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April 22, 2014

Changes to retirement provisions announced

Human Resources is implementing two changes to the University's retirement provisions for faculty and staff.

First is a change in the criteria that must be met to qualify as a Purdue University official retiree. To qualify as an official retiree today, an individual must be at least age 55, have at least 10 years of service to the University, and their age and years of service must combine to equal 70 or more. Official retirees are eligible for a number of ongoing benefits from Purdue, including the option to participate in retiree health insurance plans by paying the full cost, a complimentary "A" parking pass to stay connected on campus, tuition fee remission and several other benefits.

Beginning July 1, 2014, the criteria will be changed to be more reflective of today's workforce and increase flexibility for those who may be considering retirement. The new criteria will be "age 55 with at least 10 years of service to Purdue in a benefits-eligible position." The requirement to meet the combination of age and years of service to equal 70 or more will be eliminated.

The second change relates to a benefit few are aware of until they become an official retiree. Several years ago, the University began to provide two months of subsidized health insurance coverage for faculty and staff as they transitioned into retirement. This was added during a time when there were delays in setting up and processing health insurance and retirement benefits in a timely manner. The University added two months of health coverage to help retirees during that time. It was later converted into a $1,500 lump sum payment to official retirees and paid from the medical plans.

Considering that official retirees immediately qualify for health coverage without delay, this practice is no longer necessary. Beginning January 1, 2015, the $1,500 transition benefit will no longer be paid to those who retire.

"Since this payment is no longer needed for the reasons it was originally intended, this change aligns with the University goal to keep its medical plans viable and affordable for all," says Luis E. Lewin, vice president for human resources.