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Retirement Planning

Retirement 101

So, you're thinking about retiring. Congratulations!  We know that making the decision to retire is not an easy one.  That is why we are here to help every step of the way.  We encourage you to utilize the checklist below and the tabs above to help guide you through the process. Thank you for all your hard work and contributions to helping Austin Peay State University grow. 


The State of Tennessee provides benefits-eligible faculty and staff who meet certain age and service requirements access to various benefits in retirement. Per the state's plan:

  • For individuals who terminate employment, one of the following conditions must be met for continuation in the plan:

    • The retiree must have at least ten (10) years of employment with the employer, with three continuous years of insurance coverage in a state-sponsored insurance plan immediately prior to final termination for retirement.

    • The retiree with 20 or more total years of employment with the employer with one year of insurance coverage in a state-sponsored insurance plan immediately prior to final termination for retirement.

Retirees whose first employment with the state commenced on or after July 1, 2015, will not be eligible to continue insurance coverage at retirement and will not be eligible for special enrollment under this provision, unless that retiree was also employed by the state or a participating local education agency before July 1, 2015, and did not accept a lump sum payment from the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System before July 1, 2015.

To review the entire plan document, visit here

  • Schedule a counseling meeting with your retirement advisor to discuss your benefit payment options, Social Security options, and account balances.

  • Create a monthly retirement budget.

    • This will help you decide if you'll need to increase your contributions in your last few years of working.

  • Consider your eligibility for 401(k)/457(b) catch-up contributions.

    • Members age 50 and over at the end of the calendar year may make additional contributions above the annual contribution.

  • Apply for your Social Security benefits when you become eligible and desire to activate this benefit.  To do so, you must file a separate application with the Social Security Administration. You can find this application here: https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/

  • Determine the source of medical insurance for you and your family post retirement.

    • If you have worked for the State of Tennessee for at least 10 years, you'll be able to continue health insurance as a retiree.

      • If you are under the age of 65 at your retirement, you'll be able to continue in health, dental, and vision as a retiree.  Please note, if your spouse is over the age of 65 and they are currently covered under your insurance plan at APSU, they cannot enroll in the Tennessee Plan until you, the retiree, becomes Medicare-eligible.

      • If you are over the age of 65 at your retirement, you'll be able to continue in dental insurance and you can enroll in the Tennessee Plan (POMCO), which is a supplement to Medicare. Medicare would be your primary health insurance and you'd be responsible for finding vision coverage. 

      • If you plan on continuing insurance as a retiree, you'll need to complete the Application to Continue Insurance at Retirement prior to your last day of work.

      • For information about enrolling in Medicare, please visit here.

  • Submit your intent to retire with the effective date to your department.  Make sure to copy Human Resources.

  • Report changes or make updates to your address, direct deposit, and tax withholdings as needed with your retirement vendor (TCRS or the ORP).

  • After you reach age 72, or 70 1/2 if you reach 70 1/2 before January 1, 2020, you are required to start withdrawing money from your traditional 401(k) or 457(b) account. For more information, visit here

  • You will maintain many benefits as a retiree of Austin Peay State University. For a full list of benefits, visit here

  • Accrued Annual Leave: Upon termination of employment with the University, an employee shall be paid for all accrued but unused annual leave.  Upon retirement, payment shall be, at the option of the employee, either by terminal leave or by lump sum payment. Terminal leave is that period during which an employee remains on the payroll beyond their last working day until all of their accrued annual leave has been exhausted. If a retiring employee elects terminal leave, the date on which their annual leave is exhausted shall be the official date of retirement. For more details regarding the University's leave policies, visit here

  • Accrued Sick Leave: If you are a member of TCRS, your unused sick leave will transfer into creditable service.  Every 20 days of unused sick leave will equal one month of creditable service with TCRS.  If you are an ORP member, your sick leave will stay in your bank or you can donate the balance to the sick leave bank if you are a member.

  • Change of Address: Please notify the Office of Human Resources at humanresources@apsu.edu or by phone at (931) 221-7177 if you move after retirement.

