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Retiree Benefits

At Los Rios, we strive to provide our retirees with a comprehensive benefits package that offers flexibility and security each year.

Check out the benefits guide for complete information.

2020-2021 Retiree Benefits Guide

Eligibility

You're eligible for the benefits outlined here if you are a retiree who qualified for retiree health benefits. (Refer to the individual collective bargaining agreements or district policies for specific qualification requirements.) Eligible dependents include your:

  • Spouse or domestic partner
  • Unmarried children to age 25 for dental insurance, regardless of student status
  • Children to age 26, regardless of marital or student status for all other plans
  • Unmarried children of any age if they are incapable of self-support due to mental or physical disability
  • If you predecease your spouse/domestic partner or other eligible dependents, they may remain on the Los Rios plan provided they maintain eligibility; however, family members are not entitled to the district contribution. The District contribution is for the retiree only.

You may be required to provide proof of dependent eligibility. If your dependent becomes ineligible for coverage, then you must contact the Employee Benefits Department within 31 days.

Enrolling and Making Changes to Your Benefits

There are three opportunities to make changes to your benefits:

When You Retire

If you did not enroll in a medical plan at retirement, then you may only enroll when obtaining Medicare eligibility (usually at age 65).

If you are an early retiree or have a dependent who becomes Medicare eligible and wish to remain on a Los Rios sponsored plan, then contact the Employee Benefits Department two to three months prior to your Medicare effective date.

The Employee Benefits Department will review your insurance options and provide you all the required paperwork for your transition to a Medicare plan. Do not complete paperwork sent to you directly from a carrier. If you complete and return their application, it may result in the loss of your Los Rios coverage and placement in an individual plan.

Original enrollment forms for the Medicare plan must be received by the Employee Benefits Department before the last working day of the month prior to your Medicare effective date. For example: if your Medicare is effective November 1, 2019, forms must be received no later than October 31, 2019.

Carriers cannot retroactively enroll you in a Medicare plan due to Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guidelines. Late paperwork may result in a significantly higher insurance premium being assessed for each month you are Medicare eligible but are not enrolled in a Medicare plan.

During Open Enrollment

You can enroll in or make changes to your benefits each year during open enrollment (normally held in the spring) for benefits effective July 1 through June 30 of the following year. The next open enrollment period will be in Spring 2020.

If You Have a Change in Status

Your 2019-2020 elections will remain in effect throughout the plan year unless you experience a change in status that affects eligibility for benefits or another qualified status change event (in accordance with Internal Revenue Code rules).

You must request an election change and submit associated forms to the Employee Benefits Department within 31 days. Examples of qualified status change events include (but are not limited to) a change in:

  • Marital status, including marriage, death of a spouse, divorce, annulment, or legal separation
  • Domestic partnership status, including establishment or termination of the partnership
  • Number of your eligible children, including by birth, adoption, placement for adoption, or death
  • Eligibility status of your children (for example, due to age)

Enrolling in Medicare

If I’m still working, at age 65, do I need to enroll in Medicare?

You do not have to enroll in Medicare at age 65 if you are covered by a Los Rios health plan. Enrolling in Part A is fine, since it is premium-free. You can "defer" Part B until you retire, avoiding Part B premiums until that time.

Will I be penalized for not enrolling in Medicare at age 65?

When you retire, the Employee Benefits Department will complete a Social Security Employment Verification form, which will verify your coverage in an employer health plan. This will waive any penalties for late enrollment and give you a "Special Enrollment" period to enroll in Medicare.

Do I need to do anything at age 65 to defer my Medicare enrollment?

If you are collecting Social Security Benefits, then Medicare will automatically enroll you at age 65. You will receive a Medicare Card in the mail with instructions to keep the card if you wish to be enrolled in Medicare. If you do not want Medicare, you must sign the document and return it to Social Security.

If you are not collecting Social Security Benefits, then you can contact Medicare and notify them of your decision to defer.

If I’m retired and on a Los Rios sponsored retiree plan at age 65, do I have to enroll in Medicare?

If you do not enroll in Medicare, then you cannot enroll in a Medicare Supplement/Advantage Plan. This could have a significant impact on your insurance premiums. If you decide to enroll in Medicare at a later date, Medicare could be assessed penalties for late enrollment. The penalty is 10% for each 12 month period you were eligible for Part B but didn’t enroll (for example: if you wait 3 years, then you will have a 30% penalty). This is a lifetime penalty.

What if I’m covered on a spouse partner’s insurance through another employer?

You need to verify with that employer whether or not they require Medicare enrollment at age 65.

Do I need to enroll in Medicare Part D?

