Retiring From UNH - Planning for the Future

Definition of Retiree

There are 3 types of retiree status. For all three types, the former faculty or staff member must have served in a status position for a period equal to 10 or more years of service at the time of retirement or departure from USNH active service status.

  1. Retiree (ARC) - A faculty or staff member with the Additional Retirement Contribution Plan (ARC), either by choice or by beginning employment within USNH on or after 7/1/94, and who has reached at least age 62.
  2. Retiree (Medical Benefits) - A faculty or staff member hired prior to 7/1/94 who has reached at least age 62 and has ten or more years of full-time service and at least ten years of participation in a USNH sponsored retirement plan and who chose the retiree medical coverage option instead of the additional retirement contribution (ARC).
  3. Retiree (UNH Extension) - A former faculty or staff member within UNH Extension who meets the requirement under the Civil Service Retirement System.  

Medical Coverage

For Retirees Age 62 through age 65

All faculty/staff members who meet the qualifications of a USNH retiree (see USY V.C.9.2 for definition) and are enrolled in a USNH medical plan prior to retirement and retire, may continue coverage per University System guidelines until they are eligible for Medicare coverage at age 65. 

A spouse who is 65 or older and covered under the employee’s medical plan when the employee retires, may continue USNH coverage but must also enroll in Medicare Part B.  Medicare will become their primary insurer while the USNH plan will become the secondary insurer.

In order to maintain medical coverage per University System guidelines, effective 1/1/06, retiring faculty/staff members will pay the same premium contributions as active employees up to a maximum period of three years.

For Retirees Over Age 65 with the Additional Retiree Contribution (ARC)

The ARC contribution was implemented to provide funds for retirees to purchase a medical plan to supplement Medicare, which takes affect the first of the month in which a retiree attains age 65. There is no option for USNH medical coverage for faculty/staff under ARC, except for those subject to COBRA provisions.

Coverage for family members ends on the same date as coverage for an employee ends.

For Retirees Over Age 65 with the Medicare Complementary Plan (MCP)

In 1994 benefits-eligible faculty/staff members hired prior to 6/30/1994 had the opportunity to choose an additional 1% retirement contribution (ARC) or the Medicare Complementary Plan. Only those who selected the Medicare Complementary Plan at that time are eligible for the plan at retirement. In order to meet the USNH definition of a retiree, faculty/staff in this plan begin accumulating years of service toward this benefit starting at age 52. Faculty/staff must meet all of the criteria of a retiree as defined in USY V.C.9.2 and be participating in a USNH medical program prior to retirement.

To be eligible for continued medical coverage upon the faculty/staff member’s retirement, a spouse who is eligible and/or dependent must be covered under the employee’s medical plan at retirement.

If a spouse is age 65 or older, s/he will be transitioned to the USNH Medicare Complementary Plan.

If a Spouse and/or dependents of the retiree is less than age 65 and eligible for coverage after the faculty/staff members reaches age 65, the faculty/staff member will pay the same premium as active employees for a maximum of three years after the faculty/staff member's retirement date.  Following the three years, the faculty/staff member will contribute 50% of the total cost of the coverage.

In the event the retiree dies, the spouse may continue in the Medicare Supplemental Plan for the rest of her/his life or until remarriage.

If the faculty/staff member who chose the Medicare Complementary Plan is over age 52 and has at least 10 years of service and dies either while on active service or while on an approved early retirement plan, long-term disability, or chronic worker’s compensation, her/his spouse is still eligible for the Medicare Complementary Plan at age 65, unless made ineligible by remarriage.

In the event a spouse of a retiree covered by the Medicare Complementary Plan dies, the retiree is not permitted to add a new spouse to the plan.


The prescription drug benefit program for retirees with the Medicare Complementary Plan is made available through OptumRX. A prescription card will be issued to the retiree for use at participating pharmacies. At the time of purchase the retiree, or spouse age 65 or over, will pay the pharmacy a 20% co-payment. The balance of the cost of the prescription will be billed to the USNH; no further paperwork is required.