  • Contribution Limits: The 2021 contribution limits are as follows:
    • 401(k): $19,500; catch-up contribution of additional $6,500. Please note the maximum is an aggregate total of the 401(k) and 403(b).
    • 457(b): $19,500; catch-up contribution of additional $6,500.
    • 403(b): $19,500; catch-up contribution of additional $6,500. Please note the maximum is an aggregate total of the 401(k) and 403(b). 
  • Life Insurance: You will be able to continue life insurance on a direct bill basis.  You will receive a letter in the mail prior to your loss of coverage explaining the coverage and premium levels. If you do not receive this letter, please contact us as soon as possible.

  • University Property: You must return all University property during your clearance meeting.  This would include your laptop, keys, and ID card.  These items should be turned into HR, not left with your department.

  • W2: If you cannot access your electronic W2 upon retirement, please email payroll@apsu.edu with three pieces of identifying information in order to receive a copy.

 

 

TCRS Members

Here are some steps to take as a TCRS member to prepare for retirement:

  • Before anything else, you'll want to request a benefit estimate by calling (800) 922-7772.  This will give you an estimate of what your benefit will be when you retire. To expedite the process, you can ask for your estimate to be sent via secure email.

  • Once you have your benefit estimate, you'll want to schedule a counseling meeting with a RetireReadyTN Plan Advisor well in advance of retiring. During the counseling session, you will review your benefit estimate, payment options, review your 401(k)/457(b) account balances, and discuss how to execute your retirement plan.

  • Once you meet the TCRS retirement eligibility requirements, you can apply for retirement online by logging into Self-Service at MyTCRS.com. You'll need to submit the application at least 90 days prior to your last day of work!

    • To complete the application, you will need to have the following:

      • The social security number(s) for you and your beneficiary(s).

      • Bank routing and account number for establishing your direct deposit.

      • Tax withholding information - determine if you would like your taxes withheld, and if so, the desired number of allowances you wish to claim or the percent/dollar amount you wish to be withheld.

 

You are a member of the TCRS Legacy Plan if you were hired prior to July 1, 2014.  Being a Legacy member means:

  • You are non-contributory; meaning, your contributions have been paid through Austin Peay or your previous state institution.

  • There is a five year vesting period.

  • You can draw from your retirement once you have 25 years of service or are 55 years of age and vested.

  • There is voluntary participation in the 401(k) and 457(b); there is no automatic enrollment in these programs.

You are a member of the TCRS Hybrid Plan if you were hired on or after July 1, 2014. Being a Hybrid member means:

  • Members are contributory to TCRS at 5%.

  • There is automatic enrollment in the 401(k).

  • There is a five year vesting period for TCRS and immediate vesting into the 401(k).

  • You can draw from your retirement at age 65 and vested or by meeting the rule of 90 (years of service + age = 90).

ORP Members

Prior to retiring, you'll want to contact your ORP vendor(s) to discuss your account balances, your retirement budget, and if you need to make any changes to your contributions prior to retiring. 

Austin Jefferson

ajefferson@tiaa.org

(615) 783-2956 ext. 25-2956

www.tiaa.org 

Nelson Clay Green Jr, MBA

nelson.green@aig.com

(615) 221-2541

www.aig.com/RetirementServices 

Michael V. Biggs, ChFC, CLU, MBA

michael.biggs@equitable.com

(931) 245-5480

https://www.voya.com/ 

Healthcare Premiums

The healthcare options upon retiring from Austin Peay State University are based on the retiree's age:

  1. Under age 65

  2. Age 65 and older

Employees under the age of 65 at the time of retirement, who meet the eligibility requirements for the State of Tennessee, may elect to participate in a retiree medical plan for oneself and one's eligible dependents.  Retirees could enroll in health, dental, and/or vision at this time.

 

If you are currently covered under APSU's health insurance, you can delay enrolling in Medicare Part A and Part B and you won't have to pay a lifetime late enrollment penalty.  Once your employment ends at APSU, you have eight months to sign up for Part B without a penalty.

 

Upon attainment of age of 65, the retiree would move to Medicare as the main healthcare provider and would need to search the independent marketplace for vision coverage.  The retiree could continue on the state's dental plan and/or enroll in the Tennessee Plan (also known as POMCO) at that time.

