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A separation occurs when a University SHRA employee resigns from State employment, retires, is involuntarily separated, or dies. This policy details the provisions and procedures for the following types of separation:

  • resignation
  • retirement
  • death, or separation while on medical leave


This policy applies to employees who voluntarily leave their employment with the University. It also serves as a resource in the case of the death of an employee.

Types of Separation

This policy details the provisions and procedures for employees who resign, retire or die or who separate while on medical leave.

Refer to the State’s Separation Policy for information on the following types of separations:

  • dismissal for cause
  • probationary dismissal (also see Disciplinary Processes)
  • voluntary resignation without notice
  • unavailability and exhaustion of leave

Refer to the Layoff policy for information on separation by reduction in force.

Employees can end their employment with the State by submitting a resignation in writing to their supervisor or other appropriate member of management. Employees are generally expected to provide at least a two-week notice prior to their last day of work.

Employees participating in a State or University retirement program apply for retirement through Benefits Services in the Office of Human Resources (OHR). The effective date of retirement is always the first calendar day of a month.

Benefit Services recommends that employees

  • submit applications to appropriate retirement programs at least 120 days prior to their planned retirement date in order to ensure timely payment of the first retirement check
  • notify management of their intent to retire at least 30 days prior to their planned retirement date

Retiring employees should refer to the TSERS Handbook for more information on the State Retirement System and Mandatory Retirement Plan Decision Guide for Optional Retirement Plan information. For more information or assistance with the retirement process, employees should contact the OHR Benefits Consultant assigned to work with their department.

Additional information can also be found on the OHR Retirement Programs page.

The OHR Benefits Consultant can provide assistance in securing University benefits, entitlements and final compensation when an employee dies. Once notified of the death of an employee, either by the department or family member, payout (including eligible leave and longevity) is made to the deceased employee’s estate. Payment is released to the estate’s administrator or executor, or, in the absence of an administrator or executor, to the clerk of superior court of the deceased employee’s county of residence.

Separation Date

When an employee resigns, the separation date is the last day the employee works.

  • If an employee gives notice of a resignation then becomes ill, management has the discretion to allow an employee to exhaust sick/vacation leave through to the resignation date originally indicated. The separation date will be the resignation date.
  • Management also has the discretion to allow an employee to use vacation or other leave/paid time off prior to the set separation date only if the employee returns to work status on or before the separation date.

When an employee retires, the separation date is the last day the employee works or the last day of paid leave if the employee chooses to exhaust vacation leave prior to retirement.

If an employee is exhausting approved sick/vacation leave for medical reasons and then resigns or dies before returning to work, the separation date is the date the employee resigns or dies.

Separations must be processed through ConnectCarolina in time to meet payroll deadlines to ensure complete and proper approval and processing prior to generating the employee’s final paycheck.

Leave Payout Provisions

The leave payout provisions below are just an overview and apply only to employees separating from University employment for reasons described in this policy (resignation, retirement, death or separation while on medical leave). All leave payout provisions are detailed in the Leave, Paid time off, Payouts and Transfers policy.

An employee’s total final leave payment is subject to retirement contributions for full-time employees and is charged to the budget(s) from which the employee’s salary is paid.

The University may deduct any debts owed to the University from an employee’s final paycheck (for example, overdrawn leave at the time of separation).

Employees receive a lump sum payout for accumulated vacation leave, not to exceed 240 hours (prorated for part-time).

  • Any vacation leave in excess of 240 hours or the prorated equivalent shall be forfeited.
  • Employees have the option to donate their excess leave to the voluntary shared leave program prior to their separation date. See the Voluntary Shared Leave policy for details.
Employees receive a lump sum payout for eligible accumulated bonus leave.
Employees receive prorated longevity payment for the portion of the service year for which they were employed.

Sick leave is not paid out.

Sick leave will be reinstated if an employee returns to service with a State agency or University, local government, public school, community college or technical institute within five years after separating from SHRA employment.

Accumulated sick leave is creditable toward State retirement service.

  • For each 20 days of unused sick leave, one month of credit is allowed, and one more month is allowed for any part of 20 days remaining.
  • Unused sick leave is creditable toward State retirement service if the employee applies and qualifies for retirement within five years of separation.


HR Representatives process separations according to the “Entering a Termination” procedure in the ConnectCarolina Actions for HR Representatives handbook.

Reason For Policy

This policy describes the different types of voluntary employee separation and the procedures for ensuring employees receive appropriate benefits in the event of resignation, retirement or death.

Roles & Responsibilities

Department Management: ensures that HR Representative is notified in a timely manner so that separation can be processed in ConnectCarolina

Employee: submits resignation to supervisor, generally at least two weeks prior to anticipated separation date; submits appropriate retirement applications at least 120 days prior to anticipated separation date (recommended); notifies management of intent to retire, preferably at least 30 days prior to anticipated separation date.

HR Representative: processes separation in ConnectCarolina