Prepare for Retirement

Prepare for Retirement


Planning for retirement means planning for a secure financial future. UVA offers many ways to prepare, including financial consultants, financial tools and calculators, in-person seminars, online webinars, and other resources.

Determine if You are Eligible

To plan for retirement, consider at what age you would like to retire and how many years of service you will have by that time. (Ex.: If you have worked at UVA for 5 years, and are 65 years old, you will receive full benefits. If you choose to retire at 55 with 5 years of UVA work experience, your retirement benefits will be reduced.)

Choose a benefit calculator for your plan.

When to Contact Human Resources and Your Retirement Providers

In order to receive benefits in a timely manner, start the process well before your retirement date. Use the following timeline:

  • At least 4-6 months before retirement:
    Contact your vendor for information about forms to complete. These include:
  • At least 3 months before retirement:
    Contact the local Social Security Office to apply for payments - if desired. If you (or a dependent) are 65 or older, you must also apply for Medicare to start on your retirement date.
  • Approximately 3 months before retirement:
    Contact the Benefits Division at UVA Human Resources at 434.243.3344 to discuss health insurance and other benefits.

The benefits available at retirement include:

VRS, ORP, or MCRP distributions (depending on your current plan)

  • Social Security and Medicare benefits
  • Health care insurance
  • In many cases, life insurance and distributions from 403(b) savings plans

You may defer receipt of retirement benefits until one of the following dates (whichever is later):

  • April 1 of the calendar year after you turn 70½
  • April 1 the year after you retire

If you defer retirement benefits, you are not eligible to enroll in the Retiree Health Benefits Program.

Contact your retirement vendor to discuss distribution options.

  • Select the Best Retirement Option for You Within Your Plan

    You can receive your retirement income in several ways depending on your plan:

    • Receive the highest monthly income available when you retire, but this option is only payable to you and will not transfer to your survivors.
    • Choose a reduced benefit option to make your retirement income available to your survivors.
    • Receive a higher benefit in your early years after retirement and before receiving social security benefits, then reduce the benefit when your social security starts.
    • Retire after your social security income has started.
    • Receive a lump-sum distribution of up to three times your annual benefit, requiring you to work past full retirement age for one to three years.
  • Virginia Retirement System (VRS) Options

    Before you retire, choose an income payment option:

    • Basic Annual Lifetime Benefit
    • 10% - 100% Survivor Option
    • Special Survivor Option
    • Partial Lump Sum Option Payment (PLOP)
    • Advance Pension Option (APO)

    If you did not join the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP), use your sick leave balance to purchase VRS service credit at retirement.

    • Maximum purchase of service time cannot exceed the sick leave payout rules and is governed by the VRS policies found in the VRS 1 Handbook or VRS 2 Handbook.
    • Benefits will submit your accrued sick leave hours to VRS, then VRS will determine how many months of service you are eligible to purchase.
    • Calculations performed by you and/or your Benefit Counselor are strictly estimates; VRS makes the final determination.

    If you joined VSDP, you are eligible to use your disability credits to purchase VRS service credit at retirement.

  • Optional Retirement Program (ORP) Options

    UVA partners with TIAA and Fidelity Investments to offer a robust retirement plan to save for your future. When you enroll in ORP, you also have short- and long-term disability, and life insurance with The Standard. Set up a consultation with your retirement plan representative or attend a seminar at UVA to learn more.

    Contact TIAA, log in to your account, and more

    Account login 
    Consultations/Seminars
    800.842.2252

    Contact Fidelity, log in to your account, and more

    Account log-in
    Consultations/Seminars
    800.343.0860

    ORP Summary

    Optional Retirement Plan Summary

    For more information about how the ORP works, visit the ORP page.

  • Medical Center Retirement Program (MCRP) Options

    If you enroll in MCRP, you can choose either TIAA or Fidelity Investments. Each provider has resources for UVA employees and representatives to assist you. Set up a consultation or attend a seminar at UVA.

    Contact TIAA, log in to your account, and more

    Account login 
    Consultations/Seminars 
    800.842.2252

    Contact Fidelity, log in to your account, and more

    Account login 
    Consultations/Seminars 
    800.343.0860 

    Medical Center Retirement Program Summary

    Medical Center Retirement Program 

    For more information about how the MCRP works, visit the MCRP page.

Are You Ready to Retire?

This presentation is for current Plan 1 and Plan 2 members (hired before January 1, 2014) who are within five years of retirement guides you through important retirement decisions (such as when to retire and selecting a benefit payout option). Other topics include using myVRS and benefits after retirement.

