Attend retirement seminars so that you will have an idea in advance how much money you will need to save in order to consider retiring.
Review (faculty only) information on the voluntary phased retirement plan and “Master Professor” status. For details, see the Faculty Handbook.
Contact TIAA-CREF or other money managers, especially if you have a specific time-line in mind. They can help you decide if adjustments in plans or investments should be made in the years immediately preceding retirement.
Prepare a will and a living will. Consider the issue of medical power of attorney for legal, business, financial, and medical purposes.
Review the annual Social Security Statement that you receive in the mail in order to estimate your future benefits. To request a Social Security Statement, click here or call 800-772-1213. The Social Security Administration prefers that customers use its web site to access its services rather than calling or visiting its offices.
What do I do one year before retirement?
Contact the company with which you have a retirement plan to discuss your income options. This will help you to determine when you can afford to retire.
Contact the Social Security Administration to check on eligibility for benefits for yourself and your spouse. The age at which you may receive full benefits depends on when you were born. Regional Social Security Office: 400 Foxcroft Avenue, Suite 102, Martinsburg, WV, 25401, 304-263-6912; National Social Security Administration office: 800-772-1213.
If you are a participant in the State Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS), you should refer to your plan description to calculate retirement eligibility (WV Consolidated Public Retirement Board). TRS members may retire with full benefits (1) at age 60 with 5 or more years of service; (2) at age 55 with 30 or more years of service; or (3) at any age with 35 or more years of service. You may retire with reduced benefits before age 55 with at least 30 but less than 35 years of service.
If you are in a defined contribution plan like TIAA-CREF, there is no minimum age or years of service required in order to retire. However, in most cases you may not withdraw from your retirement plan without penalty until the age of 59.5.
Regardless of which retirement plan you are in, you still must satisfy the State Teacher’s Retirement age and years of service formula in order to be eligible to remain on PEIA as a retiree.
Discuss your retirement plans with your supervisor.
What do I do three months prior to becoming eligible for Social Security?
Contact the Social Security Administration to sign up for Medicare. Your initial enrollment period starts 3 months before you turn age 65 and lasts for 7 months. If you do not sign up for Medicare Part B when you first become eligible, then you may be able to sign up during the general enrollment period, which runs from January 1 through March 31 of each year. Regional Social Security Office: 400 Foxcroft Avenue, Suite 102, Martinsburg, WV, 25401, 304-263-6912; National Social Security Administration office: 800-772-1213.
Upon retirement, when you become Medicare eligible, Medicare will be your primary insurance and your secondary coverage will be provided through PEIA or some other provider if you are not a PEIA member.
If you are 65 and you are retired, then you must be in Medicare Parts A and B. Part A is free; you must pay for Part B. This is a complicated process, and you will need to spend time working through it.
Medicare offers prescription drug coverage through a program called Medicare Part D. If you remain enrolled in PEIA after you retire, you should not purchase Medicare Part D coverage. You do not need to enroll in a separate Medicare Part D plan, since Coventry’s Advantra Freedom MAPD plan will provide prescription drug coverage for PEIA retirees with Medicare.
Sign up for Social Security and Medicare separately. You can sign up for Social Security before or after (or at the same time) you sign up for Medicare.
What do I do three months before actual retirement?
Contact the company with which you have a retirement plan (TIAA-CREF, etc.) and request a retirement application packet. The company representatives will work with you to explain your financial options as a retiree and assist you in completing your paperwork.
Notify your supervisor in writing of the date that you plan to retire from Shepherd.
Complete and return your retirement application packet to the company with which you have your retirement plan (TIAA-CREF, etc.).
Re-enroll for all PEIA benefits. Benefits do not automatically continue into retirement unless you complete the Retired Employee Enrollment Form. Contact the Human Resources Office to complete the form during the calendar month of your retirement or the two following calendar months. See PEIA’s web site for the Medicare Advantage Plan Booklet.
If you (staff) have annual leave accrued, the HR staff will calculate how much annual leave will be “cashed out” when you leave.
If you have accrued sick leave (staff) and years of service (faculty), you may use these to extend employer-paid insurance coverage. Employees hired on or after July 1, 2001, are not eligible for this benefit.
For staff who have been continuously covered by PEIA since before July 1, 1988, their additional coverage is calculated as follows:
2 days of accrued leave = 100% of the premium for one month of single coverage
3 days of accrued leave = 100% of the premium for one month of family coverage
For staff who were hired after July 1, 1988 but before July 1, 2001 (or had a lapse in coverage during this period), their additional coverage is calculated as follows:
2 days of accrued leave = 50% of the premium for one month of single coverage
3 days of accrued leave = 50% of the premium for one month of family coverage
Full-time faculty members employed on an annual contract basis for a period other than 12 months may extend employer-paid insurance coverage based on their years of teaching service. Their benefit is calculated as follows:
3 1/3 years (40 mo.) of teaching service = 1 year of single coverage
5 years (60 mo.) of teaching service = 1 year of family coverage