NHRMC Retention and Resiliency Fund Will Support Team Through Transition & Beyond

October 30, 2020
people graphic

NHRMC employees will receive a range of financial benefits when the planned sale of NHRMC from New Hanover County to Novant Health is complete. Increased contributions to pensions, transition awards, and annual retention bonuses are all part of a plan to reward and recognize active NHRMC employees at closing.

“Doing what is best for our team has always been extremely important to us,” said NHRMC President and CEO John Gizdic. “This fund helps bolster the great professional opportunities ahead with Novant Health with resources to help our team members now and into their retirements.”

The investment in the NHRMC team will come from a $200 million team retention and resiliency fund New Hanover County Commissioners approved as part of the sale to recognize and reward NHRMC employees. The fund comes from part of NHRMC’s estimated $400 million in operating reserves that would go to the County when the sale is complete. Commissioners who approved the allocation expressed a desire to ensure members of the NHRMC team are supported through the transition and beyond. They recognized the extraordinary work NHRMC staff members have done to care for the community during difficult times.

Details of the initial allocations from the fund were unanimously approved Tuesday by the NHRMC Board of Trustees.

“The Board of Trustees and County Commissioners recognize the importance of our employees in advancing care in our region,” Gizdic said. “I am grateful for their dedication to this process and for their commitment to our team.”

NHRMC Pension Benefit

NHRMC wanted to ensure that no employee is negatively impacted from the required move from a pension plan, which is dependent on NHRMC being county owned, to a traditional retirement plan. While all earned pension funds are secure and will be available for staff and retirees through their retirements, NHRMC decided to provide extra funding for all current pension-eligible staff.

NHRMC calculated the likely impact of the pension change on employees based on their age, credited years of service in the pension plan, and income to determine how much money was needed for each group to likely come out at least equal, or better off, than they would have been if we remained in the pension plan. Based on the calculations, pension eligible NHRMC staff will receive between two and eight extra years of credited service for their pension accounts.

Age Service >$50,000 <$50,000
Under 45 Under 15 2 5
Under 45 15+ 3 6
45+ Under 15 4 7
45+ 15+ 5 8

“This extraordinary commitment helps our team with what has been one of the biggest concerns since the outset of discussions around a possible change of ownership,” said Michelle Adamolekun, Chief Human Resources Officer.  “We are thrilled to be able to not only ease that anxiety, but also make things better.”

Transition Award

NHRMC’s team has been through an extraordinary past year and will be called to help ensure NHRMC’s transition to a new organization is a success in the months and years ahead. To recognize that effort and thank everyone for their hard work, NHRMC will give each active payroll employee who is with the organization on the day of closing a transition award. The amount is based on each employee’s budgeted FTE or worked FTE for the 12 months prior to the award – whichever is greater.


Award at closing
Less applicable taxes

.05 to .399


.4 to .799


.8 to 1.0


Retention Bonus

Our way forward to a stronger future as a newly integrated system is dependent on keeping the great team we have today with us for many years to come. To that end, every employee who is with NHRMC on the first day of integration after closing will receive a $500 retention bonus on that anniversary for each year, they stay with us, up to ten years – regardless of their FTE.

Timing and More Information

The bonuses, awards and pension credits are tied to the completion of the sale to Novant Health. The agreement is still going through regulatory review for approval and no confirmation or timeline is set.

A pension benefit statement for NHRMC pension eligible employees will be sent out before the end of the year. Estimates will include credited years of service in the pension, without the added years of service credit that would come after closing. 

The transition award and retention bonuses will apply to all active members of the NHRMC team, including employees of NHRMC, PMH, and NHRMC Physician Group, regardless of when they started with us.  The pension award will only apply to those whose pensions are impacted by the change of ownership. Pender Memorial Hospital’s employee pensions will not change because the ownership of the hospital doesn’t change from Pender County (though it will still be part of the new system through a management agreement.)

“Our system is strong because of the people who work here and dedicate themselves to serving our community,” said John Gizdic. “These award and retention bonuses and the extra years we can put toward employee pensions are our way of thanking them and showing we value their role in charting our way forward and doing even more to advance the health of our region.”