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.


    Read details

    Find contact information below

    Contact the HR Solution Center

    Contact FEAP if you need support

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.

Details to help you prepare

  • 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:
    • Approximately 4 months before retirement:
      Contact the Benefits Division at UVA Human Resources at 434.243.3344 to discuss health insurance and other benefits.
    • 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 and/or your dependent must also apply for Medicare if not already enrolled.

    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

    The beginning date for your first required minimum distribution is generally April 1 following the later of the calendar year in which you: reach age 72 (age 70½ if born before July 1, 1949), or 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 were hired prior to 2000 and joined VSDP, you are eligible to use your disability credits, if applicable, 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 

    Contact Fidelity, log in to your account, and more

    Account log-in

    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 

    Contact Fidelity, log in to your account, and more

    Account login 

    Medical Center Retirement Program Summary

    Medical Center Retirement Program 

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


    You may want to meet with a Social Security Administration representative to discuss your options for when to take your Social Security Retirement Income. 

    You may take partial benefits at age 62. The Social Security Administration will pay you an additional 8% per year once you reach your full retirement age if you elect to take your retirement at a later date. You must take it at age 70. For an overview of retirement age effects on benefits, visit the SSA webpage linked here.

    You also have the option to file-and-suspend. If you have a spouse who is receiving their full retirement benefit, you may file-and-suspend your benefit and request to take one-half of your spouse’s full benefit amount.  This does not affect the amount of retirement benefit received by your spouse. This will allow you to continue to earn the additional 8% per year until you reach 70. At that time you can file to take your full retirement benefit

    The Charlottesville area District Social Security Administration office is located at 1470 Pantops Mountain Place and can be reached by telephone at 1-800-772-1213.  You can find booklets online as well as a local office locator at the Social Security Administration homepage. If you haven’t already done so, you are encouraged to create an account with “my Social Security.”

  • Understand Medicare


  • Lower health plan rates for part time workers beginning in 2022

    For 2022, UVA has lowered the cost of health, dental, or vision benefits for part-time employees.

    Part-time employees will receive the same employer contribution to their premium as full-time employees, resulting in much lower premium rates.

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.

UVA Retiree Health Benefits Program

UVA recognizes the importance of healthcare coverage and is committed to providing retirees with access to affordable, comprehensive, medical and prescription drug and dental benefits. As such, we are changing the way we provide retiree healthcare coverage effective January 1, 2022 when you will have multiple insurance plans from which to choose the one that best meets your individual needs.

Eligibility for health insurance after retirement:

  • You have worked at UVA for at least five (5) consecutive years directly prior to your retirement;
  • You are eligible for a monthly annuity from VRS and you start receiving your retirement benefit immediately upon retirement, or participating in the MCRP or ORP programs and meet the age and service requirements for an immediate retirement benefit under the VRS plan that you would have been eligible for on your date of hire had you not elected ORP or MCRP; and
  • You were eligible for enrollment in UVA’s active employee health plan on your last day as an active state employee; OR
  • You were approved for long-term disability through VSDP, MCRP, or ORP and have applied for social security disability.

How to enroll:

  • Contact the UVA HR Solution Center at least three months before you retire so you have plenty of time for the enrollment process
  • Review the Enrollment Kit you receive from UVA’s partner, Mercer Marketplace 365+ Retiree; contact Mercer to enroll in a pre-Medicare health plan or a Medicare supplement.
  • If you are Medicare eligible, you can also enroll in the state’s Medicare supplement, Advantage65. You must have continuous pre-Medicare coverage through the Mercer Marketplace since your retirement in order to enroll in Advantage65 when you become Medicare eligible.
  • You must enroll in your insurance plan prior to your retirement date. No retroactive coverage is available.

Plan options and monthly 2021 premium ranges for single coverage:

  • Pre-Medicare Medical Plans through Mercer Marketplace 365+
    • $661 - $1,249 without any federal subsidies
    • Depending on your income, you may have access to federal premium and cost-sharing subsidies which will lower the cost of your plan.
  • Medicare Supplement Medical Plans through Mercer Marketplace 365+
    • Beginning at $0
  • Advantage65 Medicare supplement options through the Commonwealth of Virginia
    • $170-$273

Health credit for retirees:

  • Retirees with at least 15 years of creditable State service when they retire are eligible for a health insurance credit of $4 per month for each year of creditable service.
  • Disability retirees usually receive a health credit of $120 per month.
  • Retirees eligible for health insurance credit must complete a Retiree Health Insurance Attestation Form after their initial enrollment in a Mercer Marketplace health plan and return it to the UVA HR Solution Center. This form contains information needed to complete the VRS health insurance credit form.
  • Retirees must update VRS regarding future changes to their health premiums.

How to change retiree health insurance coverage:

  • Retirees can reduce membership or cancel coverage prospectively (going forward) at any time, but retirees who cancel coverage may not re-enroll in the future.
  • Membership can only be increased prospectively due to a qualified life event. Changes must be made within 30 days of the event date.
  • Retirees enrolled in a Mercer Marketplace plan can change their health insurance during the annual open enrollment period, typically November 1st through December 15th, with changes effective the following January 1st.

Additional details can be found in the UVA Retiree Health Benefits Program document.

The Retiree Health Insurance Attestation Form should be submitted by new retirees after completing their initial enrollment in the UVA Retiree Health Benefits Program. It should also be used by retirees already in the program who become eligible for Medicare and want to enroll in the state’s Advantage65 Medicare supplement plan.

The UVA Retiree Health Benefits Program 2022 FAQs address the transition to the 2022 UVA Retiree Health Benefits Program with Mercer Marketplace 365+ Retiree. Contact information for Mercer Marketplace 365+ Retiree can be found here. You can also visit Mercer online at

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. 

  • 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. Navigate to Workday>Absence>Request Absence

    • Annual leave balances remaining after separation will be paid up to the maximum limit

    • Find and print out your leave balance in Workday by navigating to Workday>Absence>View Absence Balance
  • Medical Center

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

    • Find and print out your leave balance in Workday by navigating to Workday>Absence>View Absence Balance

    • 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.



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