Retirement FAQ

Social Security FAQ | Life Insurance Information | Rehired Retiree Information
Other Benefits

Frequently Asked Questions about Social Security

Q. How do I start my Social Security Retirement Benefits?

A. You must apply, as benefits will not start until you file an application. To file an application, you can call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213. Your application can be taken over the phone or you can arrange for an appointment at any Social Security Office.

Q. Do I need to provide any documents when I sign up for Social Security?

A. Yes. You will need:

  • your Social Security Card or a record of your number
  • your birth certificate
  • marriage certificate (if signing up on a spouse’s record)
  • your most recent W-2
  • a check or any papers that show your bank account number if you wish to have your Social Security payment deposited directly into your bank account

Do not put off applying if you do not currently have all the documents. They can be provided later.

Q. When do I file for Social Security benefits?

A. File your application at least three (3) months before the date you want retirement benefits to begin but not earlier than four (4) months before you reach age 62. In any event, you should contact Social Security during the three (3) months before age 65 to be sure you apply for Medicare coverage at the appropriate time. There are cost penalties for applying for Medicare after the initial eligibility period. Social Security can explain these to you.

Q. How will I receive my Social Security benefits payments?

A. Your payments will be made by direct deposit to your bank account. If you do not have a deposit account with a financial institution and can provide certification of such, your payments can be paid by check through the mail.

Q. If I work while receiving benefits, will I still pay Social Security and Medicare taxes?

A Yes, you will still pay regardless of your age.

Q. Am I subject to an Earnings Limitation?

A. It depends upon your age. You are only subject to the retirement earnings limit if you are receiving Social Security retirement benefits before attaining full retirement age.

Q. What happens if I exceed the Earnings Limitation?

A. When you exceed the earnings limit, $1 of benefits is withheld for every $2 you earn above the limit.

Q. Do I need to notify Social Security if my earnings exceed the earnings limitation?

A. Yes, call Social Security and report this information so that benefits will not be paid incorrectly. You will have to pay back any benefits paid incorrectly. Penalties can also be incurred for intentionally failing to report your earnings or reporting them incorrectly.

Q. Where can I get more information about Social Security and Medicare?

A. You can obtain publications free of charge at any Social Security office. You can call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213.



Life Insurance Information

UA Basic Term Life Insurance Portability

The Basic Life coverage is not portable for a retired employee.

UA Basic Term Life Insurance Conversion

At retirement, you may continue the basic term life insurance under the “Conversion” provision for as long as you want. You will need to do this if you want to convert to a Whole Life Individual policy. The application (available from the Human Resources Service Center) must be submitted to the insurance company within 31 days following the effective date of termination of insurance. The payment options are quarterly, semi-annual, or annual. The bill will be sent to you with the amount due for each payment option.  You may then elect how you would like to pay and send a check for that amount directly to the insurance company. The rates are based on your age.




Rehired Retiree Information

The University of Alabama cannot guarantee the opportunity of employment after retirement. However, if The University of Alabama employs you or if you work for any other agency covered by the Retirement Systems of Alabama, employment is restricted to the following conditions:

  • you must be part-time
  • you cannot exceed the limitation on earnings. The limits are subject to change each year based upon the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
  • you are not eligible for regular UA employee benefits

If you are employed in private industry or private education, there are no restrictions on earnings or full-time employment.



Other Benefits Available to UA Retirees

  • Use of all University Libraries
  • Supply Store privileges/discounts
  • Parking Privileges (Free Gold Hangtag)
  • Membership with Alabama Credit Union
  • University Club Membership
  • University Recreation Center Membership
  • Membership with The University of Alabama Retiree Association (TUARA)
  • Athletic ticket privileges
  • Tuition Grants for retirees and eligible dependents
  • Use of University owned Boone Cabin, Northport – for reservations, visit
  • Recitals and special music programs


Helpful Links

Teachers’ Retirement System of Alabama

Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Capstone Village 


Internal Revenue Service

IRS Forms and Publications


Social Security Administration







The Teachers’ Retirement System of Alabama
201 South Union Street
P. O. Box 302150
Montgomery, AL 36104
334-517-7000 or
Toll Free 1-877-517-0020
Fax Number:
334-517-7001 or 1-877-517-0021

AARP 1-888-687-2277

TIAA 1-800-842-2252

VALIC 1-800-448-2542

Medicare and Disability Information

The University of Alabama Retiree Association-(TUARA)
VP for Membership, Dianne Teague