If you participate in the Optional Retirement Program (ORP) managed either by Fidelity or TIAA-CREF, this information will help you with steps you'll take as you're approaching retirement.
Your first step will be a meeting with the Benefits Specialist from Human Resources. The Benefits Specialist will be your best resource for guiding you through the retirement process. Your meeting is confidential.
The following topics are addressed:
When planning for retirement there are many things to consider in relation to finances, medical coverage, and more. When you are within one year of your anticipated retirement date, we encourage you to meet with your Benefits Specialist to discuss your situation The information below is intended as a general guideline for those soon approaching retirement. Each person's situation is different; if you have questions about your personal situation as it relates to retirement requirements, please contact the Office of Human Resources.
Recommended Timeline1-3 Years Before Retirement
- Meet with the Benefits Specialist at UBalt and/or your ORP vendor.
- 2 years prior to retirement, a faculty member would want to meet with his or her department chair or dean to discuss possibilities for a modification of duties for a phased retirement plan.
- Schedule an appointment with the Benefits Specialist to review required paperwork and discuss any questions you may have.
- Discuss your estimated benefits with your family and financial advisor.
- Prepare a retirement budget, comparing estimates of your retirement expenses to your state retirement, social security and other income.
- Update or prepare a will.
4 Months Before Retirement
- Schedule an appointment with your ORP representative (Fidelity or TIAA-CREF) to discuss retirement options.
Note: Want to continue State health benefits coverage? When completing retirement paperwork with your ORP, you must select a single (or dual) lifetime monthly payment.
2 Months Before Retirement
- Submit a formal letter of retirement to your department.
- Meet with the Benefits Specialist. To this meeting you will bring a letter from your ORP representative stating that you are retiring. The letter should also state that your selected payment options will begin on your retirement date.
- If eligible, complete forms to continue your health coverage.
Retirees have access to some of the same benefits available to active employees. Please see the sections for each benefit to read about eligibility requirements.
- medical plan
- prescription plan
- dental plan
- term life insurance (read requirements)
- long term care (read requirements)
- tuition remission
Some benefits offered to active employees are not available to retirees. They are:
- long term disability
- flexible spending accounts
- personal accidental death and dismemberment insurance (PAD&D)
Health benefits for an ORP retiree are governed by special rules. To participate in the State employees benefits program, you must receive a periodic lifetime distribution from your ORP vendor and meet one of the following criteria:
- You retired directly from a Maryland State higher education institution with at least five years of full-time employment with contributions to a Maryland ORP account.
- You ended service from a Maryland State higher education institution when you were 57 or older and had 10 years or more of full-time employment with contributions to a Maryland ORP account.
- You ended service from a Maryland State higher education institution with service equaling 16 years or more of full-time employment with contributions to an ORP account.
After retirement, you are subject to the same enrollment restrictions applied to active employees.
Dependent Eligibility - The surviving spouse of a deceased retiree with health benefits is eligible to receive continuing State health coverage provided the surviving spouse is receiving a monthly allowance from the ORP. A surviving spouse can only cover dependents that would also be eligible dependents of the original State retiree.
Medicare Eligibility - If you are 65 or older, or you have a disability entitling you to Medicare benefits, then you are eligible for Medicare. A retired State employee or a covered spouse who is 65 or older at retirement must enroll in Medicare parts A and B. The State health plan is, thereafter, supplemental to Medicare. Anyone covered under the State retiree’s health benefits program that does not have Medicare Parts A and B when eligible will become responsible for approximately 80% of claim amounts that would have been paid by Medicare. If applicable, apply to the local Social Security office three months prior to your retirement.
You may be eligible to have your health benefits payment amount subsidized by the State. The subsidy amount is based on your service time. Your service credit is based on actual time worked. It is pro-rated for part-time employees to reflect the actual percentage of time worked. For example, 10 years of part-time service at 20 hours worked each week would be equivalent to 5 years of full-time service.
Partial subsidy is available if you retire directly from a Maryland State higher education institution and have service equal to 5-15 years of full-time service along with contributions to a Maryland ORP account.
Full subsidy is available if you retire directly from a Maryland State higher education institution and have service equal to 16 years of full-time service along with contributions to a Maryland ORP account.
Maximum subsidy is available when you retired with 25 or more years of full-time service of regular employment with the State, in any branch of government.
Full subsidy for dependents is offered to a retiree's dependent only if the retiree has 25 years of State service. Health insurance subsidies are not prorated for dependents.
You can continue life insurance coverage with MetLife or UNUM if you were enrolled as an active employee. A retiree cannot start this benefit as a retiree. Your dependents may keep the same coverage, as long as you remain enrolled.
- MetLife members need to enroll as a retiree on the health insurance worksheet.
- UNUM members can call 1-866-762-8705 to convert your plan to individual coverage.
Long Term Disability with UNUM is not available to retirees.
You can continue your Long Term Care coverage if you were enrolled as an active employee. Call Prudential at 1-855-778-5821 to convert your coverage to an individual plan.
Retirees are eligible for tuition remission if they:
- are receiving a distribution from your ORP (TIAA-CREF or Fidelity) retirement account
- earned at least five years of University System of Maryland service credit inclusive of the former University of Maryland and Board of Trustees of State Universities and College institutions
Your tuition remission benefit level is based on your FTE status at retirement. If you were full time when you retired, your tuition remission benefit would be equivalent to that of an active full time employees. If you were part time when you retired, your tuition benefit would be equivalent to an active part time employee. Spouse and dependent children of retirees are eligible for tuition remission benefits in accordance with the guidelines for that of spouse and dependents of regular active employees. Upon retirement tuition remission is not available for St. Mary’s College.
If you seek re-employment in any state agency or a USM institution after retiring, state law imposes a 45-day break minimum.
- AARP (American Association of Retired Persons)
- Social Security Administration
- State Retirement & Pension System
- SRPS Forms site
- Department of Budget & Management Health Benefits site
- Fidelity Investments
- HR's State Retirement Package Forms
The Office of Human Resources is here to help. Contact us if you have questions about any of this information.