Prospective Retiree - Officers
What Happens to My Benefits When I Retire?
Medical, prescription and vision benefits are available upon retirement if you have satisfied the eligibility requirements. To be eligible, Officers must be 55 years or older and have 10 or more years of service with the University.
- For more information on eligibility, see Eligibility for Retiree Benefits.
- Also see Retiree Medical-Life Insurance Plan
Medical plans for retired Officers vary depending on if you retire before or after age 65. For more information, see:
Dental coverage is available upon retirement if you have satisfied the eligibility requirements. To be eligible, Officers must be 55 years or older and have 10 or more years service with the University, after age 45. For more information on eligibility, visit Eligibility for Retiree Benefits.
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)
Healthcare and Dependent Care FSAs cease upon retirement. You will have until 90 days following your retirement date to submit claims for expenses incurred in the current year up until your last day worked.
To submit a claim, complete the UHC Healthcare FSA Claim Form and/or the UHC Dependent Care FSA Claim Form and submit the form and receipts to UnitedHealthcare through www.myuhc.com. If you have any questions, call UnitedHealthcare at 800-232-9357 or go to www.myuhc.com.
Medical plan options for Retired Officers vary based on your age at retirement. For more information, see:
Health Spending Account (HSA)
If you were enrolled in a High Deductible Health Plan, you were eligible to participate and set aside tax-free funds using an HSA (if you were enrolled in the High Deductible Health Plan), provided you were not enrolled in Medicare Part A or B at that time. The money from your HSA remains yours even after you retire from Columbia—to be used for qualified medical expenses, dental and vision care, prescription drugs, COBRA premiums and post-retirement Medicare coverage.
If you wish to withdraw HSA funds to pay for non-qualified expenses, you will pay taxes on that distribution, along with an additional 20% penalty if you are under the age of 65. Optum Bank is the administrator of the HSA. You may contact Optum Bank at 800-791-9361 or at www.optumbank.com.
Transit/Parking Reimbursement Program (T/PRP)
Your transit and parking reimbursement benefit will cease upon retirement. You will have until 90 days following your retirement date to submit claims for expenses incurred in the current year up until your last day worked.
If you are currently participating in Columbia's Life Insurance plan, your group coverage will end upon retirement. You are entitled to convert your coverage to an individual life insurance policy from Cigna for any amount up to your current group coverage. You cannot be denied life insurance coverage due to your health status. This means that you do not need to complete an evidence of insurability (EOI) form when converting coverage.
Cigna Life will automatically send you a conversion notice and application when your retirement is processed. If you wish to convert your policy, you must complete the application and return it to Cigna.
You are eligible for a life insurance benefit. The amount of life insurance depends on your union affiliation, upon retirement. Please refer to your collective bargaining agreement for details.
Your group long-term disability coverage will terminate upon retirement.
Both your contributions to your Voluntary Retirement Savings Plan (VRSP) and the University’s contributions to your University Retirement Plan will cease upon retirement. However, your funds will remain available.
Tuition benefits are available upon retirement if you have satisfied the eligibility requirements. To be eligible, an Officer must be 55 years or older and must have completed 10 years of continuous benefits-eligible service as a regular, full-time Officer on and after age 45 and must have retired immediately after termination of employment with Columbia University.
The following tuition benefits are available after retirement: College Tuition Scholarship (CTS), Primary Tuition Scholarship (PTS) and Tuition Exemption.
If you will be entering phased retirement, you will be treated as an active full-time Officer for purposes of tuition benefits until your date of retirement.
Officers of Administration who are age 55 or over, have completed 10 years of service with the University and are now contemplating retirement can now explore the possibility of a "phased retirement," in which they gradually decrease their workload instead of going immediately into full retirement.
You can continue you connection with Columbia University after you retire. By renewing your Columbia ID card, you will have access to libraires, the shuttle bus, and discounts at campus venues. The Dodge Fitness Center offers basic membership to retirees at a 50% discount.
Effective January 1, 2019, retired Officers may continue taking advantage of the University's Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The EAP is a network of services to help you and your household members cope with issues that you experience in everyday life. Provided by Humana, the EAP offers short-term confidential counseling and wellness resources, identity theft protection and convenience services.