Leaving Colorado State University

The following information will help with the transition when an employee leaves the University. This information is usually applicable when an employee’s assignment is terminated, suspended, or when a Faculty/Admin Pro has their assignment reduced to less than half-time (50% FTE).

Medical, dental, and vision coverage for all employee types will terminate on the last day of the month in which they end employment. Medical, dental, and vision coverage may be continued under COBRA, which generally allows for benefits continuation for up to 18 months beyond the termination date at the expense of the employee.

The end of employment is typically a qualifying event for the Health Insurance Marketplace or other group employer coverage. Employees may request written verification of the end of their benefits coverage from Human Resources by email MyHR@colostate.edu.

Termination information is reported to the COBRA administrators at the beginning of the month following the employment end date. A COBRA notice is automatically mailed to the employee’s home address on file. Employees may elect COBRA coverage within 60 days of the date of the notice or the date when coverage ends, whichever is later. Coverage is retroactive to the first of the month following the end date.

Payments will be made directly to the third-party vendor, HealthSmart.

More Information
Faculty, Administrative Professionals, Non-Classified Staff

State Classified Staff

Participation in a health care FSA for all employee types will terminate on the last day of thae month in which they end employment. You may submit reimbursement requests for expenses that were incurred during your employment toward the balance in your FSA until for up to 90 days following the benefit termination date.

Employees may choose to continue health care FSA participation on an after-tax basis through the COBRA administrator.

Participation in a dependent care FSA for all employee types will terminate on the date they end employment. There is no continuation for a dependent care FSA.

Group term life insurance and voluntary group term life insurance coverage for all employee types will terminate on the last day of the month in which they end employment.

You may be able to continue all or a portion of your insurance or convert to an individual policy.

Faculty, Admin Pro, Non-Classified Staff will automatically be mailed a letter with conversion or portability options, or employees can call the Hartford at 800-523-2233. The group life policy number is 677984.

State Classified Staff should call Securian Financial at 866-293-6047 to obtain more information regarding conversion or portability options.

The employee and employer contributions to either the Defined Contribution Plan (DCP) or Colorado PERA end upon termination from the university. For information on options relative to the retirement accounts, employees should contact their vendor directly. 

Fidelity: 800-343-0860
TIAA: 800-842-2252
AIG: 800-448-2542
Colorado PERA: 800-759-7372

Employee Study Privilege: If an employee leaves CSU or has an FTE change during the middle of an academic term, they are eligible to receive the Employee Study Privilege through the end of the semester in which their employment status changes. 

Tuition Scholarship for Eligible Family Members: Tuition scholarship assistance will cease immediately after the academic year in which the change in employment status occurs.

Faculty, Admin Pro, Non-Classified Staff: Upon termination, employees who have worked for the University for at least 6 months shall be paid for their accrued annual leave leave up to 24 days minus the number of annual leave days taken during the 30 working days immediately prior to their separation date. Sick leave is only payable upon retirement from the University. 

State Classified Staff: Upon termination, unused annual leave is paid out up to the maximum accrual rate based upon years of service at CSU:

  • 1 – 5 years: 24 days
  • 6 – 10 years: 30 days
  • 11 – 15: 36 days
  • 16 and more: 42 days

Sick leave is only payable upon retirement from the University.

Most employees of the University are covered by the Colorado Employment Security Act of 1971. Graduate assistants, veterinary residents, fellowship grant trainees, student hourly and work study students are not covered. Covered employees who leave the University may be entitled to unemployment benefits, and may file a claim on the basis of wages earned at the University provided the terms and conditions of the Colorado Employment Security Act are met. All cases are handled separately and rulings determining eligibility are made on an individual basis.

You may file a claim by contacting the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment at (800) 388-5515.

Preparing to Retire from CSU

When an employee is getting ready to retire, there are many important factors to consider. Human Resources, your department/college’s HR Professional and your retirement vendor are all partners in preparing for retirement. The following information will help with the process and steps needed to ensure a smooth transition to retirement.

