Leaving Middlebury- Retirement

 

Pre-Retirement Information & Resources

Faculty or staff employees who work in a benefits-eligible status for at least 10 consecutive years past the age of 45 qualify as Middlebury Retirees when they leave active service.  This webpage: provides general information for employees who are approaching retirement, suggests action items you may want to consider before you retire, and draws your attention to various retirement related resources. If you have specific retirement questions please reach out to a member of the benefits team by calling 802-443-5468.

Notification of/Commitment to Retire

As soon as possible after making the decision to retire please notify your manager, in writing, of the date you will be retiring. Your manager will notify Human Resources and your retiree off-boarding process will be initiated automatically. 

Pre-Retirement Resources

Retiring is a major life transition and can have profound implications financially and socially/emotionally. As you contemplate taking this step, or during the period between notifying your manager of your up-coming retirement and your actual retirement date, you may want to take advantage of one or more options that are available to you as an active employee:

  • Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP) - provides resources and support around the social/emotional/financial aspects of transitioning to retirement. Call 800-828-6025 for more information or visit E4’s website:
    • www.helloe4.com
    • Username:  Middlebury College
    • Password:   guest (lowercase)

TIAA Retirement Accounts

An important component of your pre-retirement planning is learning what options are available for you in regards to settling your retirement plan(s).  HR recommends that, well in advance of your retirement date, you arrange to speak with a TIAA Financial Consultant (or a wealth manager, if you are working with one) regarding the various options available to you.

  • MIIS pre-retirees – arrange a meeting with Gita Ghafuri by calling 628-231-6535 or emailing Gita.Ghafuri@tiaa.org.

Please note that generally* arrangements to begin withdrawals cannot be made until after you have retired. TIAA is automatically notified of your termination date when your last paycheck is processed; you can begin distributions after that point.  If you have an urgent need to access your retirement account after you retire but before your final paycheck has been issued please contact HR and we will manually notify TIAA of your retirement date.

*Exceptions to the general rule apply to all plans (Core, Voluntary and 457(b)) if you are over age 70.5, and to the Voluntary Retirement Plan if you are over age 59.5. In addition, special rules apply if you are in a formal Phased Retirement arrangement.  See HR for details.

Maximizing Retirement Contributions Pre-retirement

Employees may want to maximize their contributions to the Voluntary Retirement Plan in the weeks or months leading up to their retirement dates. Changes to this plan can be made effective at the beginning of any future pay period by completing a new Voluntary Plan Election form, available here and returning it to Human Resources prior to the start of the pay period.

Social Security Income Benefits

As you approach retirement, you will need to understand when and how you can begin drawing Social Security income benefits.  You can learn what options are available to you by visiting the Social Security Administration’s website https://www.ssa.gov/ or by contacting a local SSA office:

In the Middlebury Area:

246 West Street
Rutland, VT 05701
866-690-1944

or

Suite 107
128 Lakeside Avenue
Burlington, VT  05401
877-840-5776

In the Monterey Area:

Suite 155
928 East Blanco Road
Salina, CA  93901
877-600-2857

Medical/Dental/Vision Benefits

If you are enrolled in Middlebury’s medical, dental and/or vision insurance, your active coverage will end as of the last day of the month in which your retirement takes place.  Therefore you will need to arrange for coverage beginning with the first of the month following retirement.

Depending on your own situation (age, marital status, etc.) you and your dependents (if any) may have several options:

  • Any retiree or dependent may purchase short-term continuation of Middlebury’s plans, through COBRA, by paying the full (unsubsidized) premium cost. Our COBRA administrator, Business Plans Inc. – myCOBRAPlan, will mail you a package with full details approximately two weeks post-retirement. In the meantime, information on COBRA premiums rates can be found  here  or by navigating to the Benefits webpage (http://www.middlebury.edu/offices/business/hr/staffandfaculty/benefits)
  • If you have an employed spouse/partner who has employer-sponsored group coverage you may be able to join his/her plan.  (Please be aware that typically such a change must be made within 30 days of the loss of your own coverage.)

