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Retirement Guidelines

These guidelines will assist employees preparing to retire from UCAR/NCAR/UCP.  Many thoughts, questions, and concerns will be going through your head when determining what needs to be done to prepare for the big day.  It's a fairly simple process but certain issues should be addressed prior to leaving employment.

To qualify as a UCAR Retiree, the employee must meet the formula of Age (minimum 50) plus Years of Service (minimum 5 years) equaling 65 or more and, upon termination, must formally indicate retirement as the reason for termination.

Notify your division of your plans

Notify your direct supervisor and division administrator of your retirement date.  Though there is no prescribed amount of retirement notice required, a minimum of two weeks is recommended.  Providing a longer period of notice allows the lab/division/program to better prepare for your departure and determine future staffing needs. If you meet the definition of retiree, you may use accrued PTO or Vacation time to extend time on UCAR payroll beyond the last day actually worked. You must continue to submit a bi-weekly timecard to report PTO or Vacation hours until your actual termination date. You can contact Human Resources to set your actual last day of employment. Any unused Vacation or PTO hours will be paid out as a lump sum in your final check. If you extend time on UCAR payroll, your final date of employment for benefits and the retirement plan will be the last day paid, not your last day worked.

Within the last two weeks of employment, your supervisor will have you complete a Separation Notice.  Be sure to indicate your forwarding address as this is where all future correspondence, including your W-2, will be mailed.

As you approach your retirement date, you will be asked to complete a Recovery of Corporate Property form.  You must turn in all UCAR property including your ID card, Eco-Pass (bus pass), any corporate credit cards, cell phone and computers.  UCAR’s Payroll Department must receive the Recovery of Corporate Property form prior to paying any accrued but unused PTO (or vacation leave) on your last paycheck.


Health Insurance:You may continue your UCAR health insurance (medical and dental) as long as you meet the eligibility requirements as a retiree and are under age 65. Adding together your age plus years of service with UCAR/NCAR/UCP must be equal to or greater than 65.  (You must be at least age 50 and have worked a minimum of five years of service at the time of retirement.) View the current under age 65 retiree insurance costs. (Scroll to the bottom of the page.)

Your health insurance ends the last day of the month in which you retire. You have 60 days to decide if you would like to continue the UCAR health insurance.  If you decide to continue your coverage, you will receive a monthly billing statement for your premium.  If you have CIGNA, you may elect to have the monthly premium deducted from your checking account. If you have Kaiser, you will receive an invoice from UCAR.

Medicare:  If you are age 65 or are approaching age 65 when you retire, contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) concerning Medicare health insurance.  The Boulder SSA office is located at 4949 Pearl East Circle, Suite 101 (800-772-1213; medicare.com).  The Medicare General Information Hotline is 800-638-6833; for eligibility questions call 800-772-1213.   Medicare is effective the first day of the month in which you reach age 65.  It may take up to three months to receive your Medicare card, so planning ahead is encouraged. 

Once you reach age 65, you are no longer eligible for the UCAR health insurance. UCAR has contracted with Extend Health, a Medicare coordinator, to counsel retirees on various insurance options available.  They will help you select a private health insurance plan that best fits your needs and budget.

If you are less than age 65 and maintain your UCAR coverage when you retire, you may use the services of Extend Health as you approach age 65 to select a private health insurance plan.

As soon as you know of your retirement date, please notify Cyd Perrone, 303-497-8710, cperrone@ucar.edu.  She will notify Extend Health who will forward a retirement packet to you. Extend Health requests the notification be sent four (4) months prior to retirement.

TIAA-CREF Retirement Plan:  For information concerning your TIAA-CREF retirement plan, please contact the TIAA-CREF Policy Services-Retirement Benefits office at 730 Third Avenue, New York, NY (1-800-842-2777; tiaa-cref.org).  If you have not already secured information from TIAA-CREF outlining the annuity options available to you, they will be glad to provide it to you.
Life Insurance, Basic Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) insurance and Optional Accidental Death and Dismemberment insurance (if elected):  All three insurances end the date of your retirement.  However, if you would like to continue any or all of the three insurances, please notify Irena Haimsky, 303-497-8706, irena@ucar.edu. She will send you the appropriate forms at which time you then have thirty-one (31) days from your retirement date to submit the forms to The Hartford.

Long Term Disability insurance coverage ends the date of your retirement and may not be converted.

Elevations Credit Union members may continue to be a member after retirement.

Often Asked Questions and Answers

1. If I decide not to continue my UCAR health insurance coverage (medical and/or dental insurance) at the time of retirement, may I pick it up at a later date?

No.  Once you have declined coverage for either the medical and/or dental insurance, you may not enroll at a later date.

2. Though I have sixty (60) days to decide if I would like to continue health insurance coverage, what happens if claims are submitted prior to sending in my continuation form?

Claims incurred after you separate from UCAR will be denied.  Once the insurance company receives notification that you have chosen to continue the retiree coverage, eligible claims will be retroactive to the first day of retirement.

3. Can I change from one UCAR health insurance plan to another?

When the annual Open Enrollment process begins in November, you will receive notification about the premium costs for the following year as well as any changes that will occur to each of the plans.  Should you decide to change plans, notify Human Resources and a change form will be sent to you.

4. When must I begin withdrawing my TIAA-CREF retirement funds?

Retirement benefits must normally begin no later than April 1 of the calendar year following the year in which you attain age 70 ½  or, if later, April 1 following the calendar year in which you retire. Failure to begin annuity income by the required beginning date may subject you to a substantial federal tax penalty.

UCAR reserves the right to amend or terminate health insurance coverage for retirees and any other retirement benefit at any time.

If you have additional questions or would like further information, please contact Cyd Perrone, 303-497-8710, cperrone@ucar.edu.

October 2012

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