When preparing to retire from the University of Iowa, there are many vital factors to consider, and navigating the transition from employed to retired requires planning and preparation. Therefore, the University Benefits office would like to provide you with the most current information for a smooth transition into retirement.
Preparing to Retire Checklist
Review your eligibility for retirement benefits. Review the benefits for which you may be eligible upon retirement, such as retiree health benefits with or without the UI contribution, leave payouts from the University, and what other benefits you may take with you, such as life insurance.
To retire from the University, you must be:
- Age 55+ for regular retirement and will be eligible for retiree benefits;
- Age 57+ with 15 years of service to be eligible to apply for Phased Retirement and;
- Age 62+ with ten or more years of continuous benefits-eligible service to receive the UI contribution toward the cost of Retiree UIChoice or UISelect health premiums. (Please note that the UI contribution is not a guarantee as it is reviewed annually by executive leadership)
You will want to start by meeting with a retirement planning specialist from IPERS or TIAA to review income projections and income options.
Log in to My Account, Your Retirement Toolkit
As you near retirement, make sure you log in to:
- Verify or update your contact information to make sure you receive timely information from IPERS
- Verify or update your beneficiary information
- Generate an estimate of your projected benefits – review your estimate
IPERS Retirement Counseling Sessions
Within five years of retirement, members should schedule a session with an IPERS retirement counselor. This will help you understand your options and benefits as you prepare to retire. Before you schedule your appointment, it’s helpful to have a general retirement date in mind.
If you want more information, including Retirement Educational Workshops, visit the IPERS website or call IPERS at (800)622-3849.
Log in to your account.
As retirement approaches, make sure you log in to your account to:
- Update your contact information and choose eDelivery for quick, secure, and convenient communications on your benefits
- Verify or update your beneficiary information
- Visit the Preparing for retirement website to complete a Retirement Profile and create a customized income plan
TIAA Counseling Sessions
During your session, you’ll understand if you are saving enough, properly allocated, and on track to reach your goals. Schedule a session today online or by calling TIAA at 800-732-8353.
Prefer the DIY approach? Try the Retirement Advisor tool to help plan for the retirement you want.
As soon as you have determined your final working day, it is best to notify your supervisor and/or other leadership within your department. Notifying your department in writing of your retirement date is helpful so that it can be processed and entered in to the HR transaction system.
University Benefits recommends that you meet with one of our Retirement Specialists approximately 6 to 8 weeks out from your retirement date. In this meeting, you will:
- Review your current benefits and inform you about continuing benefits in retirement;
- Medicare and Social Security information;
- Billing information;
- Accessing your retirement funds;
- Discuss and sign paperwork for payment of accumulated unused sick leave and vacation.
Schedule Your Meeting
We ask that you please fill out the Retirement Meeting Request form to set up an appointment with one of our specialists. Your online form will send your information and request to our specialists' group. One of them will respond within 48 hours to set up and confirm your benefits retirement meeting.
Reminder: If you do not have a set retirement date, we ask that you do that first before setting up an official benefits retirement meeting with one of our specialists. If you are not retiring within the next 6-8 weeks and have preliminary questions about retiring, please consider emailing our office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are 6-8 weeks out from retiring, please fill out the form below:
Health and Dental Insurance
Faculty and Staff
You and your eligible dependents can continue UIChoice or UISelect health and/or Dental II plans at the time of your retirement.
If insurance is not continued at retirement, you cannot enroll later. (Exception: If coverage is not continued due to enrollment in one of the University Health Alliance Group Medicare plans, other employment or a spouse's employment, the employee may enroll later within 30 days of employment related coverage ending).
If you are 62 or over and you have 10 years of continuous benefit eligible service, you may be eligible to receive a contribution to your health insurance. Retirees can elect to be billed directly by the University of Iowa or complete a form to have premiums withdrawn from a bank account.
Plans, rates and coverage are subject to change.
Vacation and Sick Leave
You will be paid for all unused vacation plus up to $2,000 for unused accumulated sick leave. Time records should be submitted as soon as possible after your last day of work. You have the option to contribute these payments to a Voluntary Retirement Savings account.
You may request to convert your current coverage to an individual or family policy in the amount of $100,000 only. Premiums will be based on age & class of risk at the time of termination. To request a Conversion Application form, log onto https://conversion.enrollzonline.com or call (800) 834-1959 and refer to policy # GTU2855720.
You can convert your group life insurance to an individual policy with Principal Financial Group. The cost is based on your age at retirement. It is guaranteed coverage, so no physical is required. You must apply for this insurance and pay the first premium within 31 days after the date your group coverage ends. For more information, please visit the University Benefits Life Insurance page.
Health Care Spending Account
Eligible expenses for reimbursement must be incurred by the last day of the month that you participate in the plan. You have until April of the following year to submit claims. All funds remaining after April of the following year are forfeited to the University.
If you are enrolled in the following voluntary plans at the time of retirement and have the premiums deducted from your paycheck, you should contact the insurance company at the number provided to discuss continuing it through direct billing after retirement.
Long Term Care Insurance:
- Genworth (800) 416-3624
- John Hancock (888) 999-2072
- MetLife (800) 233-5824
- Principal Financial Group (800) 986-3343, ext. 76398
Vision Insurance: Cannot keep after termination
For detailed information, please refer to the Medicare website or contact the local Social Security Office at (866) 964-2039.
Medicare Part B:This provides medical insurance that helps pay for doctors’ services, outpatient hospital care and other services. You and your spouse do not need Part B while you are employed at the University and enrolled in an insurance plan. When you retire you must enroll in Medicare B as soon as you become eligible. It will be the primary insurer and the University plan may be continued as a Medicare carve-out plan, which will be the secondary insurer.
If you retire under age 65 and continue on a University health plan, the Benefits Office will mail you information prior to your 65th birthday about continuing the University plan as a carve-out to Medicare. If you become eligible for Medicare prior to age 65 due to disability, please contact the Benefits Office.
Medicare Part D: This provides prescription drug coverage, however, University health plans include prescription drug coverage that is as good as or better than the standard Medicare prescription coverage. This means that this is considered “creditable coverage” and you will not have to pay a penalty if you later decide to enroll in a Part D plan. You should not enroll in a Part D plan if you are enrolled in the University’s Employee or Retiree health plans. An exception is for Merit retirees. Some of the State of Iowa plans allow enrollment in a specific Medicare D plan designed to coordinate with specific State of Iowa retiree health plans. Letters of Creditable Coverage for Medicare D are mailed each October to active employees and spouses and retirees and spouses over age 65.
Contact the Social Security Administration approximately three months prior to the date on which you want payments to begin. You can receive a projection of your benefits and apply for benefits on the Social Security website. The Iowa City Social Security Office phone number is (866) 964-2039.
The Temporary Retiree Pool provides the opportunity to return to work for the University of Iowa as a non-student temporary employee, generally in a non-exempt appointment status.
Temporary needs include part-time, seasonal, and even full-time hours for a limited duration, which supports both the retiree as well as the institution. To find more information, please visit the UI Temporary Retiree Pool page.