Retiree Benefits

This summary is designed to give retiring employees information on UALR retirement benefits. Please contact Department of Human Resources at 569-3180 if you have any questions.

1. HEALTH/DENTAL INSURANCE

You are eligible to continue medical insurance as a retiree if your age at retirement plus years of service with the U of A equals 70 or more, and you have had U of A medical insurance for the past ten consecutive years. There are no eligibility criteria for dental insurance, except that at the time of retirement, you must have the dental insurance.

To continue medical and/or dental coverage, you must make an election within 31 days after your retirement date. If you elect to continue coverage, you will be billed quarterly for the following quarter-year’s coverage. Retirees who continue their medical and/or dental coverage under an early retirement agreement will be billed quarterly when their coverage under the agreement ends.

If you are ineligible for coverage as a retiree, you may continue the health and/or dental insurance that is offered to active employees for 18 months through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). You must pay the full premium plus a 2% administrative fee. COBRAServ will mail correspondence to you concerning your COBRA rights. It is extremely important that your department notify Department of Human Resources through a PAF of your termination of employment no later than your last day of employment.

Medical coverage may be continued for retirees as both major medical insurance and as a supplemental to Medicare. Both POS and Classic plans are available to retirees, along with an Indemnity plan, which is available only to retirees who reside outside of Arkansas. Election of the indemnity plan can only be made at the time of moving out of state. All other changes (switching between POS & Classic ) may only be made during the annual election period (normally December).

2. LIFE INSURANCE

An employee whose age at retirement plus years of service with the University of Arkansas equals 70 years or more, and who has had life insurance for the past ten consecutive years, may elect to keep a $10,000 term life insurance. The yearly premium cost is $100.00.

If you are ineligible for coverage as a retiree, you may convert your life insurance to an individual policy. An application and the first premium must be submitted to TIAA-CREF within 31 days following termination of employment. Conversion applications are available in Department of Human Resources.

3. RETIREMENT INCOME

To initiate the paperwork with TIAA-CREF, Fidelity Investments, Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System (APERS), or Arkansas Teacher Retirement System (ATRS), it is suggested that you request information at least 3 months before you would like to receive the first payment. Listed below is the address and phone number for each vendor.

TIAA-CREF
730 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017
(800)842-2776

Fidelity Investments
P.O. Box 1823
Boston, MA 02105
(800)343-0860

Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System (APERS)
124 W. Capitol #400
Little Rock, AR 72201
(501)682-7800
or (800)682-7377

Arkansas Teacher Retirement System (ATRS)
1400 W. 3rd Street
Little Rock, AR 72201
(501)682-1517
or (800)666-2877

4. SOCIAL SECURITY – RETIREMENT BENEFITS

For retirement benefit purposes, you may retire as early as age 62, but if you retire earlier than age 65, you will have a smaller monthly benefit. To be eligible for retirement benefits, you must have at least 40 quarters of coverage under social security, or about 10 years of work. Quarters of coverage are earned each year of work depending upon your earnings.

You must contact the Social Security Office before retirement benefits start. Payment does not automatically begin when you turn age 62 or 65. You must apply up to 3 months before benefits are to begin. This will help you to receive your first payment on time.

Social Security Administration
700 West Capitol
Little Rock, AR 72202
(501)324-5827

Social Security Administration
523 North Main
N. Little Rock, AR 72116
(501)324-5827

Please call 1-800-772-1213 for general information.

5. SOCIAL SECURITY – MEDICARE

There are two parts of Medicare: Part A – Hospital Insurance, and Part B – Medical Insurance. Medicare becomes available at the beginning of the month in which you become age 65. You must apply for Medicare at least one month in advance if you are not receiving retirement benefits. Medicare also becomes available if you are disabled and have been receiving disability benefits for 2 years.

Part A – Hospital Insurance

Part A pays some of the costs of hospitalization. You do not pay a premium for Part A. It is financed through the social security tax withheld from employees’ paychecks (shown as MQFE on UALR paystub). It is a good idea to apply for Medicare Part A three months before the month you turn age 65 even if you do not plan to retire, so that your coverage will begin the month you reach 65.

Part B – Medical Insurance

Part B pays some doctor fees and outpatient hospital and related services. When you apply for Part A, you will be enrolled automatically for Part B of Medicare unless you tell them you do not want it. Two-thirds of Part B is financed through general revenues of the federal government and one-third through premiums paid by participants. Premiums for Part B are either withheld from your monthly social security check or billed to you.

If you decide to take Part B after you are 65, you will pay a higher premium depending on the number of months that you were eligible for Part B and you were not actively employed. It is best to request an application before your retirement ends. More information on what Medicare covers and excludes is available through the Social Security Office.

On your last day of employment, you must come to Department of Human Resources to complete an Exit Interview Form to “clear” campus.