Separation Planning

At the end of your employment with WSU, you will have options as to what you can do with your retirement accumulations, which includes the contributions you and WSU made to your regular retirement account, plus any earnings those contributions may have earned.  You can:

  • Maintain all of your accumulations with the plan vendor, TIAA; or
  • Access your contributions, in accordance with the university and TIAA distribution rules; or
  • Rollover your contributions to another retirement plan or Individual Retirement Account (IRA), in accordance with the university and TIAA distribution rules; or
  • Do any combination thereof.

If you retain your TIAA contract after the end of employment:

  • The accumulations continue to earn dividends and participate in investment returns.
  • If you go to another higher education institution who participates with TIAA, you may have the ability to have contributions applied to the same contract.
  • The contract provides a death benefit to your beneficiary.
  • You may begin to draw monthly annuity benefits at any age with the amount determined by your age, the option selected, and the total accumulation.

If you access your funds following end of employment:

  • You may cash out up to your entire accumulation, with the exception of limitations placed upon accessing the TIAA Traditional funds, but there are usually tax penalties for doing so.
  • Rolling over your contributions to an IRA are available without tax consequences.
  • If you were exempt from federal income taxes due to a tax treaty between the U.S. and the other country, you might complete a W8BEN form and submit it to TIAA with your withdrawal request to lower or prevent federal income taxes from being withheld from your withdrawal.

Form W8BEN can be downloaded from the Internal Revenue Service website.
WSU recommends that you seek the advice of a financial or tax consultant to ensure you understand the impact of your decision.

Additional valuable benefit separation information

Retirement Planning

Retirement To Do List:

HRS has provided a checklist to assist in planning and processing retirement forms. Employees are encouraged to work with HRS-Pullman when retiring from the university.  Please view the schedule of Pre-Retirement Seminars coming up.

Retirement Eligibility:

Under the WSURP, you may retire at any age but some retiree benefits have age and years of service requirements.

  • Accessing TIAA Funds:  Allowed at any age, but subject to Internal Revenue Code regulations.  There are numerous ways in which you may access your funds. Contact a TIAA representative at 1-800-842-2776 for an overview of available income options.
  • WSURP participants who are age 62 with 10 years of service may be eligible to have a calculation run to determine if they are eligible for a benefit under the WSU Supplemental Retirement Plan.
  • Contact Human Resource Services-Pullman with any questions.

Phased Retirement:

A program designed to give faculty and administrative professional employees an opportunity for pre-retirement reduction of full time service while gradually phasing into retirement over a period of years.

Phased Retirement Guidelines

Retiree Health:

Retirees have the option of continue with the same insurance coverage options they have had as an active employee.

  • Eligibility for the PEBB Retiree Medical/Dental Insurance:  At age 62, regardless of years of service; At age 55 with at least 10 years of service; or upon proof of drawing a retirement annuity.  For information regarding this coverage, including premium rates, visit the HCA Retiree Website.
  • If the retiree has a spouse or registered domestic partner who is also a WSU employee, please contact HRS-Pullman to determine if transferring coverage to the remaining active employee and deferring the retiree coverage may be an attractive option.   There is also the ability to transfer life insurance coverage, if applicable.
  • Watch: HCA Retiree Medical Plan Comparison Presentation (HCA Retiree Presentation Slides)

Leave Cashout:

Depending on employment type, and whether the appointment is permanent or temporary, some employees may be eligible for annual leave cash out, and sick leave incentives.  Eligible employees who meet retirement eligibility may be eligible to establish a VEBA Medical Expense Plan.

Contact Human Resource Services to determine if you are eligible.

SHIBA (Senior Health Insurance Benefit Advisors)

A non-profit advisory service provided to assist senior citizens and retirees with Medicare and Insurance questions and enrollment.  SHIBA Advisors can be reached at:

Washington 1-800-562-6900      Idaho 1-800-247-4422

Other Retirement Resources:

Social Security