To be considered a “retiree” an employee who is in the DCP or who is a participant in Colorado PERA appointed or reappointed on or after July 1, 2005 must be:

  • Age 55 or greater with at least 20 years of “service” or
  • Age 60 or greater with at least 5 years of “service”

Service for this purpose includes periods of employment with Colorado State University during which the person

  • Received, or was eligible to receive, the University’s contribution to the DCP or to PERA
  • Had an appointment of at least half‐time
  • Received, or was eligible to receive, the University’s contribution toward benefits, for example health insurance

Periods of service need not be continuous but there must be a minimum of five consecutive years of service immediately preceding the date of retirement. Periods of paid or unpaid leaves of up to 1 year in duration during which the person received, or was eligible to receive, the University’s contribution toward benefits shall be counted as service.

PERA Participants Appointed Prior to June 2005
PERA participants who were appointed on or before June 30, 2005, or reappointed only on or before that date, who are eligible for retirement (full or reduced) under PERA provisions at the time of separation and who have at least five consecutive years of service at Colorado State University in a half‐time or greater, benefit eligible appointment immediately prior to the date of separation are considered retirees.

Once an employee has determined they are eligible for retirement, they should contact HR at MyHR@colostate.edu to schedule a one-on-one counseling session. It is preferred that an employee meet with HR 60 to 90 days prior to their retirement date. 

During these meetings an employee will receive a checklist and the applicable forms to initiate retirement from the University. 

Discuss your retirement plans with your department chair or supervisor. Submit  notification of your retirement date to your department chair prior to your intended retirement date. Be sure to also notify your department’s HR professional. Your department HR professional will enter your retirement date into the HR system. Delay in notifying your department can delay your leave payouts, retirement payments, and health benefits, if eligible.

You are encouraged to contact your retirement vendor and notify them of your intent to retire from CSU. 

Fidelity: 800-343-0860
TIAA: 800-842-2252
AIG: 800-448-2542

PERA Members
Contact PERA at (800) 759-7372 to request your PERA benefits estimate (monthly annuity/cash value) and retirement packet, which includes the forms required to commence your PERA retirement.

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Benefits After Retirement

All benefits will end on the last day of the month in which an employee retires from the University. The option to enroll in certain benefits depends on the employee’s retirement plan. See below for details on post-retirement benefits.   

DCP Retirees

The University will contribute towards the cost of the retiree only portion of medical insurance coverage for out-of-pocket costs not reimbursed through another entity.  DCP retirees may apply this premium refund to any medical plan, including Medicare. The maximum amount of the refund is $200 per month for retirees with 20 years or more of benefit eligible University service, prorated for those who have at least 5 years but less than 20 years of benefit eligible service.

It is the retirees responsibility to notify HR of:

  1. Initial enrollment in the Refund Plan to begin the refund (certification of medical plan enrollment and out-of-pocket costs for medical insurance coverage is required);
  2. Any subsequent changes affecting enrollment in the Refund Plan including changes in medical plan, premium costs, home address and bank routing information within 30 days of the effective date of the change, and:
  3. Continued enrollment in the Refund Plan on an annual basis.
    1. A re certification notice will be mailed to the retiree’s last address of record at the end of each calendar year.
    2. The re-certification must be sent to the address listed in the notice by the due date or the Refund plan will be automatically ended.

If enrollment in the Refund Plan terminates for any reason and the retiree wishes to re-enroll in the future, the Refund Plan will not be re-instated until HR is notified of subsequent eligibility the proper certification forms are completed. The Refund Plan will not begin or be re-instated until the first of the month following receipt of the required enrollment verification.  No retroactive payments will be made.

