Life & Work Events

Benefits if You Leave After Age 55

There are several steps you should take to ensure you receive all the benefits to which you are entitled if you leave the University after age 55.

  • Make sure that your address of record with the University is correct, especially if you are moving. Log in to Workday@UChicago using your cnet ID and password to change your address.
  • If you have any questions about how your benefits will be impacted as a result of leaving the University, you can e-mail benefits@uchicago.edu, or request an appointment with a Benefit Speciallist at 773.702.9634 to discuss your options.
  • Make sure that your department processes the forms needed to show you as a terminated employee in the University system. If you are still shown as a benefits-eligible employee in the system, many of the benefits to which you are entitled after your employment ends cannot be processed.
Health Insurance - Medical, Dental and/or Vision 

Your University health insurance coverage ends on the last day of the month in which your employment with the University ends. For example, if you terminate employment on the 3rd of March, it remains in effect until the last day of March.

COBRA Continuation for Health Insurance 

You have the right to continue any University medical, dental and/or vision coverage in effect when your employment ends for up to 18 months. CONEXIS will mail all the information you need to elect continued medical, dental and/or vision coverage. You have 60 days from the date you receive the COBRA forms to elect continued coverage; return the form along with your payment directly to CONEXIS.

The premium for coverage under COBRA is 102% of the full cost — you pay the premium you paid as an employee plus the University’s portion of the cost. You also pay a 2% service fee. The coverage will be retroactive to the date your coverage terminated. Should you become covered under a new health plan during this time you may elect to not pursue COBRA coverage as it is no longer needed.

For more information on COBRA, visit COBRA Continuation of Coverage.

Long-Term Disability and/or Group Life Insurance
You may convert your coverage into an individual policy. If you are under age 60, you may also be able to continue your life insurance coverage under the less expensive portability option within 31 days of your last day on the job at the University.
  • Contact Benefits to request the appropriate conversion and/or portability forms.
  • Complete and return the form along with your payment for the first quarter, directly to The Prudential Insurance Company of America (Prudential).
  • Your University participation in these plans stop on the last day of employment/last day at work.
Personal Accident Insurance
You can convert your coverage into an individual policy within 31 days of the end of your appointment.
  • Contact Benefits for the appropriate conversion forms.
  • Complete and return the form along with your payment, directly to Prudential. 
  • Your University participation in this plan stop on the last day of employment/last day at work.
Short-Term Disability

Your participation in this plan stops on the last day of the month in which you leave the University.

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)

If you maintain a flexible spending account, be sure to file a claim with CONEXIS for reimbursement of claims incurred before the date your employment ends. For a health care account, you may claim your annual amount up to the amount of claims incurred before your employment terminates. You can always claim up to 100% of the balance of your dependent care account for a given calendar year

File your claims as soon as possible, but you have until June 30th after the close of the calendar year in which your employment ends to file claims.

Please Note: Health care claims incurred after your termination date are not eligible for reimbursement. If you have more money than claims incurred in your health care account at your termination date, you may elect COBRA paying in after tax dollars to CONEXIS, for reimbursement of the unused money in your flex account. Contact CONEXIS at 877.822.9091 for more information.

Qualified Transportation Program

Your participation in this program ends on the last day of the month in which you leave the University.

Retirement Benefits

You may choose to receive all or part of your benefit under the University's retirement plans after your employment has ended. (Please Note: If you transfer from the University to the University of Chicago Medical Center, your employment will not be considered to have ended for this purpose.)

You may elect to receive your benefit under the Contributory Retirement Plan (CRP), the defined contribution portion of the Retirement Income Plan for Employees (ERIP), and the Supplemental Retirement Program (SRP) (collectively, these are the defined contribution plans) in any of the following forms:

  • Tax-deferred rollover to an IRA or another employer’s retirement plan;
  • Lump-sum distribution;
  • Installment payments; and/or
  • An annuity.

You may elect to receive your benefit under the defined benefit portion of ERIP in any of the following forms:

  • Tax-deferred rollover to an IRA or another employer’s retirement plan;
  • Lump-sum distribution; and/or
  • An annuity.

If you prefer, you may leave your retirement funds with TIAA-CREF and/ or Vanguard until such time as you are ready to receive them.

You may choose to receive all or part of your benefit anytime after you leave the University. There is no deadline by which you must make your decision. You are not required to take a distribution from the defined contribution plans until April 1 of the calendar year following the calendar year in which you attain age 70½. You are not required to take a distribution from the defined benefit part of ERIP until you attain age 65.

When you are ready to begin receiving payments under the defined contribution plans, you should contact TIAA-CREF 800.842.2776 and/ or Vanguard 800.523.1188 directly to obtain the requisite paperwork. TIAA-CREF and Vanguard representatives will provide you with detailed information regarding the alternative forms of payment available to you and the tax consequences of each form.

When you are ready to begin receiving payments under the defined benefit portion of ERIP, you should contact Benefits at 773.702.9634.

Other Benefits

Your participation in the Child Care Referral, Educational Assistance, Elder Care Consultation and Referral, and Staff and Faculty Assistance programs ends on your last day of work.

Your accrued vacation is paid out when your employment ends.