Taxation of Retirement Benefits

Retirement plan contributions are usually made with before-tax dollars, so federal income taxes are deferred until you begin taking withdrawals later on.

No taxes are due on pretax contributions and earnings until the money is withdrawn, but because these plans are intended primarily for retirement, you can generally withdraw funds only after termination of employment or age 59½ (subject to plan rules). If you withdraw funds before age 59½, they may be subject to an additional 10% early-withdrawal penalty.

  • VRS Taxation

    At retirement, file a VRS-15 Request For Income Tax Withholding:

    • Your VRS retirement income is subject to federal income tax
    • If you plan to reside in the Commonwealth of Virginia during retirement, your VRS retirement benefit is subject to state income tax

    Contact your tax advisor for additional guidance.

  • ORP and MCRP Taxation

    Retirement plan contributions are usually made with before-tax dollars; federal income taxes are deferred until withdrawals later on.

    No taxes are due on pretax contributions and earnings until the money is withdrawn, but because these plans are intended primarily for retirement, you can generally withdraw funds only after termination of employment or age 59½ (subject to plan rules). If you withdraw funds before age 59½, they may be subject to an additional 10% early-withdrawal penalty.

    Please contact your tax advisor for additional guidance.

Health Care Insurance

It is important to review information on your health care insurance as you prepare for retirement. The Retiree Health Benefits page will provide detailed information regarding:

  • Eligibility for health Insurance after Retirement.
  • How to enroll in Retiree Health Insurance
  • Health Credit for Retirees
  • How to change retiree health insurance coverage

Please call the HR Solution Center at 434.243.3344 for additional information.

Life Insurance

  • Basic Life Insurance

    If you have Basic Life insurance with Minnesota Life, your insurance continues after you retire at no cost to you if you meet both of the following requirements:

    • You are at least 55 years old
    • You have at least five years of continuous service as an employee, or are age 50 with 10 years of service (including five years of continuous service as an employee)

    The insurance amount reduces by 25% annually starting January 1 following 12 months of retirement, and on every January 1, thereafter until coverage reaches 25% of its value at your retirement.

    If you are eligible to retire but defer receipt of your annuity, reduction begins on January 1 following the first 12 months from the date you separate from service. At its fully reduced level, you will have approximately half of your preretirement compensation in life insurance.

    If you retire due to disability, your life insurance also continues and does not begin to reduce until you reach age 65. Beginning January 1 of the first full year following the date you reach 65, your insurance begins to reduce at the rate of 25% annually until your coverage reaches 25% of its value at retirement.

    If you took either a service or disability retirement before July 1, 2001, your basic group life insurance reduces 2% each month until it reaches 25% of its value at retirement.

    Although accelerated death benefit and the right to voluntary irrevocable assignment continue into retirement, accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) coverage ceases.

    If you are a Medical Center employee enrolled in life insurance with The Standard, your retiree life insurance provides a death benefit of $10,000 payable to your designated beneficiaries upon your death. The death benefit amount stays level for the rest of your life. You receive the equivalent of your annual salary in group life insurance coverage, provided by The Standard. This coverage also includes AD&D, identity theft protection, will preparation, and beneficiary assistance.

  • The Standard Life Insurance

    UVA provides $10,000 in life insurance to eligible retired members who have participated in The Standard life insurance. Verify your insurance and beneficiaries when you retire. The Standard plan also allows you, at retirement, to convert part or all of the basic and supplemental insurance you have as an active employee.

  • 403(b) Savings

    If you have been participating in Fidelity, TIAA 403(b) plans, or the Commonwealth’s 457 tax-deferred savings plan, you can:

    • Elect to receive income at the time of retirement
    • Defer payments until April 1 of the calendar year following the year you reach age 70½ or following the year in which you retire, whichever is later

    Contact your retirement plan vendor to make arrangements, or make an appointment to meet with a campus representative from your vendor.

Payout of Unused Annual Leave

  • Staff

    • You will be paid for your accrued annual leave balance not to exceed the maximum payment amount when separating from state service by resignation (including resignation from layoff status), retirement, termination, or death

    • You may request and use (if approved) annual leave on your last scheduled work day before separation from state service, including retirement
    • Annual leave balances remaining after separation will be paid up to the maximum limit
  • Medical Center

    • You will be paid for unused accrued PTO hours at 100% of your base rate of pay

    • 25% of your catastrophic leave balance, up to a maximum of $5,000, will be paid upon termination if you have five or more years of continuous service

Return to Work Policy (VRS)

VRS retirees who accept non-covered employment with the same employer must have a bona fide break in service to continue receiving benefits. Non-covered employment includes temporary, part-time hourly, and adjunct faculty positions that do not provide VRS benefits.

