Employees who might be interested in WSU’s early retirement incentive are encouraged to request an application as soon as possible.
“That way, we can begin to help you through the process,” said Lisa Gehring, assistant director, Human Resource Services. “Once your application is received, you will get a notice explaining whether or not you are eligible, as well as a packet of information if you are eligible.”
Applications will be accepted March 1-May 31 for retirements beginning no later than July 1.
The WSU regents recently approved the voluntary early retirement incentive (VERI) for employees participating in the Washington State University Retirement Program (WSURP, also known as the TIAA-CREF program). This is among the measures taken by WSU to realize savings in light of state budget reductions.
 
Medical plan incentive
The incentive from WSU is a one-time payment of $18,000 into the employee’s tax-exempt medical expense plan.
Administered by the Voluntary Employees Benefit Association (VEBA), plan funds are used for health-care expenses, including insurance premiums. Much like the TIAA-CREF retirement plan, employees choose the kinds of investments they want their VEBA money put into.
This account would be in addition to the one-quarter sick leave cashout VEBA-MEP account that is available to eligible employees. Teaching and research faculty are not eligible for the sick leave cashout account, but are eligible for the account tied to VERI.
More information can be found ONLINE @ www.veba.org by clicking on “state/higher education.”
 
Information session Wednesday
Approximately 23 people attended a VERI information session conducted by HRS last week. Another session is planned 9-10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25 in Lighty 405 at WSU Pullman and via videoconference to other campuses.
Registration is encouraged, though not required. Register ONLINE
@
www.hrs.wsu.edu/skillsoft/viewclass.aspx?c=ilt_wsu_FIN_667 and click on “sessions.”
 
Re-employment, eligibility
The recent VERI session included questions about re-employment and the minimum amount of retirement that must be taken under the plan.
Typically, TIAA-CREF retirees can return to work up to 40 percent time in a position covered by the WSURP, up to full time in a civil service position, or work in a temporary hourly appointment. But a VERI retiree will not be able to return at all for five years unless the provost grants an exception.
VERI also requires the retiree to begin receiving retirement payments immediately. The minimum amount TIAA-CREF will annuitize is $10,000, so employees must begin receiving at least that amount. Since the TIAA-CREF account would be set up as an annuity, there would not be a penalty for earlier withdrawal prior to age 59 ½.
Other eligibility requirements for VERI include:
* At least 10 years as a member of the WSURP.
* At least age 55 before the effective date of retirement (no later than July 1).
 
More information
See FAQs, a retirement checklist and more information ONLINE @ www.hrs.wsu.edu by clicking on “Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive.”