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.
Notification/Commitment to Retire
When you are comfortable doing so, please discuss your retirement plans with your manager (or VP Academic Affairs for faculty). Once a date has been finalized, please submit a written notification stating your retirement date via Oracle. This will notify HR and the Benefits team of your plans so they can assist in the transition process.
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 and 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 the Invest EAP website.
- Company Code: middlebury (for VT employees); miis (for MIIS employees)
- You can access MySecureAdvantage for up to three months of free financial coaching with a Certified Financial Planner who can help you make sure that your finances are in order before you retire.
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). It is recommended 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.
Pre-retirees: Arrange a meeting with a TIAA retirement planning representative by calling (800) 842-2252 or visiting online.
Please note that 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 the Benefits Team 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.
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 logging in to Oracle and updating your contribution percentage 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 the Social Security Administration or by contacting a local SSA office:
246 West Street
Rutland, VT 05701
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Burlington, VT 05401
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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, Navia Benefits, will mail you a package with full details. Please note that individuals such as those age 65 or older who qualify for Medicare must enroll for Medicare coverage as well as COBRA.
- If you have an employed spouse/partner who has employer-sponsored group coverage you may be able to join their plan. (Please be aware that typically such a change must be made within 30 days of the loss of your own coverage.)
For Retirees and Dependents 65 or Older
You will likely qualify for Medicare Part A and B; contact the Social Security Office at least three months prior to your date of retirement to inquire about or arrange for this coverage.
Retirees and spouse/partners may 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.
You can receive comprehensive support, education and advice about alternative coverage from Middlebury’s preferred resource, Via Benefits. 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.
For Retirees and Dependents Under 65
You 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.
Vermont residents: Visit Vermont Health Connect or call 855-899-9600 to reach the statewide assistance hotline.
California residents: Visit https://www.coveredca.com or call 800-300-1506.
Residents of other states: Visit https://www.healthcare.gov or call 800-318-2596 to be directed to your local resources.
Sick Leave Reserve and Faculty Leave Reserve Conversion Benefit
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 may qualify for 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, if you meet the qualifications, 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/vision premiums for the plans you select for yourself (and tax dependents, if any).
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 end 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 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 31 (instead of only until date of termination). If this applies to you, you will be notified of this option shortly after termination.
All Middlebury Retirees are eligible for several perks:
- You may continue to use your Middlebury email account.
- You will continue to receive our electronic employee newsletter, MiddPoints, via email.
- You may select a Middlebury-branded chair or clock as a retirement gift. An order form will be mailed to your home so you may make your selection and return the form to Human Resources. Your retiree gift will be sent to your home directly from the manufacturer.
In addition, Middlebury retirees may exchange your Middlebury ID card for a Retiree card in the Office of Public Safety. 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.
Please note due to the budgetary constraints of the Covid-19 response the retiree lunch program has been discontinued.
25 Year Club
There are over 400 members of Middlebury’s 25-Year Club, which includes both current Middlebury employees and retirees. If, at time of your retirement you are a member of the 25-year Club, you will continue to be invited to the annual celebration, which is typically held in early June. Your invitation will be sent to you in the US mail to the address we have on file. This is a great opportunity to reconnect with Vermont-based friends and former colleagues.
Final Paycheck and Combined Time Off 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 Information
- 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 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.
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.
If you have specific retirement questions please reach out to a member of the Benefits team by calling (802) 443-5485 or Human Resources by calling (802) 443-5465.