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Hourly (Classified) Benefits - Frequently Asked Retirement Related Questions

When can I retire? How do I know if I am eligible?

Retirement is defined as leaving the University at age 55 or older with 10 or more years of full-time regular service or after age 65. You are eligible for health insurance benefits as a retiree if you are at least age 55 and have completed 10 or more years of full-time regular consecutive University service. Retirees that don’t meet the 10 years of service do not receive the subsidy

When and how do I initiate my University retirement?

Applications for retirement should be initiated as early as possible and no later than 90 days prior to the your proposed retirement date. The application may be obtained from the Benefits Office, 143A Corbett Hall.
Complete this application and give it to your supervisor who will then route the form for other required approvals. The application ultimately will return to the Benefits Office.

I have an academic work year. What date do I use for my retirement, 5/31 or 8/31?

Your notice of retirement to your supervisor should say that you are retiring at the end of the fall semester or academic year. Please be clear as to the date that you plan on retiring – May 31 or August 31. (Academic year employees who use other dates may experience complications with regard to benefits.)

Will the date I choose make a difference in my health insurance coverage/premiums?

If you are an academic year (or 9, 10, or 11 month) employee who is paid in twelve monthly installments, you may request that your pay be continued through August or the balance paid up in May or June. The department head will need to consider the budget implications of the earlier salary payout of the salary. Your benefit eligibility will continue for the remainder of the pay cycle (typically ending August 31). Benefit premiums for June, July and August will be deducted from an early salary pay out. (Academic year employees who use other dates may experience complications with regard to benefits.)

What does it mean to be ‘vested’?

Being vested means that you have met the specified creditable service requirement that enables you to receive a monthly benefit upon retirement at the normal retirement age under your plan. University employees are immediately vested with regard to both employee and University retirement contributions.

How soon should I contact TIAA-CREF or other retirement plan vendors?

If you have received ongoing guidance from your retirement plan vendor(s) you should contact them 2-3 months prior to your retirement date. If you have not received ongoing guidance from your vendor(s) you should contact them approximately 6 months prior to your retirement date.

What are the contact numbers?

Telephone numbers for the basic retirement plan are as follows:

TIAA-CREF: 800-842-2776
ING: 207-990-1901
Valic 207-745-5192
Fidelity: 800-343-0860
T. Rowe Price; 800-638-5660M
Or contact your financial advisor for additional information.
TIAA-CREF, ING and Valic all offer onsite counseling. To schedule counseling appointments for TIAA-CREF please contact the Benefits’ Office at either 581-2366 or 581-2367.

Will I pay for health insurance premiums once I retire?

If you are 65 or over, your own health insurance premium will be paid by the University if you have 10 years of continuous full-time regular service prior to retirement. If you have dependent coverage and/or are under 65, there will be a cost to you for the health insurance coverage.

What happens to my health insurance at age 65?

Retirees must enroll in Medicare, parts A and B, in order to continue medical benefits through the University of Maine System. At age 65, you will join the new Anthem Advantage program which takes care of billing for Medicare and Anthem claims.

What do I do about Social Security and Medicare? When?

If you are 62 or older and wish to begin receiving Social Security Benefits, visit the Bangor Office of the Social Security Administration in the Federal Building on Harlow Street to begin the application procedure. If you are eligible for Medicare, that enrollment can happen at the same time. You should do this approximately two months prior to your retirement date.

Please take with you:

To make an appointment (recommended), call 990-4530, or (800) 772-1213.

Can I still work for the University if I retire?

Yes, but only part-time.

Will I be eligible for a Retiree Gold Card (GC)? What do I have to do to apply for this?

GC is a special privilege for retirees who have worked at the University for all or most of their careers. Recipients must be at least 55 years of age and have worked at least 25 years for the University of Maine in a full-time capacity. All former faculty and staff who are granted emeriti status are also eligible. The GC is not transferable; spouses and partners of deceased retirees are not eligible for the GC. Former employees wishing a GC should apply using the form Gold Card Application (PDF).

What does the Gold Card offer?

GC privileges currently include visits to the Planetarium, all public lectures on campus and performances by the School of Performing Arts. The GC also entitles the holder to limited use of campus athletic and recreational facilities as well as attendance at selected athletic or Maine Center for the Arts events. More detailed information can be found at Retirees Gold Card.

For more Gold Card information, including an application form, please visit:

Retirees Gold Card Benefits

How will I pay my health insurance premiums after I retire?

Your premium may be deducted from your checking/savings account, or make payment directly to CBA/EBPA. Payment is due the first of the month following the month of retirement.

Can I cancel my health insurance coverage from the University? If I cancel my coverage, can I pick it up again later?

Under current University policy, you can cancel your health insurance coverage from the University. However, if you discontinue health or dental insurance, you will not be able to re-enroll at a later time.

Note: Enrollment in Medicare Parts A & B (if and when eligible) is required to remain eligible for University insurance as a retiree. Do not enroll in Medicare D or you will lose eligibility to remain in the University health insurance plan.

What happens to my term life insurance once I retire?

Your University term life insurance will terminate at retirement. You may convert up to the total amount of life insurance you had as an employee to a personal policy with Prudential Insurance Company. Conversion must take place no more than 15 days after the end of your University employee coverage. You man call Prudential at (877) 889-2070 for information and a conversion kit.

How do I get included in the University’s recognition ceremony for retirees?

Regular classified, professional and faculty employees who have ten years of continuous University service immediately prior to retirement and are at least 55 years old will be eligible for recognition as a retiree at the Annual Banquet. The ten years of continuous service will be waived for employees who retire at the age of 65 or older.

Am I eligible for a retirement gift?

Yes. Retirees will be awarded a retirement gift of their choice. Examples of gifts, which feature the UM seal, include a Boston rocker, Captain’s chair, watch, wall clock, and a brass lamp.

I would like to stop working and then use my accrued vacation to pay me for a month and a half. Is that OK?

University policy requires your last day to be a work day.

What will my spouse’s insurance premium cost when I retire?

If you have dependent coverage, there will be a cost to you for the health insurance coverage. Contact UMS for current premiums.
Also, dependents can be added to a retiree’s health and/or dental plan after retirement only during open enrollment periods or immediately after a family status change. Annual adjustments to premium costs are to be expected.

How soon will I be able to start receiving payments from TIAA-CREF (or other University approved vendor?)

Generally, prompt return of necessary forms to the vendor(s) will result in timely retirement income.
Once you have received the necessary paperwork from your retirement plan vendor(s) and filled out your portion, including your signature, the documents must be forwarded to Mary Whitney or Kenneth Loomis at the System Office in Bangor. Tony Richard, Director of Employee Benefits, must sign as the authorized employer.

I am retiring, can I delay drawing on my retirement account?

IRS regulations require that you begin minimum distributions by April 1 of the year following the calendar year you turn age 70½ or terminate employment, whichever is later. (However, any contributions or earnings credited to 403(b) retirement plans before 1987 are excluded from the accumulation subject to these federal rules until the year in which you reach age 75.)

How do I get emeritus status?

Faculty and other professionals who retire after at least fifteen years of service to the University in the immediate past may be recommended by their deans, directors, or vice presidents for emeritus appointments. Professional administrative staff may be granted emeritus titles upon recommendation by one or more responsible administrators if they have served the University for fifteen years. When the responsible administrator feels that an individual with less than fifteen years of service deserves emeritus status, he or she may recommend that an exception be made.

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Contact Information

Office of Human Resources
5717 Corbett Hall
Orono, ME 04469
Phone: (207)581-1581E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System