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Total Rewards frequently asked questions

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Did retiree insurance change for employees who retired prior to 1/1/18?

Changes to UM System retiree insurance eligibility and subsidies, effective 1/1/2018, have no effect on employees who retired prior to 1/1/2018. These retirees, as well as their spouses and other dependents, who are enrolled in UM’s insurance plan(s) will:

  • Retain their UM insurance coverage—including medical, dental, life, and vision insurance.
  • Retain the current subsidy from UM—including subsidies for spouses and other dependents.

For a list of current plans available to retirees—including dental, vision, and life—visit the retiree benefits overview on the Total Rewards website.

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How do changes to retiree insurance, effective 1/1/18, effect current faculty and staff?

Under the changes, employees’ eligibility for UM System retiree insurance benefits, as well as their eligibility for a UM System premium subsidy, is different depending on their age and years of service. Visit the Retiree Insurance Eligibility webpage for general information on eligibility.

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What research was conducted to support the new structure of retiree insurance, effective 1/1/18?

The Retiree Medical Study provided the research on which the Total Rewards Advisory Committee (TRAC) made its deliberations when developing its retiree insurance recommendations, which have since been approved and implemented. For more information, access the Retiree Medical Study webpage or the Retiree Insurance Eligibility webpage.

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When deciding which Access Category I am in, does UM round my age and years of service?

Effective January 1, 2018, employee’s eligibility for the university’s retiree insurance plans will change. Eligibility will differ based on whether an employee falls into Access Category A, B, C, or D. The Access Category you are assigned to is based on whole numbers; partial years are not counted. For example, if you are age 50.5 and have 5.5 years of service, you drop the half a year on each and add 50 and 5. In this example, the calculation is 50 + 5 = 55. It’s not 50.5 + 5.5 = 56.

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Do changes to retiree insurance affect all retiree insurance benefits, or just medical plans?

The changes pertain to eligibility and subsidies for these retiree insurance plans: medical and dental. In the future, as recommended by TRAC, the University will conduct a review of retiree life insurance as well to leverage the marketplace and provide focused value to retiree needs. 

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How does an employee become eligible for UM retiree insurance right now?

Prior to 1/1/2018, or for those employees in Access Category A, an employee was eligible for retiree health insurance if the employee was:

  • Eligible for retirement* and
  • Enrolled in a UM insurance plan prior to retirement

This structure of retiree insurance benefits applied to any employee who retired before January 1, 2018, or any employee in Access Category A. A new structure for retiree health insurance took effect on January 1, 2018, and changed eligibility criteria. Read about how eligibility criteria changed in 2018.

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If I have a sick or vacation time accrued, what happens to it when I retire?

When you retire, you will receive day-for-day service credit for accrued sick leave, and there is no cap on sick leave accruals. 

For unused accrued vacation time, you will receive service and salary credit. Unused accrued vacation time is paid out over time at retirement; there are caps on vacation accrual based on your accrual rate. 

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If an employee retired, then returns to a benefit-eligible position, could the benefit change again?

We can't tell you absolutely that UM System retiree insurance will never change again. But at this time, we don’t anticipate additional changes. If an employee retires and comes back to a benefit-eligible position, the retiree would return to their original retiree insurance eligibility as of their original retirement date.

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I’m in Category B with 19 years of service on 1/1/18. Can I enroll in ret. insurance after 1/1/18?

If retiring 1/1/18 or later, you must work to at least age 60 and attain at least 20 years of service to be eligible for retiree insurance. Category B employees who work to age 60 and attain 20 years of service can enroll in UM System retiree insurance plans, any date after the employee reaches those two benchmarks.

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I’ve heard I can only retire at certain times of the year; is that true?

If you are in a 9-month appointment, you may retire on 3/1 or 9/1. All others can retire on any day of the year after meeting the eligibility requirements to be a retiree.

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If spouses work for UM, what if one retired while eligible for ret. insurance and the other didn’t?

If a spouse losteligibility for UM System retiree insurance, the retiree may add the spouse as a dependent for UM System retiree insurance benefits. Please keep in mind, the newly covered spouse is eligible only for continued coverage under the same programs that individual was enrolled in as an eligible employee. Additionally, such a change must be made within 31 days after the change in status.

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If I meet eligibility requirements, what UM health insurance plans can I enroll in as a retiree?

If eligible, a retiree may enroll in the plans they were enrolled in immediately prior to their retirement date. For more information, access the Retiree Insurance Eligibility webpage.

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