Planning for Retirement
I am considering retirement, what steps should be taken?
You may want to make an appointment with a TRS Retirement Counselor. This may be done by scheduling an appointment in Montgomery, AL or by scheduling an appointment at one of the various locations throughout the State when counselors are on-site for pre-scheduled appointments. A list of the various locations will be posted to the RSA website. Opportunities are available from October through April each year.
If you are certain that you are going to retire, and time does not permit the appointment with a retirement counselor, contact the Benefits Office to schedule an appointment with a Benefits Specialist. This meeting should occur at least 45 days prior to your retirement target date but no more than 90 days prior to that date.
Throughout the year TRS conducts one-on-one counseling sessions and group meetings to help members prepare for retirement. Contact the Alabama Teachers’ Retirement System www.rsa-al.gov.
Planning to retire within 5 years – Plan to attend the Retirement Prep Seminar offered by TRS
Planning to retire within 3 years – plan to attend the Pre-Retirement Series offered by the UA Benefits Office
Planning to retire within a year or planning to retire soon – contact the UA Benefits Office immediately
What types of retirement are available?
You may be eligible for a service retirement meaning 10 years of service and at least age 60; or with 25 years at any age (Tier 1); 25 years of service and age 62 (Tier 2) or a disability retirement which means if you are currently employed or on an official leave of absence (not to exceed two years) and determined to be mentally or physically incapacitated by the TRS Medical Review Board and further, cannot perform your current job duties, you may be retired on disability.
What forms will I need to retire?
A Retirement Application Packet Part I – (includes retirement application, direct deposit authorization, health insurance option); the application must be received by the TRS no less than 30 days or more than 90 days prior to the effective date of retirement. The application should be submitted through the Benefits Office. If retiring on disability, you will need the Disability Packet.
What health insurance is available to me?
A comprehensive plan provided by the Public Education Employees’ Health Insurance Plan (PEEHIP). This plan is administered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama and provides for hospitalization, prescription drugs, doctor visits, lab, health screenings, X-rays and supplies. If you are eligible for Medicare, contact the SSA to arrange for Medicare coverage under Parts A and B. You may also seek health plan options that are available through the healthcare marketplace (www.healthcare.gov).
What do I need to do if I participated in TIAA, VALIC or RSA-1?
These are called Voluntary Retirement Savings Plans or the 403(b) Plan and the 457(b) plan – contact the respective investment company’s financial advisor to request information about withdrawals and/or rollovers. Contact RSA’s Deferred Compensation Division to request withdrawal forms for the RSA-1 plan.
As a retiree, which UA benefits are available to me?
- UA dental and vision insurance, only if you subscribed to these plans prior to retirement. Retiree rates for the dental and vision plans are the same as the rates for active employees.
- Retiree Life Insurance
- Recreation Center and Aquatic Center membership(s)
- Football ticket priority
- Access to UA athletic, musical and theatrical events
- Educational benefit for spouse and dependents (as defined and deemed eligible by the Educational Benefit Policy)
- Free retiree hangtag
- Retirees are encouraged to join the Tuscaloosa UA Retirees Association (TUARA)
What other information should be of interest to me?
Social Security Benefits (www.socialsecurity.gov)
When you retire, you can begin to receive monthly Social Security payments as early as age 62. However, retirement payments received prior to age 65 are reduced. That reduction is Permanent and payments will not increase when you reach age 65 or your respective full retirement age. Payments can also be made to a spouse age 62 or older. Contact the Social Security Office at least 3 months prior to your retirement date.
Medicare is our country’s health insurance program for people age 65 or older. The program helps with the cost of health care, but it does not cover all medical expenses or the cost of most Long-term care. Medicare has four parts: Hospital insurance (Part A), medical insurance (Part B), Medicare Advantage (Part C) and prescription drug coverage (Part D). With PEEHIP coverage, you and/or your spouse will need Medicare A and B when you retire if you are age 65 or older.
Points to remember:
Contact TRS or the UA Benefits Office
Notify your department in writing (Non-Exempt employees should give at least a 2 week notice, Exempt employees should give at least a 30 day notice)
Contact Social Security, if applicable
Contact TIAA and/or VALIC, if applicable
Contact RSA-1 if applicable