2002‑126, s. 28.14; 2007‑69, s. 1; 2011‑232, s. 9; 2013‑382, s. 9.1(c); 2014‑88, s. 3(j); 2017‑57, s. 35.19B(b).)