Retirees and dependents age 65 or older:

  • Will likely qualify for Medicare Part A & B; contact the Social Security Office at least three months prior to your date of retirement to inquire about or arrange for this coverage.
  • Most retirees and spouse/partners also purchase private Medicare supplemental medical and prescription coverage; many also purchase retiree dental and/or vision insurance.
    • Such coverage can be arranged directly with insurance providers, or by using a private insurance agent, or
    • You can receive comprehensive support, education and advice about alternative coverage from Middlebury’s preferred resource, Via Benefits. Click the here (or navigate to: https://youtu.be/pUT52UPNujQ) to watch an introductory video about this service or call 844-809-5243 for more information. (Shortly after HR receives your formal (written) retirement notice, Via Benefits will be notified of your eligibility for this service.  If you have given sufficient advance notice of your impending retirement you can begin accessing this benefit service 3 to 6 months ahead of your final day of work.)

 Retirees and dependents under age 65:

  • Will likely be eligible to purchase coverage through your state health exchange (or the federal exchange).  Retirees on a fixed income may qualify for subsidized premiums.

Sick Leave Reserve (SLR) / Faculty Leave Reserve (FLR) Conversion Benefit:  Health Reimbursement Account

If, as of your retirement date, you are either a staff member with a Sick Leave Reserve (SLR) balance OR a faculty member with a Faculty Leave Reserve (FLR) balance you will be entitled to an SLR/FLR Conversion Benefit, in the form of an employer contribution to a Health Reimbursement Account (regardless of whether or not you are currently enrolled in Middlebury’s health insurance plans).  Shortly after you retire an HRA will be established in your name and a contribution will be made based on the SLR/FLR Conversion formula and your SLR/FLR balance; you will then be able to use the funds in this account to pay for post-employment medical/dental/vison premiums for the plans you select for yourself (and tax dependents, if any). Information about this benefit can be found in an HRA At-a-Glance document or in the HRA Summary Plan Description.

Life and Disability Insurance

Your Core Life/Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance coverage will end on your last day of active employment; you may have the option to convert to an individual plan, or apply for portable coverage.

If you have Voluntary Life or Accidental Death & Dismemberment coverage this will also lapse on your final day of active employment; you may have the option to convert to an individual plan, or apply for portable coverage.

Your Long Term Disability coverage will end as of your last day of active employment; you may have the option to convert from a group plan to an individual plan.

You will receive information and forms regarding conversion and/or portability of coverage shortly after retiring and will have 31 days to submit the application form(s) and payment(s) to UNUM, should you be interested in doing so.

Healthcare Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)

If you are enrolled in a Health Care Flexible Spending Account generally your participation will generally end as of your last day of active employment and you will have until March 31st of the following year to submit claims incurred up until that date.

However, if as of your date of retirement your FSA balance exceeds what you would have to pay if you continued in the plan for the remainder of the calendar year you may be eligible for FSA COBRA. FSA COBRA would allow you to make the outstanding calendar year contributions to the plan, and be able to submit claims incurred up until December 31st (instead of only until date of termination).  If this applies to you, you will be notified of this option shortly after termination.

Retiree Perks

All Middlebury Retirees are eligible for several perks:

  • You may select a Middlebury-branded chair or clock as a retirement gift.  Please make your selection by completing the appropriate form and returning it to Nancy Lindberg in Human Resources.  Your retiree gift will be sent to your home directly from the manufacturer.
  • Middlebury Chair Form    MIIS Chair Form       Middlebury Clock Form     MIIS Clock Form.
  • You may continue to use your Middlebury email account.
  • You will continue to receive our electronic employee newsletter, MiddPoints, via email.

