Revised January 2011; Revised June 2016
Employees are able to schedule their retirement from university employment based on their unique needs and lifestyles. Accordingly, the university encourages quality advance planning on each employee’s part in preparation for retirement from university employment. Normal retirement is defined as the last day of the month in which age 65 is attained. Some employees will retire before they reach 65 and others after age 65. An employee may retire at, before, or after the normal retirement age.
An employee who plans to retire from university employment should advise the supervisor of that decision as far in advance as possible. In any case, the normal notice of resignation (ten working days for nonexempt staff and twenty working days for exempt staff employees) is the minimum notice period expected.
The following information is provided to assist those who are contemplating retirement from the university. Please note that this is a summary for general information only. Additional information is available in Human Resources. In the event of any question, official plan documents, university policy/procedure, and legal requirements/considerations will prevail.
These documents do not describe the university’s 403(b) Retirement Plan. Conditions and rules applicable to participation (eligibility), vesting, participant and university contributions, Plan investments and payout of benefits are described in and controlled by the Plan, Plan investment documents and letters of appointment and by applicable law. Please refer to those documents for details. Note that retirees are not eligible to make additional contributions to the 403(b) Plan or to receive any contribution from the university to their Plan account.
Most employees who retire from PLU are considered “regular retirees”. Generally the following length of service and age requirements must be met in order to qualify for regular retirement from PLU:
- Must be in a “with benefits” status (.5 FTE or more) at time of retirement, and
- Must be at least age 55 at time of retirement, and
- Must have at least 10 years of service based on the hire date, or be a tenured faculty member at the time of retirement.
At their own expense, retirees and their eligible dependent(s) may continue medical and dental coverage on the university’s group plans through COBRA according to federal regulations. Information regarding COBRA will be provided at the time of retirement. Basic life insurance benefits may be converted, at the retiree’s expense, to an individual policy.
All financial contributions made by PLU to insurance benefits discontinue at the end of the month in which the person terminates active employment and begins regular retirement. At that same time, participation in virtually all benefits discontinues: 403(b) Retirement Plan, Long Term Disability, Accidental Death & Dismemberment, Vacation Pay, Sick Leave, etc.
Regular retirees retain the right to reduced tuition under the PLU tuition remission policy. In addition they receive parking permits, and an identification card that allows continued use of the library, athletic facilities and participation in campus events on a discounted or free basis. Tenured faculty may retain access to their PLU email.
Regular retirees are not eligible for the ELCA tuition exchange program or the Tuition Exchange, Inc. program.
Phased retirement is a special benefit made available by PLU to certain qualified faculty and exempt staff hired before December 31, 1996. Nonexempt staff are not eligible for phased retirement.
Phased retirees receive supplemental retirement compensation from the university for a certain period of time. As part of the phased retirement application and approval process, specific payment arrangements will be made. These supplemental wages are considered earned income by the IRS and therefore will likely impact the phased retiree’s Social Security benefits.
While they receive this compensation, phased retirees are eligible to participate in certain PLU benefits. These benefits are made available at whatever costs are applicable during any given year and include medical, dental and some life insurance. The retiree may enroll him/herself and eligible dependent(s) in any or all of these plans.
All financial contributions made by PLU to other insurance benefits discontinue at the end of the month in which the person terminates active employment and begins phased retirement. At that same time, participation in virtually all benefits discontinues: 403(b) Retirement Plan, Long Term Disability, Accidental Death & Dismemberment, Vacation Pay, Sick Leave, etc.
Phased retirees retain the right to reduced tuition under the PLU tuition remission policy, but are not eligible for the ELCA tuition exchange program or the Tuition Exchange, Inc. program. Phased retirees may retain their parking permits, receive an identification card that allows continued use of the library, athletic facilities and participation in campus events on a discounted or free basis. Upon an exempt staff member’s completion of phased retirement, access to PLU email will end.
Specific eligibility requirements and provisions of the phased retirement plan are addressed in the (Revised) Policies and Procedures for Reductions in Load and Phased Retirement, Revised June 2004. Please refer to that document for full details.