All Los Rios sponsored plans have prescription drug coverage. If you enroll in a separate drug plan, then you will jeopardize your Los Rios sponsored health plan. If you are being charged income-related monthly adjustment amount (IRMAA) for Part B, then you will also have IRMAA for Part D that you must pay.

Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance

At retirement, you have the option of continuing your long term care plan through UNUM at the same rate, and you'll make your payments directly to UNUM.

When you retire, you will receive a Long-Term Care Coverage Continuation form. To continue your policy, complete the form and mail it to UNUM.

The continuation of coverage must be elected within 60 days of the date the group coverage would otherwise end. UNUM will bill you directly, and you will submit payments directly to UNUM.

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact UNUM at (800) 227- 4165.


Retirement Savings Plans

As a retiree of an educational institution, you had the option of participating in a tax-deferred retirement savings program as authorized by Sections 403(b) and 457 of the Internal Revenue Code. If you participated in these programs, you sheltered a portion of your compensation otherwise subject to Federal and State income tax to purchase supplemental retirement benefits.

Your 403(b) and 457 contributions, with accumulated interest and dividends, are not subject to Federal or State income taxes until the funds are withdrawn. There are restrictions and you may have significant penalties on early withdrawals. There is also an element of risk associated with the 403(b) and 457 programs, as your funds are not insured and are subject to earnings (or losses) based on your investment choices and market performance.

Distribution of Retirement Savings Funds

Your money is always 100% yours and can be left where it is or rolled into an IRA or to your new retirement plan when you leave employment. If you withdraw your money, taxes will be due on the distribution. In most cases, withdrawal can be made without incurring an IRS penalty if you retire at 55 (or later) or if you become disabled. If you retire before age 55, you may be eligible to receive a series of periodic payments. There are several options:

  • Transfer the money into your new employer’s retirement savings plan
  • Roll it into an IRA
  • Leave it where it is
  • Take a lump sum payment (penalties, taxes and other fees may apply)

To withdraw funds, obtain the distribution form from your investment company, complete an Envoy Transaction Request Form, and fax (or mail) both forms to Envoy. Envoy will sign the investment company’s form on behalf of Los Rios, and will send it back to them to process the distribution. Just like life insurance, when you open your retirement savings plan, you designate a beneficiary. Be sure to keep your beneficiary up-to-date. Contact Envoy or the Employee Benefits Department if you have any questions or need additional details.

Vacation and Special Pay Plan (SPP)

The following does not apply to LRCFT retirees.

Employees who retire may not:

  • Use their vacation to extend out their retirement date
  • Convert their accrued vacation leave to service credit

Vacation hours for retirees aged 55 and older are paid into the Special Pay Plan, which is a 403(b) retirement plan for special forms of compensation paid to employees in a tax-advantaged manner. Contributions to the Special Pay Plan permanently save payroll taxes, including 7.65% Social Security and Medicare taxes, on the money placed into the plan.

Envoy Plan Services and MidAmerica administer the Los Rios Special Pay Plan. MidAmerica will establish a 403(b) account on your behalf and will mail you a welcome packet with more details. You are 100% vested in the account balance at all times. Your account balance earns a guaranteed fixed interest rate of 1.75% (in 2016) and is reset each January. Assets can remain in the Special Pay Plan or you may withdraw the funds (at which point they will be subject to income tax), take multiple distributions, or rollover funds to an IRA or other retirement plan.

Once your account is established – even before you receive the welcome packet – you can log in at www.mymidamerica.com and download forms. When you log in for the first time, you will need to use your social security number (SSN) as the username and the last 4 digits of your SSN as the password.

Resources


Converting Sick Leave to CalPERS/CalSTRS Service Credit

CalPERS Retirees

A CalPERS retiree may use accrued sick leave to convert to service credit. After an employee submits their final absence report, the Los Rios Employee Benefits Department reports any unused sick leave to CalPERS. CalPERS will then notify the retiree of the amount of reported sick leave.

CalSTRS Retirees

A CalSTRS retiree may use accrued sick leave to convert to service credit. Full-time employees who worked overload may also have overload sick leave (earned after July 1, 2002) converted to service credit. The Los Rios Employee Benefits Department will report unused sick leave for service credit to CalSTRS and will mail the employee the completed form with the fax confirmation, for the retiree's records.

Faculty Conversion Rates

Faculty Type Work Days (Compressed Calendar) Contract Base Service Days Monthly Accrual Rate Conversion Rate (Hours to Days)
Coordinators, Nurses 174 185 6.25 7.5
Counselors 174 185 5.42 6.5
Librarians 164 175 7 7.5
Full-Time Instructors 164 175 4 4
Adjunct / Overload / Summer 164 175 FTE x 15 3