Getting Ready to Retire


Steps in Preparing for Your Retirement

There are a few steps to take as you approach retirement:

  1. Identify the retirement plan in which you are enrolled
  2. Determine your eligibility for retirement
  3. Plan for health insurance during retirement
  4. Estimate Income from your Retirement Plan
  5. Estimate your Social Security
  6. Meet with a Fidelity or TIAA rep if you’d like free in-person guidance
  7. Sign up for VEBA – if retiring from an exempt or classified position
  8. Utilize our checklist (optional)
  9. Notify your supervisor

Steps to Retirement


Click each step section below for more details.
  • 1. In which Retirement Plan am I Enrolled in?
  • 2. When am I Eligible to Retire?

    Each retirement plan has a different eligibility requirement.

    Central Washington University Retirement Plan

    CWURP

    • Age 62 with any years of service
    • Age 55 with ten or more years of service
    Teachers' Retirement System

    TRS

    Plan 1

    • Any age with 30 years of service credit
    • Age 55 with 25 years of service credit
    • Age 60 with five years of service credit

    Plan 2

    • Age 65 with five years of service credit
    • Age 55 with 20 years of service credit (benefit may be reduced)

    Plan 3

    • Age 65 with five years of service credit
    • Age 55 with 10 years of service credit (benefit may be reduced)
    Public Employees' Retirement System

    PERS

    Plan 1

    From active service:

    • Any age with 30 years of service credit
    • Age 55 with 25 years of service credit
    • Age 60 with five years of service credit

    From inactive service

    • Age 65 with five years of service credit
    • Age 60 with 20 years of service credit at separation if at least 50 when separated and left service after 1/1/2002
    • Age 60 with five years of service credit (benefit may be reduced)

    Plan 2

    • Age 65 with five years of service credit
    • Age 55 with 20 years of service credit (benefit may be reduced)

    Plan 3

    • Age 65 if vested
    • Age 55 with 10 years of service credit (benefit may be reduced)
    Law Enforcement Officers' and Fire Fighters' Retirement System

    LEOFF

    Plan 1

    Contact DRS at 1-800-547-6657

    Plan 2

    • Age 53 with five years of service credit
    • Age 50 with 20 years of service credit (benefit may be reduced)
  • 3. Insurance During Retirement
    Upon retirement, medical, dental, and life insurance can be continued through the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) Public Employees Benefits (PEBB)

    Enrollment form and rates: Pebb Website

    Deadlines

    Your employer provided insurance will end the last day of the month you leave employment. You have 60 days from the time your employer coverage ends to enroll in or defer retiree health insurance.

    Deferral

    If deferring, you must submit your enrollment form within the 60-day deadline. While deferring coverage, you need to be continuously enrolled in other health care coverage, such as that provided by a spouse’s employer.

    If enrolled in Medicare, you have different medical plan options. To compare plans and costs, see PEBB plan page for retirees who have Medicare or retirees without Medicare.

    Washington HCA and PEBB
  • 4. Estimate Income from your Retirement Plan

    CWU Retirement Plan (CWURP)

    Funds available for withdrawal after separation are based on the amount you and CWU contributed to your retirement account as well as the performance of the funds.

    After separation, you may select the amount, method, and frequency of withdrawal. Immediate withdrawal of funds is not required. However, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires a minimum distribution starting the year you reach age 70 ½.

    View balance online:

    Contact customer service to begin distribution process:

    Fidelity: 1-800-343-0860
    TIAA: 1-800-842-2776

    Department of Retirement Systems Plans: PERS, TRS, LEOFF

    Retirement income is determined based on the rules of the plan in which you are enrolled. Rules governing your plan are described in each Plan Booklet: PERS, TRS, or LEOFF.

    Estimate your pension using the online calculator. Members of PERS or TRS Plan 3, you will also need to estimate income available from the savings side of the plan.

    If within five years of retirement, register for a retirement planning seminar. Seminars are offered by the Department of Retirement Systems at various locations throughout the state. Register for a seminar online.

