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Normal retirement age is reached on the employee’s 65th birthday. An employee may elect to retire early or may continue to work beyond normal retirement age.

Employees should make an appointment to meet with a member of the Office of Human Resources at least three months prior to their 65th birthday (or the date they wish to retire, if different) to discuss retirement benefits. Informational sessions are held at various times during the year on retirement planning and retirement plans offered at the College. Supervisors should encourage employees to attend these sessions.

Eligible employees may participate in the Ithaca College Basic Retirement Plan. In addition to this plan, the College offers all employees (including those that are not eligible for benefits) voluntary participation in the Ithaca College Tax Deferred Annuity (TDA) Plan.

3.9.17.1 Ithaca College Basic Retirement Plan

The Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA) and College Retirement Equities Fund (CREF) is a combined contributory plan available to all eligible employees. The service requirement for each benefits group is explained in the summary plan description. In certain circumstances, the service requirement is waived if an employee was enrolled in TIAA/CREF with the employee’s last employer. The College contributes an amount equivalent to a certain percent of the employee’s base salary, and the employee is required to contribute a certain amount. The employee may elect to make additional contributions to this plan or to a TIAA/CREF group supplemental retirement annuity.

Specific details of this plan may be found in the summary plan description and in booklets and pamphlets available from the Office of Human Resources.

3.9.17.2 Ithaca College Tax Deferred Annuity (TDA) Plan

The College offers voluntary participation in a tax deferred annuity. Employee contributions must be made by salary reduction (before-tax dollars). All employees, except student employees may make voluntary contributions to a TDA. There are no College contributions to this plan.

Specific details of this plan may be found in the plan description or in booklets available from the Office of Human Resources.

3.9.17.3 Emeriti Retiree Health Care Program

The Emeriti Program offers a practical and comprehensive solution to providing retiree health benefits for Ithaca College employees. The core design features of the Emeriti Program include: 

  • A tax-advantaged way to invest and accumulate assets exclusively to help meet future retiree medical expenses — the Emeriti Health Account.
  • A specially designed health insurance program for retirees and their dependents that complements Medicare — the Emeriti Health Insurance Options.
  • A tax-free way to pay for other qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses the Emeriti Reimbursement Benefit.

3.9.17.4 Retiree Benefits

Active, benefits-eligible staff, administrators and faculty are eligible for retiree benefits if they meet one of the following criteria as of the date of retirement.

  • will have completed at least 20 years of benefits-eligible service at the College and are a minimum of 55 years of age
    OR
  • will have completed at least 10 years of benefits-eligible service at the College and are a minimum of 60 years of age.

Medical Benefits:

Medical benefits in lieu of COBRA will be available to a retiree and his/her eligible dependents, until the retiree reaches age 65 or until eligible for Medicare, whichever occurs first, provided he/she is enrolled in the College’s medical plan at the time of retirement and he/she is not eligible for coverage through another employer. The College contribution toward medical benefits for the retiree and his/her dependents is outlined below:

Medical benefits for the retiree:

The College will pay the full cost of coverage for the retiree from the date of retirement up to age 65 or Medicare eligibility (whichever occurs first) for those retirees who were hired before January 1, 2007.

Retirees who were hired on or after January 1, 2007, will be given access to the College’s medical plan from the date of retirement up to age 65 or Medicare eligibility (whichever occurs first). The retiree will be responsible for paying the full cost of coverage.

Medical benefits will cease if a retiree is eligible for benefits through employment with another employer. It is the responsibility of the retiree to notify the Office of Human Resources if this occurs.

Medical benefits for the retiree’s eligible dependents:

Retirees may continue coverage for eligible dependents in lieu of COBRA who are covered under the College’s medical plan at the time of retirement by paying the COBRA equivalent rate for coverage. When a retiree reaches age 65 or becomes Medicare eligible, or becomes eligible for coverage through another employer, COBRA coverage will be extended to any COBRA eligible dependents still covered under the group plan – If COBRA timeframe has not passed.

Medical Plan Opt-out provision:

At the time of retirement, the retiree may decline to be covered under the retiree medical coverage and receive a one-time, taxable cash allowance not to exceed $5000.

Dental Benefits:

Dental benefits will be available to the retiree in lieu of COBRA until age 65 or Medicare eligibility, whichever occurs first, provided he/she is enrolled in the College’s dental plan at the time of retirement. The retiree is responsible for the full cost of dental coverage for him/herself or any eligible dependents at the COBRA equivalent rate. Dental benefits will cease if a retiree is eligible for dental benefits through employment with another employer. It is the responsibility of the retiree to notify the Office of Human Resources if this occurs.

EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS

Tuition remission for the retiree and any eligible dependents:

Tuition remission benefits will continue to be available to the retiree (up to 8 credit hours per semester) and any eligible dependents whether enrolled or not at the College as of the retirement date provided eligibility requirements have been met. Tuition remission benefits will be available pursuant to the provisions of the tuition remission program. See the Office of Human Resources Benefits/Education website for additional information.

Tuition cash awards:

Cash award benefits are available to those dependents who are enrolled in an accredited institution at the time the employee retires and in accordance with the provisions of the cash awards program. See the Office of Human Resources Benefits/Education website for additional information.

Life Insurance:

The College will continue a life insurance benefit of $5,000 for a retiree. Retirees have the option of converting any part of the life insurance policy that was in effect prior to retirement above the $5,000. Conversion must be elected within 31 days of the date of retirement
The Office of Human Resources must be notified if during the course of retirement a retiree finds it necessary to change their beneficiary election.

Additional Retiree Benefits:

  •  Retirees are always welcome to come to the College and use the facilities by presenting their College ID card, including the library.
  • Use of the Wellness Clinic is free to retirees.
  • A retiree's e-mail account will continue to be available to the retiree.
  • Retirees may obtain a parking permit each year by contacting the Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management.

Last Updated: January 1, 2013