For faculty and staff considering or who have decided to retire from Princeton University, this page offers everything they need to know about the process and the steps they need to take for a smooth transition to retirement.
As always, members of the Benefits Team are here to answer questions and guide employees through this significant stage in their life and career.
Congratulations on reaching this important milestone, andsincerest thanks for working and contributing to Princeton University.
Princeton's retiree healthcare plans are categorized into two groups based on the retiree's age:
Under age 65
Age 65 and over
Under Age 65
Employees under age 65* at the time of retirement may elect to participate in a retiree medical plan for oneself and one’s eligible dependents. The medical plans offered are the Princeton Health Plan (United/Aetna) and the Aetna HMO Plan, and both include prescription coverage.
Upon attainment of age 65, the pre-65 coverage options end. At that time, retirees are offered the Princeton Medicare Plan, with Medicare becoming the primary insurance. To elect the Princeton Medicare Plan, contact the Benefits Team. Retirees must actively elect the Princeton Medicare Plan to retain retiree medical coverage with Princeton University. Retirees are not permitted to elect retiree medical coverage at a future date.
Approximately three months prior to age 65, retirees and/or their eligible spouse should enroll in Medicare Parts A and B. Contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) at (800) 772-1213 or visit the SSA website.
Currently, retirees 65 and over who retired after January 1, 2003, and retirees eligible for Medicare prior to 65 have one health plan option, the Princeton Medicare Plan, which is secondary to Medicare Parts A and B. Prescription Drug Plan coverage is provided with the Princeton Medicare Plan.
Princeton University’s billing service provider ECSI bills retirees monthly for retiree medical coverage and/or retiree vision care. Retirees can work directly with ECSI and/or the University’s billing office at (609) 258-1825 or firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for automatic payments. Delinquent payments or non-payments of applicable premiums result in the termination of health coverage.
Coverage as an active employee in a medical, dental, or vision plan terminates at the end of month in which one retires.
Under the COBRA federal law, all former employees receive information directly from PayFlex to notify them that they and/or their dependents enrolled in medical, dental, or vision plans may continue to participate in active medical and dental coverage for up to 18 months at the full cost of the plan plus a two percent administrative fee.
Princeton retirees also receive COBRA information directly from PayFlex. Retirees who enroll in a Princeton University retiree medical plan should disregard it.
Retirees who want dental and/or vision coverage throughout their retirement should disregard the COBRA notification unless there are unusual circumstances. Contact the Benefits Team for guidance.
To help faculty and staff reach their retirement goals, the University offers financial planning tools and advisors for guidance as well as the following retirements plans and program:
Princeton University Retirement Plan
The University has been making contributions to an individual retirement account at TIAA. Upon retirement, retirees may access all or a portion of their account balances or defer until April 1 following the calendar year in which they reach age 70 ½. For retirees who turn 70 ½ after December 31, 2019, they may defer until April 1 of the calendar year in which they reach age 72.
TIAA offers a range of payment options, including a monthly annuity payment for life with a benefit to a designated beneficiary upon death.
Contact TIAA at (800) 842-2776 for additional information on payment options and for overall retirement planning assistance.
Retirement Savings Plan
Employees who participate in this plan have made voluntary pretax or after-tax (Roth) contributions to an account managed at TIAA. Upon retirement, retirees may access all or a portion of their accumulations or defer receipt until April 1 following the calendar year in which they reach age 70 ½. For retirees who turn 70 ½ after December 31, 2019, they may defer until April 1 of the calendar year in which they reach age 72.
TIAA offers a range of payment options including a monthly annuity payment for life with a benefit to a designated beneficiary upon death. Contact TIAA at (800) 842-2776 for additional information on payment options and for overall retirement planning assistance.
Retirement Annuity Program for Monthly-Paid Employees
Under this plan, the University made contributions on behalf of each faculty and monthly-paid staff member to Retirement Annuity (RA) contracts with TIAA until December 31, 1993.
Contact TIAA at (800) 842-2776 for distribution options.
Pension Plan for Biweekly-Paid Employees of Princeton University
Participants in this plan who elected a deferred annuity when the plan terminated in June 2000 should contact AIG Life Insurance Company at (800) 842-3068. AIG can provide information about retirement income options. The earliest annuity payments can begin is at age 65. There is no cash option with this plan.
Retiree Well-Being Resources
The following healthcare and financial resources are available to support retirees.
Retirees and eligible dependents are eligible for Best Doctors’ services except for the Treatment Decisions Support Incentive Program. For more information, contact Best Doctors directly at (866) 904-0910.
Children's Educational Assistance Plan
Retiree dependent children are eligible for the Children's Educational Assistance Plan tuition grant as long as they meet the definition of an eligible dependent for the program as of the employee’s retirement date. Eligibility terminates if the child no longer meets the program’s eligibility criteria. Dependent children need to be dependent certified at the time of the employee’s retirement. Participation in consecutive semesters is not required.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP) through Carebridge
Retirees are eligible to begin confidential, free in-person or telephonic counseling services within 90 days of their retirement date. Retirees continue to have access to other EAP resources, available 24/7, after the 90 days. Call (800) 437-0911 or go online at www.myliferesource.com using the access code TW8AE.
Retirees who elect a University retiree medical plan are eligible. For more information, contact Health Advocate directly at (866) 695-8622.
Isles Financial Solutions
Retirees can work directly with Isles for their financial needs by calling (609) 341-4740.
Retirees and their dependents have access to MSK Direct for cancer diagnosis support by calling (844) 303-2123.
Other Relevant Information
Social Security Benefits & Medicare
Retirees may be eligible to begin receiving a benefit at age 62. Individuals should contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) at (800) 772-1213 to:
Verify their earnings record
Receive a personalized benefit calculation
Obtain information about Medicare
Obtain the address and hours of the nearest Social Security office.
Individuals can find additional information on the SSA website.
Change of Address
Retirees who move must notify in writing or by email:
HR to continue to receive Princeton University publications and open enrollment information. Contact HR.
TIAA directly by calling (800) 842-2776 to update their addresses or complete the address update on their online accounts at www.tiaa.org.
Contact the Office of Information Technology Support and Operations Center (SOC) by email at email@example.com or call (609) 258-HELP (4357) for specific information about rules and eligibility regarding netID and email maintenance and/or deactivation, transition periods, and forwarding services.
University ID Card
University retirees and their spouses or partners may continue to have a University ID card. Refer to the rules and procedures on the TigerCard website, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call TigerCard Services at (609) 258-8300.