    Am I On Track for Retirement?

    Use the following calculators to estimate whether your current level of savings combined with social security is likely to meet your income needs in retirement.

    If you would like to increase your retirement savings through payroll deduction, visit the websites on our Voluntary Investment Plan or Deferred Compensation.

  • 5. Estimate Social Security Income

    Estimate your Social Security using their retirement estimator below.

    Retirement Estimator
  • 6. Meet with a Fidelity or TIAA Representative

    A representative from Fidelity, plan administrator for the CWU Retirement Plan (CWURP) and the Voluntary Investment Plan (VIP), is available for one-on-one consultations on the Ellensburg campus on a regular basis. A TIAA representative is also available.

    Schedule an appointment:

    • Fidelity > click “Contact Us” and “Meet” or call: 800-642-7131
    • TIAA > click “Meet at Work” or call: 866-928-4221

    All CWU faculty and staff are eligible to meet with a Fidelity or TIAA representative regardless of enrollment in the CWURP or VIP.

    Contact Customer Service:

  • 7. Sign up for VEBA

    Those employees enrolled in a sick leave accrual plan will have 25 percent of the final balance cashed-out into a medical expense plan.

    A VEBA is a tax-free health reimbursement account to be used by you and your eligible dependents for reimbursement of qualified health expenses after retirement.

    Questions
  • 8. Utilize a Retirement Checklist
    Income
    PERS 1 or 2

    Request retirement estimate two to three months prior to retirement from the Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) online or by calling 800-547-6657

    Apply for retirement online: DRS Website

    PERS 3

    PENSION: Request retirement estimate two to three months prior to retirement from the Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) online or by calling 800-547-6657

    INVESTMENT: Decide when to begin receiving payments from defined contribution account. Contact DRS Plan 3 record keeper online or by phone at 888-327-5596 to discuss options.

    CWURP

    Contact your vendor when you’re ready to begin withdrawals:

    Health Insurance

    Active employee AND retiree insurance is administered by the Health Care Authority (HCA). Sign up for retiree coverage to begin the first of the month after you leave, as active employee coverage ends the last day of the month in which you retire. Enrollment form and rates available online.

    PERS 1, 2, 3 (drawing pension)

    Complete Retiree Coverage Election Form

    • Submit to CWU benefits staff – payment can be deducted from PERS pension payment
    CWURP or PERS 3 (without pension)

    Complete Retiree Coverage Election Form

    • Submit to Benefits Office OR mail with payment
      (made payable to Washington State Treasurer) to:
      Washington State Health Care Authority
      P.O. Box 42695, Olympia, WA 98504-2695
    Life Insurance (optional)

    Eligible PEBB retirees may purchase $5,000, $10,000, $15,000, or $20,000 of coverage. Enrollment form and rates available online.

    VEBA (Sick Leave Cash-Out)

    Those with accrued sick live will have 25% of the value of final sick leave balance placed into a medical spending account with VEBA. Enrollment form available from benefits staff.

    Note: Cash-out of sick leave to the VEBA medical spending account is only available if accessing the defined benefit (pension) component of retirement upon separation.

    Vacation Cash-Out
    Classified

    All accrued vacation cashed-out on final paycheck

    Exempt

    Accrued vacation to a maximum of 240 hours cashed-out on final paycheck

    PERS 1 Only

    Up to 240 hours of cashed-out vacation included in calculation of retirement benefit

    See our Retirement Checklist (docx)
  • 9. Notify your Supervisor

    Provide management with ample lead time of your departure to ensure a smooth transition.

    At a minimum, you should provide at least fifteen calendar days before your retirement effective date. However, while this might be sufficient for a lower-level position, three to six months (or longer) is more appropriate for senior-level or hard-to-replace employee.

  • 10. Last but not least...

    For assistance through this process, contact the Human Resource Benefits staff at (509) 963-1202 or hr@cwu.edu.

Note: The University and the Benefits Office staff cannot provide investment advice to employees.

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