Retirement From the University of Pittsburgh
Although you may resign from the University at any time, official retirement from the University with the ability to participate in selected benefits, programs and services is granted only if certain criterion is met. Faculty and Staff hired on or after July 1, 2004 must meet an age and full time service requirement equal to 85 with a minimum age of 62 to qualify for retiree medical, dental, vision, life insurance, and education benefits. Faculty and Staff hired prior to July 1, 2004 must be a minimum of 62 years old to qualify for retiree benefits. For more information on retiree benefit eligibility, details of the Defined Dollar Benefit Program, and details on each of the retiree benefits offered to both pre-65 and post-65 retirees, please reference the retiree website at: http://www.hr.pitt.edu/retirees.
The Defined Dollar Benefit Program (DDB), the University’s retiree medical program, is effective July 1, 2004.
- The DDB program is the only option available to retirees and spouses/domestic partners age 65 or older.
- The DDB program is an option for retirees and their spouses age 62 to 65. (Alternatively, the retiree and spouse may elect the University’s active medical coverage during this period.)
The Defined Dollar Benefit (DDB) program extends the cost-sharing concept that the University has adopted for active medical coverage, providing a reimbursement account for you and your eligible spouse/domestic partner upon retirement.
On the first of each month, a fixed amount of credits will be applied to your account that may be used for reimbursement of retiree medical coverage. Your eligible spouse is the person you are legally married to at the time of your retirement. Your eligible domestic partner is the person you have designated on an approved affidavit that is filed with the University.
Credits will not accrue while you or your spouse/domestic partner are covered by the University’s active medical plans.
The amount of credits provided will be reviewed annually and increased in accordance with the medical component of the Consumer Price Index. Your credit balance will accrue from month to month and year to year if the cost of retiree medical coverage does not exceed the number of credits in your account. Credits will also accrue if you have coverage through a spouse/domestic partner or another employer.
To the extent the retiree medical plan costs more than the credits in your account, you will owe the balance and will be billed accordingly. Credits may be used to reimburse you or your spouse for retiree medical coverage only. Credits will not be used for reimbursement of any other active employee coverage outside the University.
The pre-65 retiree medical coverage is a continuation of the same plans available to active faculty and staff. The medical plans are administered by UPMC Health Plan. Participants have the option to disenroll from the University’s sponsored coverage and elect to take the defined dollar benefit (DDB) credits at any time at age 62 or older. However, once you elect to take DDB credits, you do not have the option to revert back to University coverage on a cost-sharing basis. The plans will be available to you but you must apply the DDB credits against the full cost of coverage.
Changes in elections may be made if you have a family status change that includes gain or loss of employment, divorce, deletion of a dependent, death of a spouse, relocation, etc.
The University’s contribution continues as usual, and you will be billed for the equivalent of your usual payroll deduction.
The current post-65 options are:
- Major Medical
- Security Blue - Medicare HMO
- UPMC for Life - Medicare HMO
- UPMC for Life - Medicare PPO
It is possible the medical plan options may change from year to year for post-65 participants.
Major Medical is a supplement to Medicare Parts A and B. Medicare Parts A and B do not provide full coverage. There are high dollar deductibles, co-insurance, and other “gaps” in coverage. As a result, participants may purchase a Medigap policy as well. The cost for Medigap coverage is paid by the retiree. The premium varies by the plan you choose and the region of the country in which you reside.
The University requires retirees to elect a Medigap policy to be eligible for Major Medical coverage.
The primary reason for electing Major Medical is the prescription drug coverage. After meeting certain deductibles and co-payments, the Major Medical plan covers prescription drugs and does not have a plan maximum. Medicare Parts A and B plus a Medigap policy work in conjunction with Major Medical to provide a valued avenue of coverage for post-65 retirees.
An attractive alternative of increasing popularity are the Medicare HMOs, which incorporate the coverages provided under Medicare Parts A and B, Medigap, and Major Medical. As a result, retirees may obtain broader coverage with less paperwork. However, services are limited to the area in which the network resides.
Currently the University offers two Medicare HMOs. They are available in most counties in Western Pennsylvania. Security Blue is provided through Highmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield. UPMC for Life is through UPMC Health Plan. Both presently offer unlimited prescription drug coverage.
The UPMC for Life Medicare PPO offers a broad range of in-network benefits generally at 100 percent coverage utilizing the UPMC network. Additionally, for those who travel for extended periods of time, this plan also provides comprehensive out-of-network coverage, generally on an 80 percent plan/20 percent member cost share basis.
During the six-month period immediately preceding your retirement from the University, you should contact the Social Security Administration and the Benefits Department of the Office of Human Resources for additional information. The retiree section of the Human Resources website also contains a wealth of information.
Retirees under age 65 may elect to continue the active dental and/or vision coverage in effect at the time of retirement. Upon reaching age 65, the University offers voluntary group dental and vision coverage. Additionally, the Medicare HMOs and PPOs offer limited dental and vision coverage.
Depending upon length of service, status, and enrollment immediately prior to official retirement, you may receive the education benefits that were applicable when you were actively employed. See Policy 07-11-02. Additional information concerning provisions for a spouse and/or dependent children is available from the Benefits Department of the Office of Human Resources.
The University provides group life insurance at no cost in the amount of $15,000 if you have completed 10 or more years of service. For service of less than 10 years, the amount of coverage is calculated at $1,500 per year for each year of service. AD&D insurance cancels at retirement. The difference between your basic life insurance as an active employee and the amount provided in retirement may be converted to an individual life insurance policy by applying to the carrier within 31 days after retiring and paying the actuarial rate of the carrier. Any optional insurance coverage in effect at the time of retirement is portable. You may continue the optional coverage at attractive group rates.
Through the University, various provisions and alternatives apply to your spouse, whether less than 65 years of age or over the age or 65. In addition, when you reach age 65, there are provisions through the University for dependent children under age 19 years, or age 19 to 25 years if a full-time dependent student. When no longer eligible through the University because of age or student status, you will receive information and may elect to continue medical coverage for your dependent for a specified period of time through COBRA.