Benefits Continuation: After Retirement


This document describes current requirements for benefits coverage continuation when an employee retires from the Research Foundation (RF) and when an employee who has retired subsequently returns to active employment at the RF. This document summarizes the terms as more fully described in the Post Retirement Benefits Plan. In case of any discrepancies, the plan document will control.

Health Insurance Eligibility

The RF will continue an employee's health insurance after retirement, provided the employee meets the following eligibility requirements:

The employee must:


For Retirements on or before December 31, 2011

A break-in-service of one year or more will disqualify any previous service toward retiree health insurance. The employee must be continuously employed by the RF during the one-year period immediately prior to retirement.

Time off the payroll or in a status ineligible for RF paid benefits for less than one year is not considered a break-in-service. However, the time will not be counted in determining retiree health insurance service eligibility. For retirement dates on or after November 1, 1999, SUNY service will not be considered a break-in-service. However, the SUNY service will not be counted in determining retiree health insurance service eligibility.

For Retirements on or after January 1, 2012

All RF eligible service in a regular employee assignment of at least 50% full time effort counts towards qualifying for retiree health insurance, but the employee must be continuously employed by the RF during the one-year period immediately prior to retirement in order to qualify for Retiree Health insurance.

Retiree Health Insurance Coverage for Dependents

The RF will continue retiree health insurance coverage for an employee's eligible dependents provided they were covered under the employee's plan for at least one year prior to the employee's retirement date. No new dependents can be added to coverage following an employee's retirement. If the retiree dies, retiree health insurance will continue for the retiree's dependents for the remainder of their lives, if they continue to meet eligibility rules and pay any required premium.

Time Counted Toward Service Requirement for Retiree Health Insurance

Active employment at 50 percent or more of full-time effort will be applied to an employee's 10-year full-time equivalent service requirement for retiree health insurance. Leave following such employment will also be counted under these circumstances:

  1. Note: Vacation accruals paid at the time of termination are excluded.

Part-Time Service

Part-time service worked by an employee must be converted to full-time equivalent service. Service worked at a rate of 50 percent or more of full-time effort will be counted toward the 10-year service requirement.

For example, a person working 50 percent of the time would be required to work 20 years in order to meet the 10-year service requirement.

Other Coverage Continuation

Dental, vision care, life, and AD&D coverage end when an employee retires. Vision care coverage may be continued for a limited time under COBRA. If the employee retired after Jan. 1, 2002, dental coverage may be continued by paying the full premium.

Basic and optional life coverage may be converted to a direct payment plan by contacting Prudential Insurance Company within 31 days from when employment ends.

For more information, refer to COBRA Coverage Continuation. Additional information on other coverage continuation can be found in the Leaving the RF and Retirement life event sections of the Benefits website.

Payment of Health Insurance Premium Following Retirement

Health insurance premiums will be paid as follows after an employee retires:

  1. Until he or she becomes covered by Medicare Parts A and B, the employee is responsible for the same premium as an active employee. If the employee becomes covered by Medicare Parts A and B, the RF will pay the full premium for the employee's individual or family coverage.

How Medicare Affects a Retiree's Health Insurance

A retiree and his or her covered dependents must enroll in Medicare Part A (hospital) and Part B (medical/surgical) when one of the following occurs:

If a Retiree Returns to Active Employment

If an employee retires, and subsequently returns to active RF employment at 50 percent effort or more, system adjustments are made by central office to convert the employee's coverage status from retiree health insurance to employee health insurance and ensure immediate biweekly health insurance deductions.

A retired employee who returns to active employment is also eligible for dental, vision care, disability and life insurance coverage and is subject to the same waiting periods and break-in-service policies that apply to a new employee.

Coordination of Benefits:

Once the employee is in an active pay status, the employee health plan becomes the primary plan and any other health plan, including Medicare, becomes secondary.

When the employee leaves active employment, retiree health insurance is reinstated.

Change History



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