After you retire, you can work for any employer who does not participate in VRS and continue to receive your retirement benefits. If you return to covered employment with a VRS-participating employer, you will become an active member and your retirement benefits will stop.

In some cases, you can work in a non-covered position with a VRS-participating employer and continue to receive your retirement benefits. If you return to non-covered employment with the employer from which you retired, you must have a bona fide break in service of at least one full calendar month from your retirement date. This break must occur over a period you normally would work. Periods of leave with or without pay, summer breaks, and intersession periods do not count toward satisfying this break in service. This requirement includes teachers who retire under an early retirement incentive program.

The Commonwealth of Virginia, including all state agencies and public colleges and universities, is considered one employer. Public school divisions and political subdivisions are considered separate employers. Your employer can make no verbal or written offer of reemployment before you retire. You and your employer must certify that there is no such prearrangement.

Before returning to a VRS non-covered position:

  • Check that you have been terminated from the VRS-covered payroll for at least 30 days
  • Have no prearranged employment commitment with the employer
  • Ensure you are not expected to perform all of the duties required of your preretirement, full-time position
  • Evaluate the need for the position with your employer periodically if it does not have an end date
  • Structure the position so the hours worked are at least 20% fewer than a full-time position; position descriptions should clearly define the difference between part-time and full-time positions requiring the same skills, experience and knowledge

Employment at UVA in a wage position cannot exceed 1,500 hours during a fiscal year calendar.

Visit the VRS website to review the Preretirement Planning Guide and check the dates of the next VRS-sponsored Retirement Education Seminar.

Perks for Retirees

  • Athletics

    Retired staff and faculty may purchase season tickets for football and basketball at the same rate as those currently employed (based on availability). Retired staff and faculty who have more than 5 years of service may purchase a pass to use athletic facilities.

    Ticket Information: 434.924.8821
    Intramural-Recreational Sports: 434.924.3791

  • Birdwood Golf Course

    Full-time staff or faculty who retire are eligible to continue receiving the employee rate on membership. Proof of full-time employment status may be required if information is not on file at Birdwood.

    Birdwood: 434.293.4653

  • Bookstore

    A 10% discount on books is available to retired faculty and staff. The bookstore prefers that retirees present an ID card.

    Bookstore: 434.924.3721

  • Colonnade Club

    Retired faculty and staff who were active members for at least 10 consecutive years become honorary members and receive lifetime membership and all privileges at half cost. Retirees with fewer than 10 years of membership may retain membership at full cost.

    Colonnade Club: 434.924.3532

  • Course Offerings

    All members of the community may take courses. Information concerning education benefits for senior citizens (60 years or older) is available from Continuing Education.

    Continuing Education: 434.982.5313

  • UVA Care Connection

    This program offers a single point of contact for arranging primary and specialty care appointments at the UVA Medical Center. Employee Connection gives access to a primary care appointment within 3 business days, specialty care appointments within 7 business days, and radiology (diagnostic testing) appointments within 3 days. A UVA Employee Connection ambassador is on hand to answer calls Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM.

    UVA Care Connection: 434.243.3675

  • I.D. Cards

    I.D. cards may be obtained at the Card Office in Observatory Hill Dining Hall, Lower Level, from 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday. If you already have an I.D. card, you may have it updated.

    Card Office: 434.924.4508

  • Library

    Retired staff and faculty who can prove Virginia residency may be cardholders at no cost.

  • Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

    The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) is a nonprofit university-related foundation that provides stimulating short courses, lectures, and field trips designed for adults age 50 and older. Programs are offered during the day at convenient locations. OLLI is a volunteer, member-directed organization supported by modest fees for membership and tuition, as well as by grants and donations. OLLI at UVA brings together people of diverse backgrounds who share a common interest in continuing intellectual activity and invigorating social interaction. It is part of the Bernard Osher Foundation, a national network of lifelong learning institutes.

    OLLI Online
  • Parking

    Emeriti faculty receive gold permits at no charge. Provide Parking and Transportation with a copy of the letter indicating election to Emeritus status.

    Parking Services: 434.924.7231

  • Research/Education Travel Program

    Emeriti faculty may apply for limited travel grants each year through the Office of the Vice President for Research.

    Office of the Vice President for Research: 434.924.3990

  • Retired Faculty Association

    Retired faculty and spouses are eligible for membership at minimal cost. This organization facilitates communication with the administration and schedules special programs.

    Retired Faculty Association
  • Special Arrangements

    Some departments and schools may make arrangements to satisfy specific needs of retired faculty. Interested retirees should inquire of the appropriate dean or department head.