A. Employee Benefits
7. Benefits Following Retirement
7.1 Normal Retirement Age. The USNH considers age 65 as the "normal retirement age" in accordance with the retention of this age by the Social Security Administration as the age for retirement. Its only purpose is to provide a reference point for faculty and staff in their retirement considerations. USNH faculty and staff may be considered to be "retirees" as defined in employment policy (USY V.C.9.2). In addition any police officer who retires at age 45 or older with 20 years of service as a full-time certified law enforcement officer or at age 60 or older with three years of such service will be considered a "retiree."
7.2 Social Security
7.2.1 Full benefits under the federal Social Security Program are available at age 65 or other federally mandated age, but may begin on a reduced basis as early as age 62.
7.2.2 Eligibility. To qualify for Social Security benefits a faculty/staff member must have contributed for a minimum number of covered years as defined by the Social Security Administration. Faculty/staff members should contact a local Social Security Office at least three months prior to retirement to discuss benefits and make arrangements to receive them.
7.3 Retirement Income from USNH Sponsored Retirement Plans. Retirement income benefits are subject to IRS regulations.
7.3.1 Benefits may begin any time after the faculty/staff member fully retires or terminates his/her employment or as described in USY V.C.9.
7.3.2 Income from USNH Defined Contribution Retirement Accounts – TIAA/CREF and Fidelity. Faculty and staff must contact the vendors to discuss options for retirement account fund distribution.
7.3.3 Income from Defined Benefit Plan. The University System of New Hampshire maintains a defined benefit plan called the Operating Staff Retirement Plan for those staff members who joined the plan prior to January 1, 1987.
7.4 Medical Coverage for Retirees Age 62 through age 65 and for Full-time Certified Police Officers
7.4.1 All faculty/staff members who meet the qualifications of a USNH retiree (see USY V.C.9.2 for definition) and are enrolled in a USNH medical plan prior to retirement and retire, may continue coverage per University System guidelines until they are eligible for Medicare coverage at age 65.
7.4.2 In order to maintain medical coverage per University System guidelines, effective 1/1/06, retiring faculty/staff members will pay the same premium contributions as active employees up to a maximum period of three years.
126.96.36.199 Spouse, civil union partner, or domestic partner who is eligible under the hardship exception, and/or dependent coverage. The faculty/staff member must be covering a spouse, civil union partner, or domestic partner under her/his medical plan at retirement in order for them to be eligible for continued coverage. Coverage for family members ends on the same date as coverage for an employee ends. (See USY V.A.7.5 and USY V.A.7.6 below.)
7.4.3 USNH police officers may be eligible for medical coverage between the ages of 45 and 62 as defined and approved by the Board of Trustees. Officers retiring at age 62 or after will be eligible to select either the same medical plan, coverage and contributions as all other employees retiring at age 62 or later, or the USNH police officer medical retirement plan.
7.5 Medical Coverage for Retirees Over Age 65 with the Additional Retiree Contribution (ARC). The ARC contribution was implemented to provide funds for retirees to purchase a medical plan to supplement Medicare, which takes effect the first of the month in which a retiree attains age 65. There is no option for USNH medical coverage for faculty/staff under ARC, except for those subject to COBRA provisions.
7.6 Medical Coverage for Retirees Over Age 65 with the Medicare Complementary Plan
7.6.1 Eligibility. In 1994 benefits-eligible faculty/staff members hired prior to 6/30/1994 had the opportunity to choose an additional 1% retirement contribution (ARC) or the Medicare Complementary Plan. Only those who selected the Medicare Complementary Plan at that time are eligible for the plan at retirement. In order to meet the USNH definition of a retiree, faculty/staff in this plan begin accumulating years of service toward this benefit starting at age 52. Faculty/staff must meet all of the criteria of a retiree as defined in USY V.C.9.2 and be participating in a USNH medical program prior to retirement.
7.6.2 Spouse, civil union partner, or domestic partner who is eligible under the hardship exception, and/or dependent coverage. The faculty/staff member must be covering a spouse, civil union partner, or domestic partner under her/his medical plan at retirement in order for them to be eligible for continued coverage.
188.8.131.52 If a spouse, civil union partner, or domestic partner is age 65 or older, s/he will be transitioned to the USNH Medicare Complementary Plan.
184.108.40.206 If spouses, civil union partners, domestic partners, and/or dependents of retirees are less than age 65 and are eligible for coverage after a faculty/staff member reaches age 65, the faculty/staff member will pay the same premium as active employees for a maximum of three years after the faculty/staff member's retirement date. Following the three years, the faculty/staff member will contribute 50% of the total cost of the coverage.
220.127.116.11 In the event the retiree dies, the spouse, civil union partner, or domestic partner may continue in the Medicare Supplemental Plan for the rest of her/his life or until remarriage or the establishment of a new USNH-defined domestic partnership.
18.104.22.168 If the faculty/staff member who chose the Medicare Complementary Plan is over age 52 and has at least 10 years of service and dies either while on active service or while on an approved early retirement plan, long-term disability, or chronic worker’s compensation, her/his spouse, civil union partner, or domestic partner is still eligible for the Medicare Complementary Plan at age 65, unless made ineligible by remarriage or the establishment of a new civil union or domestic partnership.
22.214.171.124 In the event a spouse, civil union partner, or domestic partner of a retiree covered by the Medicare Complementary Plan dies, the retiree is not permitted to add a new spouse or domestic partner to the plan.
7.7 Retirees with Additional Retiree Contribution Guarantee
7.7.1 Eligibility. In 1994 benefits-eligible faculty/staff members hired prior to 6/30/1994 had an opportunity to choose an additional 1% retirement contribution or the Medicare Complementary Plan. Those who chose no retiree medical coverage had a guarantee of a minimum of $10,000 in their ARC account at retirement. The campus Human Resources Office has information concerning the individual application of this ARC guarantee to a faculty/staff member.
7.8 Flexible Spending Accounts
7.8.1 The deadline to incur FSA expenses is the last day of employment, and the deadline to submit claims is 90 days from the termination date.
7.9 Health Reimbursement Accounts