Answers to Your Top Questions on Preparing for Retirement

Have you worked at MSU for at least 25 years in a benefit-eligible position? Or are you at least 62 years old and worked at MSU for at least 15 years in a benefit-eligible position? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you may be thinking about retiring from MSU someday (or even soon).

To help you prepare for retirement, we’ve compiled a list of the top questions we receive as employees think about transitioning to retirement:

Q1: What will be the retiree health care plan?

A1: This depends on whether you, your spouse/other eligible individual (OEI) or any covered dependents are eligible to enroll in Medicare when you retire. Review the Effect of Retirement on Benefits for details about your situation and the applicable year Open Enrollment Guide for Retirees for health plan information.

Q2: How much will retiree health care cost?

A2: Most retirees are eligible to receive the full university contribution level towards retiree health and dental benefits. To determine your level of university contribution, please review the Retiree Benefits Policy to understand your “Retirement Calculation Date” and your level of “FTE Service Months” (both can be viewed in your Personal Profile tile in the EBS Portal), and how they will affect the amounts that you pay in retirement. Then check the appropriate health care Monthly Plan Premiums chart in the applicable year Open Enrollment Guide for Retirees to determine the cost.

Q3: Am I eligible to cover my spouse/OEI or dependents on my retiree health care plan?

A3: Your “Retirement Calculation Date” (which can be viewed in your Personal Profile tile in the EBS Portal) will determine the university’s contribution for your spouse/OEI and dependents toward retiree health and dental coverage based on university policy. To see which contribution you will qualify for, please review the Retiree Benefits Policy. Even if you’re not eligible to receive a university contribution toward retiree health care for your spouse/OEI or other dependents, you can still enroll them in the university’s group retiree health care plan by paying the full premium cost.

Q4: How is retiree health care different from my current coverage?

A4: Please review the Health Plan Coverage Summary in the applicable year’s Open Enrollment Guide for active employees (faculty or support staff) and retirees to compare the benefits offered.

Q5: What does retiree health care cover?

A5: Please review the Retiree Open Enrollment Guide to view the Health Plan Coverage Summary for benefits offered.

Q6: Does the retiree health care plan include prescription drug coverage?

A6: Yes. Your retiree health care plan and prescription drug coverage is bundled together in one plan. To learn more about the prescription drug coverage, please review the Summary of Health and Prescription Plan Provisions in the Retiree Open Enrollment Guide.

Q7: Is Medicare necessary?

A7: Yes. If you, your spouse/OEI, or any other covered dependent are eligible for Medicare by being age 65 or older, or due to disability (SSDI), the eligible individual must enroll in Medicare Parts A and B (please do NOT enroll in Part D). Please review this Medicare and Social Security Information for more details about enrolling. Once you’re enrolled, you will need to send MSU Human Resources your MBI number from your Medicare card to enroll in MSU’s retiree health care plan.

Q8: Which parts of Medicare do I need?

A8: You must enroll in Medicare Parts A and B (please do NOT enroll in Part D). Please review this Medicare and Social Security Information for more details about enrolling. Once you’re enrolled, you will need to send MSU Human Resources your MBI number from your Medicare card to enroll in MSU’s retiree health care plan.

Q9: When should I sign up for Medicare?

A9: You should enroll in Medicare Parts A & B at least 2-3 months in advance of the effective date, as it will take time for Medicare to process your application and send you your Medicare card (which you will need in order to send MSU Human Resources your MBI number to enroll in the MSU retiree health care plan). If you are eligible for a Special Enrollment Period with Medicare, contact the HR Solutions Center at SolutionsCenter@hr.msu.edu or 517-353-4434 to complete the required form.

Q10: How early do I have to request retirement from MSU?

A10: We suggest you submit your MSU Retirement Form at least 90 days prior to your planned retirement date so we can ensure your enrollment in Medicare and/or the MSU retiree health care plan is completed smoothly and timely. You can submit your completed form up to 120 days in advance of your planned last day of work (for support staff positions) and up to 365 days in advance of your planned retirement date (for faculty, academic staff and executive management positions). You will submit your Retirement Form in the EBS Portal. Instructions to complete and submit the form are available.

Q11: How do you request retirement?

A11: You will submit the MSU Retirement Form via the EBS Portal. Instructions to complete and submit the form are available for your assistance.

Q12: As a support staff employee, what are my options regarding my unused vacation, personal and compensatory time?

A12: There are 3 options:

  1. Receive payment after your retirement date.
  2. Use all your time before your retirement date. After you indicate your last day worked on the Retirement Form, Human Resources will review your form and your available unused vacation, personal and compensatory time to determine your official retirement date.
  3. Combination of the options listed above: On the Retirement Form, please fill in the Notes section with the number of hours and type of hours (vacation, personal, and/or compensatory time) that you would like to use after your last day worked.

For more information on preparing to retire from MSU, please review the retirement resources on the HR website. These include a Roadmap to Retirement webinar, the effect of retirement on your benefits, information about Medicare and Social Security, a retirement checklist and much more. If you’re ready to take the next step, we recently made updates to the Retirement Form in the EBS Portal to make it more user-friendly.