Retire From UNI
Administered by Human Resource Services
UNI is thankful for the years of service provided by eligible retirees and is proud to provide continued benefit options to assist in a smooth transition to retirement. Contact HRS Benefits at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 319-273-2423 for questions or to set up a meeting regarding retirement benefits.
Employees must be 55 years of age or older and have 10 or more years of non-temporary, active service.
Date of Retirement
Staff must retire on a working day (non-holiday) and must work on their last day of employment. Staff may not use vacation on their last day or use vacation to extend their retirement date.
Faculty retiring at the end of the fall semester will normally use a December 31 retirement date. For a spring retirement date, faculty will normally use a June 1 retirement date.
*Faculty entered in a phased agreement must retire at the end of their agreement. Employees who have resigned or retired cannot be rehired prior to the beginning of the next pay period following their termination date.
Notice of Retirement
Staff are asked to provide 30 days notice of retirement. Faculty are asked to notify their department head and/or dean before class assignments are made for the upcoming semester. A retirement letter should be provided to your supervisor/department head, and a copy provided to Human Resource Services. The letter should be dated, provide a date of retirement, and signed. If the retirement letter is in email it should be sent from the employee’s uni.edu email address. It can be emailed to email@example.com or mailed to 27 Gilchrist Hall, 0034.
Faculty and Staff that have entered a phased retirement agreement must retire at the end of their phased retirement agreement. No additional notice is required unless the faculty or staff member wishes to end their phased retirement agreement early. In this case a retirement letter will be required.
Administrators, Faculty and P&S employees who have a minimum of 20 years of creditable full-time or part-time service in higher education including a minimum accumulation of 10 years of service at the University of Northern Iowa may apply for Emeritus Status. Faculty must have at least 10 years of meritorious service at UNI.
*Interested Faculty and Staff should complete the form once eligible and when a retirement date has been established. Status completion is subject to all levels of approval and may require several months to complete.
Vacation and Sick Leave Payout
All accrued vacation is paid out in full, with the total hours of accrual multiplied by the hourly wage.
Sick leave is paid out to a maximum of $2,000 per Iowa Code, with the total hours of accrual multiplied by the hourly wage. Both vacation and sick leave payouts are typically made with the final paycheck. However, it may need to be payed out the month following retirement depending on the retirement date, form completion, and processed timecards.
Employer Paid Benefit Coverage
Employer paid coverage for health, dental, and vision will end the last day of the month in which you are retiring. Contributions to the university sponsored TIAA retirement plan will cease upon final payouts. Employer paid life and long term disability Insurance will end on the last day worked. New health, dental, and/or Medicare and Medicare supplements should begin on the first day following the month in which the employee retires.
Retirement Benefit Options
Premiums, plan design, and plan options are subject to change annually on January 1.
UNI retirees have the option to continue the same plans offered to active employees. Those who continue their enrollment are responsible to pay the full cost of the monthly premiums and may waive coverage at any time. Once coverage is waived retirees are not eligible to re-enroll. Spouses covered under a plan at the time of the retiree’s death may continue coverage until Medicare Eligible Age (65) unless they are eligible for another employer group plan.
- UNI Retiree Premiums
- UNI Retiree Health Plan Comparison
- UNI Retiree Dental Plan
- UNI Retiree Dental Plan 2 Summary Plan description
- Comprehensive Health and/or Dental
- Wellmark Automatic Withdrawal Authorization
- Delta Dental Automatic Withdrawal Authorization
Vision Option With Delta Dental
Retirees enrolled in Delta Dental of Iowa are automatically eligible for the vision discount program through DeltaVision® at no extra cost. A list of participating providers may be found at deltadentalia.com. You may also ask providers whether they have a participating agreement with Delta Dental, or contact Delta Dental at (800) 544-0718 to inquire about the status of specific providers.
Additional Health Care Options Before 65
Retirees who decide to waive coverage through UNI may continue coverage through a spouse/domestic partner’s health plan. Enrollment in plans through healthcare.gov is another additional option. Retirees may also choose to work with an insurance broker to obtain and purchase additional coverage options.
Medicare in Retirement
Retirees age 65 and older will need to enroll in Medicare Part A (if not already enrolled) and Part B. To enroll in Part B without penalty, retirees should work with Human Resource Services in completing an application and affidavit using Social Security form number CMS-L564. Human Resource Services must sign the affidavit. Medicare becomes your primary insurance in retirement.
Medicare Supplement Options
Medicare will become your primary health insurance in retirement and covers approximately 80% of all health care expenses in retirement. To provide coverage for the 20% that Medicare does not cover, retirees may elect the Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Program F, Medicare Supplements available in the marketplace, or a Medicare Advantage plan (if eligible).
When enrolling in the Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Program F, a Medicare Supplement plan, or a Medicare Advantage Plan retirees will also want to consider a prescription drug plan. UNI offers an optional group prescription drug plan through Wellmark to compliment the group Program F plan. There are many prescription drug options available in the marketplace, along with Medicare Part D.
- Wellmark BC/BS Group Retiree Program F Overview
- Wellmark BC/BS Group Prescription Drug Plan Overview
- Group Program F*
- Group Prescription Drug Plan*
- Social Security (SSA) or Call 888-456-9554
- Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) or Call 800-351-4664
- Medicare or Call 800-633-4227
- Medicare and You Handbook
*An enrollment form is required for each individual enrolling. A spouse or domestic partner wishing to enroll would need to complete a separate enrollment form.