 

Approximately three months prior to turning 65, retirees and/or their eligible spouse should enroll in Medicare Parts A, B, and D.  Contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) at 877-531-4695 or visit the SSA website

Employees 65 years of age or older at the time of retirement, who meet the eligibility requirements for the State of Tennessee, can continue dental insurance and/or enroll in the Tennessee Plan.  Vision coverage would need to be found through the independent marketplace.  Medicare would be your primary health insurance provider.

 

Approximately three months prior to retiring, retirees and/or their eligible spouse should enroll in Medicare Parts A, B, and D. Contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) at 877-531-4695 or visit the SSA website.

 

The Tennessee Plan, also called POMCO, is one of the options for Medicare Part C. This is a supplement plan that helps to cover the out of pocket costs not covered by Medicare. More information about The Tennessee Plan can be found here

  • Application to Continue Insurance at Retirement: Needed to continue insurance as a retiree for health, dental, vision, and/or the Tennessee Plan.  If applicable, return form along with any dependent documentation and your Medicare card.

  • Enrollment Change Form: Needed from your eligible spouse if you, the retiree, are planning to be added to their insurance plans upon your retirement and the spouse is an APSU employee. 

Medicare 101

You qualify for social security by earning "credits" when you work and paying social security taxes.  You need 40 credits (10 years of work) and be at least age 62 to draw social security benefits.

If you are currently covered under APSU's health insurance, you can delay enrolling in Medicare Part A and Part B and you won't have to pay a lifetime late enrollment penalty.  

To contact the local Clarksville Social Security Administration office, dial (877) 531-4695.

Another helpful resource is TN SHIP (State Health Insurance Assistance Program) for Medicare Participants.

Medicare Parts Explanation
Medicare Part A

This covers the hospital insurance.  There is no premium for this coverage. You can enroll once you turn 65 years of age, regardless if you are covered by APSU health insurance.

When you're eligible for premium-free Part A, you can enroll at any time after you're first eligible for Medicare.  Your Part A coverage will go back (retroactively) six months from when you sign up (but no earlier than the first month you're eligible for Medicare). Most individuals get premium-free Part A. For more information click here

Medicare Part B

This covers your doctor visits.  Medicare should cover 80% of your visits so you'll want to look at a supplemental plan to help cover the difference (See Part C). There is a premium associated with this plan. The premium is based on your gross income. See this page for assistance.

Once your employment ends at APSU, you have eight months to sign up for Part B without a penalty.

Medicare Part C

Medicare Advantage Plus is one supplement option. The Tennessee Plan (POMCO) is another option.  There is a premium associated with this plan. With POMCO, the state pays a portion of your premium based on your years of service with the State of Tennessee.  To view The Tennessee Plan premiums, visit here. 

Medicare Part D

This covers your prescription drugs.  There are many options based on what prescriptions you need covered so we recommend looking for the right option ahead of time. There is a premium associated with this plan. For more information, visit here

Upcoming Retirement Webinars

We encourage you to attend any of the retirement webinars below.

Presenter: TIAA

You can give yourself a mid-career financial checkup to evaluate your current savings, formulate a plan to help pursue your savings goals and manage competing financial priorities.

 

Tuesday, May 11th 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Register Here

 

Presenter: TIAA

Make an impact with a social choice. Did you know that responsible investing enables investors to align their social and environmental principals with their financial goals? Learn the factors that make an investment socially responsible, the history of RI, and ways for individuals to incorporate RI into their investment strategy.

 

Wednesday, May 12th 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Register Here

Presenter: TIAA

Feel more secure in your savings strategy by verifying you're on the right track.  And if you're off track, know what adjustments you need to make. Learn how to plan your investments and hold on to as much of your nest egg as possible.

 

Wednesday, May 12th 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.

Register Here

Presenter: TIAA

You can learn how 529 college savings plans work and how to invest in one for a child, grandchild, yourself, or other loved one.

 

Thursday, May 13th 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Register Here

Presenter: TIAA

You may know about the tax advantages of contributing to a Health Savings Account (HSA), but did you know that HSAs are also a way to save for healthcare expenses in retirement? During this discussion, we'll go through how HSAs can help you in your journey toward financial wellness.

 

Thursday, May 13th 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.

Register Here