In addition, College retirees:

  • May exchange your College ID card for a Retiree card in the Office of Public Safety (Please wait for at least three weeks after your retirement date to make this exchange.) Your Retiree Card can be used for library access, discounts on store merchandise and tickets for sporting and arts events as well as golf and ski passes, etc.
  • Are invited to stop by campus on any weekday for lunch at the Grille, free of charge, for up to a maximum of 40 meals per calendar year. You will need a retiree punch card which can be obtained at the Operations Customer Service Center at the Service Building. A current, valid Middlebury Retiree Identification Card will be required to register and receive a punch card. 

Final Paycheck and Combined Time Off (CTO) Payout

For all retirees except MIIS staff, your final pay for worked hours will follow the normal payroll schedule, that is, your final pay will be received on the next regular payday following the pay period in which you retire. If you have been having your pay direct deposited to your bank account(s) your final pay will be deposited, as usual; if you have been receiving live paychecks then your final pay will be in check form and your paycheck will be mailed to your home address. MIIS staff retirees will receive their final pay in the form of a check on their last work day.

If you are eligible for CTO and have an accrued, unused balance as of your date of retirement, you will be paid out for that time with your final regular pay.

Formal Retirement Letter

Shortly after your retirement date you will receive a formal letter acknowledging your termination from active employment. The letter will include specific information about your HRA (if you qualify for one), applications for continuation of life and disability insurance, formal notification of your final day of health insurance coverage, etc.

Resources and Miscellaneous Things to Know

  • Retirement Celebrations – Guidelines for employer-sponsored retirement recognition can be found here.  HR recommends that you speak with your manager, candidly, about whether or not you would like a reception and/or written tribute so that your retirement will feel comfortable to you!
  • MiddPoints “Retirement Transitions” Feature - Retirement is a major career milestone and actively employed colleagues appreciate knowing who has reached this exciting transition point.  Human Resources periodically (typically quarterly) publishes a list of recent retirees in MiddPoints; watch the issues following your retirement to see your name, along with those of your retiree cohort! (If you prefer not to be included in the MiddPoints “Retirement Transitions” feature please notify a member or the Benefits team on or before your date of retirement.)

  • W-2 statement of earnings - your final W-2 will be mailed to your home address by January 31st of next calendar year.
  • Address Changes - if your address should change, please be sure to notify the Human Resources Office so that we can keep you apprised of retiree events and items of interest.
  • Rehire – retirees are sometimes interested in returning to work in some capacity (often in on-call, adjunct, or very part-time positions).  Please keep in mind that, depending on your age and work arrangements, a return to active employment may significantly impact such things as your ability to access funds in your retirement accounts and your HRA. It is advisable to speak with a member of the Benefits team prior to committing to any post-retirement engagement. In addition, working post retirement may have implications for Social Security income – please speak with your financial advisor or the Social Security Administration to learn how this would affect you.
  • Employment Reference – some retirees plan to work for other employers in some capacity after leaving Middlebury.  If you plan to do so, you may wish to discuss a future employment reference with your supervisor or ask for a letter of reference.  Keep in mind that you need to sign the reference authorization form on the HR web site if you want your supervisor to provide information about your work performance to a prospective employer, either verbally or in writing. 
  • Dependent Tuition (College employees only) – retirees with qualifying dependent children continue to be eligible for the Dependent Tuition benefit.  Click the following link for details: http://www.middlebury.edu/dependenttuition

Disclaimer

The information on this page is intended as a brief, easy to understand summary of some of the benefits, policies and programs for which employees retiring from Middlebury may be eligible.  It is not intended to replace the formal plan documents and policies to which it refers; should any discrepancy occur the formal document or policy will prevail.

 

 

Middlebury
Human Resources
Marble Works
152 Maple St.
Suite 101
Suite 203 (Benefits)
Middlebury, VT 05753
Phone: 802-443-5465
Fax: 802-443-2920
Benefits Fax: 802-443-2058