Note: The University cannot, under Federal law and regulation applicable to this medical premium refund benefit, provide a refund in excess of the actual cost of the retiree’s medical coverage.  The actual cost of the retiree’s medical coverage means the actual premium amount required to provide the retiree medical coverage and cannot include premium amounts for a spouse and/or dependents’ medical coverage and/or for dental/vision coverage premiums.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Active employees must be enrolled in one of the University’s medical plan options for at least one full plan year immediately prior to the date of retirement in order to be eligible to enroll in the University’s retiree medical plan immediately after retirement;
  • Retirees must be continuously enrolled in the University’s retiree medical plan to remain eligible to continue such coverage for themselves and their spouses/domestic partners and dependents. Once retirees leave the plan, the retirees and their spouses/domestic partners and dependents will not be permitted to re-enroll again at a later date;
  • Retirees’ coverage under the University’s retiree medical plan will terminate upon reaching age 65 or becoming eligible for Medicare, whichever is earlier. Covered spouses or domestic partners will be terminated from the plan upon the earlier of reaching age 65 or becoming eligible for Medicare, regardless of whether or not the retirees’ coverage has been terminated due to Medicare eligibility. Covered dependent children remain eligible for coverage subject to normal eligibility criteria-generally
    age 18 or 23 if a full-time student-or until they become eligible for Medicare, whichever occurs first. Spouses/domestic partners and dependent children may continue coverage as long as they were covered at the time the retirees’ coverage terminated due to Medicare eligibility and as long as they remain continuously covered under the plan.

Termination at or after Age 55
When an employee leaves CSU at or after age 55, they are entitled to their entire DCP account balance. Depending on the DCP investment company and the type of investment selected, they may be able to take the account balance as a lump sum payment, in installment payments, or convert it to an annuity which provides monthly payments for life. They can also leave it with the investment company for a distribution at a later date subject to certain limitations established under Federal tax law; or they can roll the account balance into another IRS approved, tax qualified plan.

Termination Prior to Age 55
If an employee leaves CSU prior to “normal” retirement age (55) for any reason other than death or disability:

  • They can leave the account balance in the DCP until age 55 or later. If they choose this option, they continue to have full control over the investments and  account balance according to the provisions of the DCP. When they reach age 55, they can access, depending upon the DCP investment company and type of investment selected, the entire account balance in a lump sum, in installment payments, or they can convert the account balance to an annuity which provides monthly payments for life.
  • They can roll the account balance into another IRS approved, tax qualified plan. Other tax-qualified Plans may include another employer’s 401(a) or 401(k) plan, or an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). In order to avoid tax penalties or federal income tax withholding, they must roll your account balance directly from your DCP investment company to another tax qualified plan.
  • If the total account balance is $10,000 or less, they have immediate access to the funds.

Borrowing or withdrawing money from a DCP account may have income tax and other consequences. In addition, the ability to borrow or withdraw, and the limits thereon, may change as tax laws and regulations change. Contact the investment company directly for more information about that company’s loan provision. Employees are encouraged to seek independent tax advice with respect to the relationship and application of all matters under the DCP to their individual tax circumstances.

Upon retirement, faculty and administrative professionals are paid for ¼ of their unused sick leave up to a maximum of 15 days.

Retiring faculty and administrative professionals on 12-month appointments are paid up to a maximum of 24 days of accrued unused annual leave. Any annual leave taken during the 30 working days immediately prior to the date of separation from employment will be subject to the 24 day maximum.

Note: Leave balances are provided to HR by the employee’s home department.

PERA Retirees

Faculty & Administrative Professionals

Eligibility
Effective July 1, 2009, future enrollments in the PERA Medical Subsidy Plan (the “Subsidy Plan”) and the Umbrella Rx (the “Umbrella Plan”) shall be restricted to those academic faculty and administrative professional staff participating in the PERA retirement plan and holding benefits eligible appointments on June 30, 2009, who meet the University’s definition of “retirement” at the time of separation from the University, and who meet the eligibility criteria for the Subsidy Plan and/or the Umbrella Plan subsequent to separation. 

Reappointments of eligible employees after July 1, 2009, without a break in service will not affect continued eligibility for the PERA Medical Subsidy and/or the Umbrella Rx programs.

PERA Medical Insurance Subsidy Plan (Subsidy Plan)

The Subsidy Plan provides a subsidy toward the cost of retiree medical insurance through PERA in instances where the retiree incurs out-of-pocket costs for the retiree only premium after the PERA subsidy is applied.  The subsidy is equal to the out-of-pocket cost up to the amount of the employee-only premium for the University’s lowest cost active employee medical plan. 

If you have at least 10 years continuous CSU service (any consecutive 10 years of benefit eligible service without breaks) in an academic faculty or administrative professional appointment you are eligible for the Subsidy Plan if you enroll in an eligible PERA medical plan.  The subsidy is applied toward the cost of your coverage only; the cost for coverage of dependents remains your responsibility.  This subsidy is in addition to your PERA subsidy.  The amount of the subsidy may vary year to year.

