Retirement Preparation Aid

Retirement Notification

Notify your campus, college, or administrative unit of your intent to retire. Typically, you'll submit a written notice to your immediate supervisor and unit human resources representative. You do not need to include the Office of Human Resources (OHR) in this notification; OHR Total Compensation only needs you to submit a Continuation of Coverage form if you are continuing insurance coverage through the University. Some job classifications require a two-week notice to be eligible for vacation payout.

Impact of Retirement to Current Benefits

  • Medical, dental, and life insurance are in effect through the end of the month in which you last work.
  • Disability coverage and Flexible Spending Accounts are in effect through your last day of work.

Important Documents

Retiree Medical and Dental Insurance

As a retiree you have the option to continue your medical and dental insurance coverage through the University of Minnesota indefinitely, as long as you meet eligibility requirements and pay your premium. 

If you want to elect continued coverage, submit a Request for Continuation of Coverage form to Total Compensation up to two months before retirement and no later than 30 days after your last day of work.

  • This coverage is different from COBRA, which has an 18-month time limit (please note you will receive a COBRA notice; federal law requires that it be sent to everyone who has ended employment). If you choose to continue coverage through the University and submit a Continuation of Coverage form, you can disregard the COBRA paperwork.
  • Medical and dental coverage are independent of one another; a retiree could elect to continue coverage in one or the other, or both.
  • Any dependent who has coverage on your last day of work can also continue to be covered, but retirement is not a qualifying event to add dependents. Dependent coverage can only be added due to loss of group coverage, birth/adoption, or marriage.
  • At the time of retirement, you may select a different medical or dental plan (for example, from ACO to Elect/Essential); contact the medical or dental plan vendor for impacts of switching plans on annual deductible or annual plan maximums.
  • Retirees have an Open Enrollment period in November when they can switch between plans, but adding dependent coverage is not an option during Open Enrollment.
  • If you choose to not continue in the University retiree group, you cannot return at a future date.

Medical Insurance

Choose the right plan for your age group:

  • If you and your spouse are both under the age of 65, your spouse must enroll in the same plan as you.
  • If you are in different age groups—one is under age 65 and one is age 65 or over—you must select plans appropriate for your age group.
  • If you and your spouse are both age 65 or over, you must enroll with the same insurance company; however, one of you may enroll in Plan 1 and the other in Plan 2.

Medicare-Eligible Plans

Note: These plans require enrollment in Medicare. See below for Medicare enrollment steps. 

This applies to disabled participants with Medicare coverage or retirees and dependents age 65 and over. There are four insurance companies to choose from; each company offers a higher premium plan (Plan 1) and a lower premium plan (Plan 2). The higher premium plans generally have lower copays and lower coinsurance.

  • Refer to the Retiree Benefits Guide for plan comparisons and premium costs.
  • You can research plan specifics (like provider networks, travel coverage, and prescription formulary tiers) by visiting the insurance company websites or calling the insurance company directly; their contact information is listed in the Retiree Benefits Guide.
  • After submitting the Request for Continuation of Coverage form, each individual enrollee must complete an additional enrollment step with the insurance company before coverage will become effective:
    • If you choose a Blue Cross Blue Shield, HealthPartners, or UCare plan, they will mail you the enrollment form.
    • If you choose a Medica plan, Medica will make three phone call attempts to enroll you over the phone. If they do not reach you, they will mail an enrollment form.

Billing is monthly by the medical vendor.

Medicare Enrollment

  • Enroll in Medicare up to three months before the requested effective date.
  • Enroll online at medicare.gov or contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) at 800-772-1213 for individual questions or to make an appointment with an SSA representative.

Note: If you (or your spouse) have participated in a Health Savings Account (HSA), contact a tax professional to review enrollment timing for Medicare Part A.

You can go to the Senior Linkage Line site or call 800-333-2433 for help navigating Medicare decisions.

Non-Medicare-Eligible Plans

These plans apply to disabled participants without Medicare coverage or retirees and dependents under age 65. You can choose from plan options that are exactly the same as those available to active employees; however, retirees pay the full cost of the premium. 

  • Refer to the Retiree Benefits Guide for premium costs.
  • Submit the Continuation of Coverage form to indicate your selection; no additional enrollment paperwork is required.
  • You can continue using your existing Medica ID card; you will only receive a new ID card if you change plans or your demographic information changes.
  • On the under-65 plans, retirees can still participate in the Wellbeing Program to earn reduced premiums.

Billing is monthly by Medica.

Dental Insurance

You can choose from plan options that are exactly the same as those available to active employees; however, retirees pay the full cost of the premium. 

  • Refer to the Retiree Benefits Guide for plan comparisons and premium costs.
  • Submit the Continuation of Coverage form to indicate your selection; no additional enrollment paperwork is required.
  • The earliest the University notifies Delta Dental of your enrollment in retiree coverage is the last week of the month in which your coverage ends; since they bill quarterly, you may not receive your first bill for several months.
  • You can continue using your existing Delta Dental ID card; you will only receive a new ID card if you change plans or your demographic information changes.

Billing is quarterly by Delta Dental.

Life Insurance 

You have the option to continue group life insurance policies that are in effect at the time of your retirement for yourself or your dependents. 

  • Policy details and rates are available on the University’s COBRA Continuation of Coverage webpage.
  • You may elect to continue all or a portion of your current coverage.
  • The maximum period for continuation is either 18 months or until covered by other group coverage, whichever occurs first.
  • After 18 months, coverage may be converted to an individual whole life policy or a term life portability policy without evidence of good health if application is made within 31 days; however premiums will likely increase to reflect those of an individual policy.

Billing is monthly by 121 Benefits, the University’s COBRA administrator.

Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

There are two options with your FSA account:

  • FSA participation stops after your last day of employment; this means you can incur health care expenses up until your last day of work. Reimbursements can be requested according to the regular plan deadlines, or
  • If you would like to continue to be able to incur health care expenses after your last day of work, you may choose to continue your FSA on an after-tax basis. Please be advised that you must continue making monthly payments to your FSA through COBRA. Reimbursements can be requested according to the regular plan deadlines.

Billing is monthly by 121 Benefits, the University’s COBRA administrator. 

Retirement Savings Plans 

Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS)

651-296-2761 or www.msrs.state.mn.us 

    • Provide a copy of a birth record (example: birth certificate or passport) for the employee and survivor if applicable. For a survivor option, MSRS also requires a copy of a marriage certificate. 
    • Submit completed forms and required documentation directly to MSRS.

Faculty Retirement Plan

Contact your plan administrator regarding your distribution options. Retirees can continue to use the University retirement accounts; it is not required to transfer to another account.

Voluntary Retirement Plans

Contact your plan administrator regarding your distribution options. Retirees can continue to use the University retirement accounts; you do not have to transfer to another account.

Vacation 

Vacation balance payout will depend on employee classification, years of service, and hours balance. If your vacation time is paid out in a lump sum, the IRS requires it to be taxed at 22% federal, 6.25% Minnesota state, and 7.65% OASDI (Social Security and Medicare). The tax withholding cannot be altered, and the funds cannot be tax-sheltered by investing them directly into a retirement account. 

Civil Service 

  • If you have over 10 years of service and 200 or more hours of vacation time, the entire vacation balance will be paid into a Health Care Savings Plan administered by MSRS.
  • If you have less than 10 years of service and/or less than 200 hours of vacation time, the entire vacation balance will be paid out in a lump sum payment on the check date following your final paycheck. 

Teamsters 

  • If you have over 10 years of service and 80 or more hours of vacation time, the entire vacation balance will be paid into a Health Care Savings Plan administered by MSRS.
  • If you have less than 10 years of service and/or less than 80 hours of vacation time, the entire vacation balance will be paid out in a lump sum payment on the check date following your final paycheck.

AFSCME, P&A, and Faculty 

Any remaining vacation balance will be paid out in a lump sum payment on the check date following your final paycheck. 

Stay Connected

  • Keep your contact information up-to-date with the University. Changes or updates can be made by contacting the OHR Contact Center.
  • As a retiree, you maintain email access indefinitely, as well as library privileges via your UCard.
  • Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) offers noncredit courses, interest groups, travel, and events for adult learners.
  • Discounts are available at the same rates offered to current University of Minnesota employees for recreation facilities, athletic events, performances, and exhibitions.
  • Minnesota residents who are aged 62 or older may enroll in courses at the University for reduced costs, either to audit or earn college credit.
  • University of Minnesota Retirees Association(UMRA) is an independent organization that advocates for University retiree interests and offers regular events to its members for social connection and intellectual stimulation.