- I am ready to service retire with Teacher's Retirement (TRS). What should I do?
- I am terminating (other than retiring) from the University. What must I do in regards to my benefits?
- I am retiring with Teacher's Retirement (TRS) and may be interested in returning to work at UAB post-retirement. What do I need to know?
Making the decision to service retire with Teacher's Retirement (TRS) is a big decision in a person's life. The first step is to speak with TRS to confirm your eligibility date. Eligibility criteria is different for Tier 1 and Tier 2 employees (see Retirement section).
For Tier 1, you must have at least 10 years of creditable service with TRS and be 60 years of age, or have 25 years of creditable service with TRS at any age. For Tier 2, you must have at least 10 years of creditable service with TRS and be 62 years of age. The Benefits Office can assist you with determining the earliest date you are eligible to retire.
You must retire on the first of a month (Ex. August 1). Application must be made in the Benefits office no earlier than 90 days prior to and no later than 30 days from your retirement date. Appointments may be made at any time with a member of the Benefits staff by calling (205) 934-3458.
Once you confirm with Benefits you are ready to retire, our office will help you complete an application for retirement. This application must be received at TRS no later than 30 days prior to your retirement date. It is your responsibility to ensure timely completion of your application to retire. You will be required to list a beneficiary for your retirement monies; therefore it is important to bring the beneficiary's name, address, and social security number. The Benefits staff member will also review all of your current benefits and any plans you are eligible to convert or keep upon retirement.
Once TRS receives your retirement application, they will mail your retirement options and a PEEHIP medical insurance application to your home address. PEEHIP is medical insurance that is available to employees who service retire with TRS. When you receive these forms from TRS, you will need to schedule a second appointment with Benefits. We will explain your income options, notarize which retirement option you choose, certify your PEEHIP medical insurance application (if applicable), and keep a copy for our files.
That's basically it! We pride ourselves on making this a seamless transition; because we know the decision itself to retire is hard enough.
2. I am terminating (other than retiring) from the University. What must I do in regards to my benefits?
Employees who are terminating from the University (other than retiring) must complete an Employee Exit Survey. Once your Exit Survey is complete, please contact the Benefits Office to discuss your benefits. You will be given the opportunity to complete forms related to the Teacher’s Retirement System and various other benefit conversion options, if you are eligible, at the time of termination.
3. I am retiring with Teacher's Retirement (TRS) and may be interested in returning to work at UAB post-retirement. What do I need to know?
TRS Retirees Working for UAB: Alabama law provides that TRS retirees employed with a TRS employer may continue to receive full retirement benefits provided the retired member meets both of the following conditions:
- The retiree must not be employed or under contract for permanent, full-time employment
- The retiree’s salary cannot exceed the limitation on earnings. The limits are subject to change each year based upon the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The limit for the 2018 calendar year is $31,000
If a retiree’s earnings or remunerations exceed the annual limitation on earnings, the retirement benefits will be suspended for the remainder of the calendar year.
Recently, in response to an Attorney General advisory opinion, TRS is requesting all TRS employers to report to TRS the names of all retirees who perform services for the TRS entity even if that retiree has been hired through a personal services contract, a contract with a third party, or as an independent contractor.
Revolving Door Provision of Alabama Ethics Law
The intent of the Revolving Door provision of Alabama Ethics Law is to ensure former public officials and employees do not improperly use or benefit from their public position. Under the provision:
- An employee who, prior to his/her retirement or separation from public service, held a position of authority with hiring and firing authority, purchasing or contracting authority may not, for a period of two years after separation contract back, accept part-time employment or re-employment with the entity from which he or she separated
- An individual who, prior to his/her retirement or separation from public service, did not hold a position of authority nor had the authority to make purchases, approve or grant contracts nor was involved in the hiring process, may accept employment with the entity from which he/she left.
The determination for revolving door is based on previous job, not new proposed job duties and a review of the job title/job description at time of separation is used to determine authority. The individual employee should consult their direct supervisor on whether or not their position is/was a position of authority. Revolving door may not apply to compensatory work if post-retirement work is limited to faculty (i.e., non-administrative) work and does not apply for non-compensatory work for University post-retirement (e.g., emeritus faculty).
Transitional Employment under Revolving Door: Under Revolving Door provision, employees are allowed to return in a transitional capacity through an employment contract if the four conditions below are met:
- Contract does not extend 3 months
- All other TRS restrictions still apply (earnings max)
- Monthly amount paid through transitional employment combined with monthly retirement compensation does not exceed gross monthly compensation received on date of retirement
- Contract must be submitted and approved by the Director of the Ethics Commission for approval prior to date retiree begins work
If all four conditions above are met, the agreement must then be approved by the University of Alabama Board of Trustees either through UAB HR or UAB Provost Office.