It is your responsibility to notify the CSU Benefits Office of:

  1. Your initial enrollment in a PERA medical plan to begin the subsidy, and
  2. Any subsequent PERA medical plan changes within 30 days of the effective date of the change.

If you cease being a participant in a PERA medical plan and re-enroll at some point in the future, your subsidy will not be re-instated until you notify the CSU Benefit Office to reinstate your subsidy.  The CSU PERA subsidy will not begin or be re-instated until the first of the month following receipt of the required enrollment verification.  No retroactive payments will be made.

State Classified Employees

Upon retirement, State Classified employees are paid ¼ of their unused sick leave upon retirement, up to your individual cap. Sick leave payouts for all current and future members is considered PERA-includable salary.

State Classified employees are paid annual leave up to the maximum accrual allowed based upon years of service.

  • 6 to 10 years of service: 30 days
  • 11 to 15 years of service: 36 days
  • 16+ years of service: 42 days

Faculty & Administrative Professionals

Upon retirement, faculty and administrative professionals are paid for ¼ of their unused sick leave up to a maximum of 15 days.

Retiring faculty and administrative professionals on 12-month appointments are paid up to a maximum of 24 days of accrued unused annual leave. Any annual leave taken during the 30 working days immediately prior to the date of separation from employment will be subject to the 24 day maximum.

Note: Leave balances are provided to HR by the employee’s home department.

Other Retirement Information

Transitional Appointments are negotiated directly with your department as per section E.2.1.6 of the Academic Faculty and Administrative Professional Manual.

Retirement Plan Requirements

Defined Contribution Plan (DCP):

  • You must continue participation in the DCP during your Transitional Appointment.
  • You may elect to receive a distribution from your DCP account(s) once you commence your Transitional Appointment however the withdrawal may be subject to a 10% Federal Income Tax penalty as an “early withdrawal” from a qualified tax deferred pension plan if you have not reached the age of 59 ½.  You are advised to consult your tax advisor for guidance.
  • If you are also a PERA annuitant, the employer contribution to your DCP will be reduced by any amount CSU is required to contribute to PERA during your Transitional Appointment.

Colorado PERA:

  • You must commence your retirement benefits with PERA at the time you accept your Transitional Appointment.
  • You cannot work the 1st business day of the month in which your retirement is effective.
  • Any work performed during the month of your effective date of retirement may result in a reduction of your PERA benefits for that month.

Leave Pay Out

Sick Leave
Prior to commencing your Transitional Appointment, you will be paid for ¼ of the first 60 days of your unused sick leave up to a maximum of 15 days, in accordance with the University’s retirement policy on sick leave payout. Any remaining sick leave in excess of your payout (up to 60 days) will remain available for your use during your Transitional Appointment. No further payout will be made at the end of your Transitional Appointment.

Annual Leave
Faculty on 12-month appointments will be paid up to 24 days of accrued unused annual leave prior to commencing the Transitional Appointment. Except in the case of disability, payment for leave taken immediately prior to retirement or in conjunction with such retirement shall be subject to the 24 day maximum payment. If eligible, you will continue to earn annual leave during your Transitional Appointment but no further payout will be made at the end of the Transitional Appointment.

CSU Benefit Plans
You remain eligible for all benefits available to you prior to commencing your Transitional Appointment and the CSU support for these benefits remains unchanged during this time.

Ending Transitional Appointments
Contact the Benefits Office to schedule an appointment 60 to 90 calendar days prior to the end of your transitional appointment.

If you return to work for the University in a faculty/administrative professional appointment (salaried payroll), you must enroll in the University’s Defined Contribution Plan (DCP) and Medicare tax will be withheld from your pay. The employer contribution will be reduced by any amount CSU is required to contribute to PERA for PERA retirees.

PERA’s limitation on working after retirement

  • SB 10-001 Provisions require “working retiree” contributions equal to the member contribution rate for that division from all retirees working for a PERA affiliated employer.

  • SB 10-146 Provisions require an additional 2.5% member contribution amount for all State employees (including retirees) contributing to PERA.

CSU retirees have the ability to: