Faculty Senate: Easing Into Retirement: Tips for Faculty
Retiring is more complex than you might think.
The University has the following retirement plans: the Maryland State Retirement Agency (MSRA) and the Optional Retirement Program (ORP). Each has different eligibility rules for receiving retirement monies and subsidized retiree health care.
The availability of health care for retiring faculty depends on length of service. Faculty who were hired before July 1, 2011, and have five years of ORP service are eligible for prorated subsidized retiree health care. Those with 16 years of ORP service can receive fully subsidized retiree health care, and those with more than 25 years of service can include dependents on their plan. Faculty who are not eligible for subsidized retiree health care may extend their health care benefits and elect COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) to receive unsubsidized health care for up to 36 months.
For more information, visit dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-consumer-cobra.html.
To retain benefits as part-time faculty, you must be at least 50 percent (20 hours per week) of full-time equivalent status. However, many of these benefits also are prorated and/or have other stipulations. You may continue to have contributions made to your retirement plan. Remember, there is no compulsory retirement age.
If you retire with health care and then plan to be rehired into a part-time position, you must start your withdrawals from your ORP or pension retirement account and take a minimum 45-day break-of-service from the University. For retirees with at least five years of service with the University System of Maryland (USM) and periodic distributions from their ORP account, tuition remission is available at USM institutions for dependents younger than 25 who are obtaining their first undergraduate degree.
Faculty also have collegial leave and other benefits not available to University employees. For part-time faculty details, contact your department.
Emeritus faculty may retain University library access after retirement.
To review your options and complete the necessary paperwork, schedule an appointment with a Human Resource Services (HRS) benefits specialist at 6-2616. For more information, visit hr.umaryland.edu/benefits/.
Thanks to Lynn Stansbury, MD, School of Medicine professor, and Nannette Richardson, HRS benefits manager, for their counsel and contributions to this article.
Colin Mackenzie, MB, ChB
Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology
School of Medicine
Faculty Senate Member