The following summarizes information regarding employee benefits upon leaving the university prior to retirement. If you are retiring, refer to the Planning for Your Retirement Guide (PDF). If you have any questions, please contact the WashU Benefits Team.

Coverage is extended until the last day of the month in which your employment is terminated (Ex. If your employment with the university is terminated June 30, your benefits would end June 30). You can elect to continue your health benefits at your own expense by enrolling in COBRA.

A personalized continuation of coverage packet will be mailed to your home by WageWorks after your termination of employment has been entered in Workday and your employment has ended. If you have not received a COBRA packet within two weeks after you have received your final pay from the university, please contact the WashU Benefits Team at 314-935-2332 or

You have 60 days after the later of 1) the cancellation of coverage date or 2) the date the university sends you the COBRA enrollment packet to enroll in COBRA continued health benefits. The same university health benefits can be extended for a period up to eighteen months and you are required to pay the total premium cost.

COBRA Information Including Current Premiums

Flex Spending
You may submit claims for eligible heath care and child care expenses incurred on or before the last day of the month in which you last worked for the university. Although your flex health care payment card will no longer be active following that date, you can still submit claims to obtain reimbursement of either those eligible health care expenses on-line or by paper form. Participation in the health care spending account may be continued through COBRA for the remainder of the current calendar year. If you have any questions, please contact the WashU Benefits Team at 314-935-2332 or hr-benefitsmail@wustl.eduMore information on Flex Spending

Health Savings Account (HSA)
HSAs are individually owned accounts and the funds remaining in the account can be used by the participant for future health care expenses at any time. The bank fees which are paid by the university for active employees become the responsibility of the account owner upon termination of employment. More information on HSA

Life Insurance
Coverage is extended until the end of the month in which you last worked for the university. You will be contacted by MetLife about continuing your group term life insurance at your own expense. If you elect to continue your term life insurance, you will be billed directly by MetLife at competitive rates. To set up direct payment arrangements for your MetLife GVUL policy please contact MetLife at 1-800-685-0124.  More information on Life Insurance

Long-Term Disability
Coverage runs through the end of the month in which you last worked for the university. You may convert group long-term disability benefits to an individual policy within 31 days of your last day worked. If interested, please contact your Benefits Department at 314-935-2332.  More information on Long-Term Disability

Long-Term Care
If you have a long term care policy, this will continue as long as you make your premium payments. If you have specific questions and have a policy through MetLife, please call 1-888-748-4824. If you have specific questions and have a policy through John Hancock, please call 1-877-582-2288.  More information on Long-Term Care

Tuition Assistance
Benefits cease at the end of the semester in which you last worked for the university. More information on Tuition Assistance

Retirement Savings Plan

Contributions cease as of your last paycheck.  You have several options for your account:

  • If your account balance is greater than $7,000, you may leave your account in the Plan. Accounts with a balance of less than $7,000 will be transferred to an IRA at Millennium Trust Co. after a notification period.
  • You may rollover your account to an IRA at an investment company of your choice or to your new employer’s plan, if the plan accepts such rollovers.
  • You may withdraw all or a portion of your account. This is a taxable event and could result in a 10% premature distribution penalty, if taken before age 59 ½.

You must begin taking withdrawals no later than April 1st of the year following the year that you turn age 73.

All forms should be sent directly to TIAA (employer signature is not required).  Termination and retirement dates are sent to TIAA regularly, however you should wait to request a distribution until your final contribution is received by TIAA.  This typically occurs 45 days after your last day of employment.

All questions regarding your account should be directed to the WashU/TIAA Service Center at 888-488-3419.

More information on the Retirement Savings Plan

Deferred Compensation Plans (457(b))

Contributions cease as of your last paycheck.  You will receive a notification from TIAA. If you do not make a distribution election within 120 days, you will receive a lump sum distribution.

Retirement Medical Savings Account (RMSA)
The Retirement Medical Savings Account Plan (RMSA) allows for reimbursement of eligible out of pocket health care expenses to RMSA plan participants who have terminated employment at WashU, regardless of age or retirement status, without having to forfeit the university contribution balance if applicable. For more information, please see the RMSA Flyer (PDF).

If you terminate employment and would like to submit claims against your RMSA balance, please complete the “RMSA claims activation form” found on the Forms page of the Human Resources website.

Staff employees will be paid for any accrued vacation up to a maximum of 33 days, if they have completed the probationary period.

Sick Leave
You will not be paid for accumulated sick days.

United Way, Credit Union
If you are participating in either of these programs, deduction(s) will cease with your last paycheck. If you have an outstanding loan with the Credit Union, you will be responsible to set up alternative payment arrangements.

Outstanding Expenses
You must submit an expense report prior to your termination date to allow for reimbursement.

University Property
You will be responsible for returning keys, parking permit, ID card and any other university property in your possession.

The above summary represents policies and procedures as they exist today. Although we don’t anticipate changes in benefit plans or administration, the benefits above may be revised or eliminated.

Phased Retirement for Tenured and Clinician Track Faculty

Effective January 1, 2008, the university introduced a Phased Retirement Program for tenured and clinician track faculty members who meet the eligibility requirements. More information on Phased Retirement Program