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Human Resources

Retiree Benefits

Date: March 2014

Policy: An employee who leaves College employment, having completed at least fifteen years of continuous service in a regular position after reaching age 40 (and attaining age 55) is eligible to remain on the College’s retiree health insurance plan. We recommend that individuals who are considering retirement options arrange a meeting with Human Resources to review benefit plans.

Retiree Health Insurance Benefits. Eligible employees and their dependents who already are enrolled in the Bowdoin College Health Plan when the employee retires may participate in the College’s retiree medical plan.

Employees anticipating retirement should enroll eligible family members for coverage during the annual open enrollment prior to their intended retirement date because, outside of a “qualified event,” there is no opportunity to add family members to the retiree health plan at the time of retirement or after retirement.

Retirees and enrolled family members under age 65 may remain on the Bowdoin College Health Plan, paying the same costs as active employees for this coverage. Retirees and enrolled family members age 65 and over may be covered under the College’s Retiree Medicare Supplement Group Plan. The College contributes $70 monthly toward the cost of this coverage for retirees, while spouses are responsible for the full premium cost for their Medicare Supplement Plan. If family members remain on the under-age-65 Health Plan after the retiree reaches age 65, then the cost of their coverage will increase to the full premium cost for the tier of coverage for which they are enrolled.

There is no open enrollment for the College’s retiree medical plan. If a retiree and/or enrolled family member decides to dis-enroll, they will have no opportunity to re-enroll at a later date. While the College reserves the right to change retiree health coverage in the future, there is currently no time limit for retirees and enrolled family members to remain on the College’s retiree medical plan. Should a retiree die, enrolled family members may remain on the plan, but will pay the full premium cost for their tier of coverage (the same as if the retiree had reached age 65). Detailed information about coverage and costs can be obtained from Human Resources.

The Bowdoin College Retirement Plan. Employees are eligible to participate in the Plan on the first day of the calendar month following the attainment of age 26 and one year of service with 1,000 hours. Employees are fully vested from the time that contributions commence. This means that 100% of the funds belong to the employee immediately. More information about the Bowdoin College Retirement Plan is available in The Summary Plan Description for the Bowdoin College Retirement Plan, available in the Benefits Section at the HR Website.

Many payout options are available under the Bowdoin College Retirement Plan. These include annuities and systematic withdrawals and rollovers. Individual appointments may be made with retirement counselors who regularly visit the campus to explore these options more fully.

Dental Insurance. Dental insurance is not a retiree benefit, but retirees and/or covered family members may continue dental insurance under COBRA continuation coverage for up to eighteen months. Group coverage remains in place until the first of the month following retirement, and then COBRA coverage begins if the retiree elects it within sixty days.

Life Insurance. Basic Life and Supplemental Life Insurance may be “ported” as term life insurance prior to age 65. Employees retiring at or after age 65 may elect to keep basic or term life insurance, but must convert it to a whole life policy at retirement. Employees have 30 days after retirement to elect either portability or the conversion option. If either is elected, the retiree will pay the insurance company directly for coverage. These life insurance options are subject to plan limitations. The complete Summary Plan Description for the Life and Supplemental Life Insurance Plan is available for review in the Benefits Section at the HR website.

Retirement Date. An employee's retirement date is the last day worked and the employee must be actively at work for at least two weeks prior to the retirement date.  This date cannot be extended by the payout of unused vacation time, College holidays, or other paid time off (please refer to the Absence Management policy).  Human Resources reserves the right to review/approve retirement dates on a case by case basis.  Accrued but unused vacation time is paid out in the final paycheck. Sick time is not a vested benefit, and no payment for unused sick time is made at retirement. Non-exempt employees may elect to donate a set amount of sick time to the emergency sick time bank at the time of retirement.

Retirees may continue to participate in the life of the College by attending various campus events. They may use athletic facilities by purchasing a facility pass from the Athletic Department, subject to applicable terms and conditions.

Emeritus status is an honorary designation for retired persons with a minimum of 25 years of service who have rendered exemplary contributions and services to Bowdoin College as a member of the faculty or staff.  Emeritus/Emerita status is conferred by the Trustees on the written recommendation of the Senior Officers or the President of the College and may be withdrawn by action of the Board of Trustees.  Senior officers’ written recommendations must include clear evidence of outstanding teaching and/or administrative services beyond normal expectations supported by a recognized record of professional achievement, growth, and development.

Emeritus status can also be granted posthumously with applications made on behalf of the deceased that follow the policy guidelines.

Upon receiving the title of emeritus/emerita, the former employee will be eligible to have an Emeriti ID card with library privileges, a College email address, invitations to campus activities, and the ability for the employee and his/her spouse to use College athletic facilities at no charge.   Other benefits of emeritus status include the title of emeritus/emerita in all College publications and materials and the option to attend commencement in full academic regalia.