Life insurance coverage ends the day following retirement.
External Benefit Options
Iowa Retired School Personnel Association (IRSPA)
An IRSPA membership provides access to supplemental retiree benefits through Association Member Benefits Advisor (AMBA). Among the benefits offered are dental and vision plans. Learn more at irspa.org.
New Dental Choice
Principal Financial is offering a membership dental discount plan called New Dental Choice. This gives you immediate discounts for dental procedures at participating dentists. Learn more at NewDentalChoice.com.
UNI is required under federal law to offer covered employees and their covered family members the opportunity to temporarily extend group coverage of health, dental, vision, and health care flexible spending accounts.
Employees may end UNI comprehensive coverage for health, dental, Group Program F, or Group Prescription Drug coverage at any time. Waived coverage will end the last day of the month you are ending coverage. New coverage should be effective the first day of the following the month in which the coverage ended. Once coverage is ended you may not re-enroll at a later date. If you end coverage, coverage on spouses and dependents will end at the same time.
Retiree Contact Information
Please keep your personal contact information up-to-date with Human Resource Services. All information regarding your benefits will always be sent to the last known address we have on file.
Retirement Tax Law
Consult with your tax advisor regarding regulatory changes to retirement plan savings and distributions. Iowa House File 2317 provides tax relief for certain retirement incomes as well as other income tax bracket adjustments. Now is a great time to meet with your financial advisor, or an IPERS or TIAA consultant, to see how the changes may impact your income and savings plans. An online request for tax guidance is also available through the Iowa Department of Revenue.
Returning to Work
If a retiree returns and is eligible for benefits, they can either:
- Select the active employee benefits and waive retiree coverage
- Waive the active employee benefits and continue with the retiree benefits.
An employee can only retire from UNI once. Once the retiree coverage has been waived, the retiree cannot re-enroll in retirement coverage.
If a retiree returns to work at UNI and previously participated in TIAA, they cannot return in a TIAA eligible position and receive distributions. Therefore, even if the employee is now participating in IPERS, they cannot hold a non-temporary appointment at the university and receive TIAA distributions.
If a new employee has retired and previously participated in IPERS at UNI or another state agency, they cannot receive IPERS distributions if they earn an annual salary of $30,000 or more at any state agency. It is necessary to establish a clear separation from IPERS-covered employment after retirement. This includes not allowing a retired member from becoming an independent contractor for their former IPERS-covered employers during a bona fide retirement period. For more information on retirement restrictions with IPERS members returning to work, please visit the IPERS website.
IPERS Update Effective July 1, 2023
IPERS retirees can work as an independent contractor for, or work in a non-IPERS-covered position with, an IPERS-covered employer after receipt of one retirement benefit payment. Retirees can also enter into a written or verbal agreement to perform services as an employee, independent contractor or volunteer for an IPERS-covered employer after receipt of one retirement benefit payment. The previous requirement was four months. Returning to work information for retirees is available on the IPERS returning to work webpage.
Your Insurance Plan Contacts in Retirement
Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Retire From UNI Next Steps
Learn more about steps to guide you one year, months prior, and days leading up to your retirement date.
Frequently Asked Questions
- 1Q: Will I receive a payout for my sick leave once I retire?
1A: Per Iowa Code, if you are over the age of 55, you are eligible to receive a payout of your unused sick leave up to a maximum of $2,000. The total payout will be the number of hours accrued on the date of retirement multiplied by the hourly wage rate up to a maximum of $2,000.
- 2Q: What happens to my health and dental insurance after I retire?
2A: If you are age 55 of over when you retire, you will be able to continue your health and dental insurance for life, if you choose. Currently the surviving spouse of a UNI retiree is allowed to continue coverage unless they are eligible for another employer group plan. You are responsible for the full premium payment to Wellmark and/or Delta Dental.
- 3Q: When will my employer paid health and dental coverage end when I retire?
3A: Coverage will end on the last day of the retirement month.
- 4Q: What happens if I retire and then return to work at the university?
4A: You may only retire once from the university.
- 5Q: If I don't elect to continue health or dental coverage at the time of retirement, can I enroll later?
5A: If you discontinue (waive) either the health or dental plan, you cannot enroll later.
- 6Q: Do I have to wait until I am retired to apply for Emeritus status?
6A: No, you can apply once you are eligible and know your retirement date. Emeritus status will not be added to your UNI record until you have a separation of employment (e.g. retirement).
- 7Q: Am I required to include a letter of recommendation to apply for Emeritus status?
7A: A letter of recommendation is not required for staff. For a faculty member’s application, a letter from the nominee’s Department Head or College Dean, or their designee, is required to be submitted to Senate leadership.
- 8Q: If I elect to maintain UNI comprehensive coverage, can I change coverage to Program F?
8A: Retirees 65 and older may elect to change to Program F during open enrollment. They may also elect to change during a qualifying life event (e.g. change in eligibility due to recently turning 65).
- 9Q: If I waive UNI comprehensive coverage when I retire can I later enroll in the Program F?
9A: Retirees must continue UNI comprehensive coverage when you retire or enroll in the Program F to maintain coverage with UNI. Once coverage is waived you can not later re-enroll in either comprehensive or Program F.
- 10Q: How will I receive my final payslip after I retire?
10A: Your final payslip will be mailed out to the address that we have on record for you.
- 11Q: How will I receive my W2 and/1095C (if applicable)?
11A: These documents will be mailed to the address on file once they are updated and become available.