Other Benefits Continuation

  • Dental coverage - may be purchased for up to 18 months following retirement through COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act). This coverage may be continued on a monthly basis for up to 18 months for the retiree, his/her spouse and dependent children. A complete packet of information regarding the options under COBRA including premium payment deadlines will be sent to the retiring employee's home address. COBRA rate information is available here.
  • Life insurance - ends on the effective date of retirement but may be converted from the employee's current USNH-offered group policies.  The insurance carrier will send the employee enrollment information.
  • Disability insurance - coverage ends upon retirement.
  • Flexible Spending Accounts - Contributions to the retirees’ FSA stop at the date of retirement. Only claims incurred through the last day of employment will be eligible for reimbursement. Claims should be submitted within 90 days of termination date.
  • Personal Time/Earned Time - Staff members and fiscal year faculty who retire will be paid for the balance of accrued Personal Time (30 day maximum) or Earned Time available as of the last day of work. When included in the last regular pay check, these supplemental earnings are taxed in combination with regular earnings according to the standard table withholding method.
  • Tuition Waiver Benefits - A retired faculty or staff member is not eligible for the tuition waiver program for themselves or any eligible dependents after the date of retirement. Any tuition waiver in effect at the time of separation will be prorated based on the proportionate amount of time the staff member has worked in the fiscal year.

Special Note:   NH Senior citizens age 65 or older may enroll in 2 credit courses per academic year offered by the University of New Hampshire tuition-free. The faculty or staff member may, however, be required to pay certain fees and/or registration charges.

NOTE: All insurance coverage premiums and contributions are subject to change.

Other benefits offered to some retirees of UNH:

  • Retired faculty emeritus and Extension Educators are offered a non-expiring UNH ID card and parking permit 

Before Your Retirement Date

Notify the following departments in writing prior to your retirement date: your department, campus Human Resources, and the USNH Benefits Office. Faculty and PAT staff are expected to provide a minimum of 120 days, and Operating Staff are expected to provide a minimum of 60 days written notice.

  • Contact the Social Security Administration:

    To obtain a projection of Social Security benefits, apply for Social Security payments, obtain Medicare information and enroll in Medicare A & B, if you are age 65 or older. If you plan to work past age 65, you should apply for Medicare Part A when you turn 65. You should apply for Medicare Part B when you actually retire. You must be enrolled in both Medicare Parts A and B to be eligible for full coverage under the Medicare Complementary Plan. The USNH Benefits Office will need a copy of your Medicare card for coverage in the retiree medical plan.

  • Contact TIAA and/or Fidelity Investments directly to obtain retirement calculations and income options at least three months prior to the projected retirement date.





Participants in the Operating Staff Retirement Program should contact the USNH Benefits Office for benefit calculations at 862-0930.

Checklist of 'THINGS TO DO' in preparation for retirement

  • Be sure you and your spouse/dependents have medical coverage through USNH in the year you retire. Medical coverage may be added each fall during the "open enrollment" period.
  • Define a budget. Determine your fixed expenses, how much money you will need to maintain your desired lifestyle and what sources of income you have.
  • Confirm other sources of retirement income such as prior employer-provided retirement plan, IRA's, Supplemental Retirement Accounts (SRA's).
  • Consult a financial planner or use the resources available through TIAA and/or Fidelity. Get a projection of retirement payment options.
  • Plan your estate. Consider a will, establishing trusts or giving gifts. Consult a financial planner or your attorney to determine what is best for your situation. Update your beneficiary designations.
  • Where will you live? You may consider downsizing, moving to another region of the country, a retirement community, or senior housing.
  • Consider current and future medical needs. Living wills, healthcare proxy, and long term care insurance are options. Put your medical records in order.
  • Talk to your family and loved ones about your wishes for final arrangements, tax records, safe-deposit boxes, bank accounts, debts, emergency funds, and other records.