Retirement Checklist

1. Attend a Planning for Retirement Class

The Benefits Office offers monthly Planning for Retirement sessions to help you prepare for a successful retirement. Covered topics include retirement eligibility, benefits in retirement, retiree contributions to health care, retirement income options, and additional retiree privileges.

2. Meet with TIAA and or Fidelity Investments

If you have U-M retirement savings accounts, you may want to meet with a retirement planning specialist from TIAA or Fidelity Investments, or both, to review your income projections and income options, as well as complete forms to initiate any income payment options. TIAA and Fidelity cannot release your income distributions or rollovers until they have confirmation of your retirement. This is provided once your department has submitted your retirement notification to university records and it has been updated.

3. Notify Your Supervisor of Your Retirement

Your department must submit transactions to university records to initiate your transition from active employment status to retiree. Departments usually want notification of your intent to retire in writing and with enough reasonable advance notice to plan for it.

4. Update Your Address

Make sure your home address is current with the university (you can update it online using Self Service in Wolverine Access). It is also important to update your address directly with TIAA and Fidelity Investments for your retirement savings accounts. Please note that if you are enrolled in the U-M Premier Care health plan and move out of the service area, you will need to change to a different health plan. Call the SSC Contact Center at (734) 615-2000 for the appropriate form and return it within 30 days of moving to your new address.

5. Request Your Retirement Checkout Kit

Call the SSC Contact Center 30-60 days prior to your retirement and request to have a Retirement Checkout Kit mailed to your home. The following are included in the kit:

  • A review of your benefits, associated costs, and covered, eligible dependents (if any)

  • Your Retirement Benefits booklet

  • Life insurance beneficiary form (if enrolled)

  • Medicare Part B enrollment form

  • Automatic deduction authorization form to pay for your benefits from a checking or savings account

  • U-M Retiree ID Card form

  • U-M Retirees Association brochure

  • Medicare frequently asked questions

  • Information about what happens to your retiree health care if you return to the university as a temp in retirement

You may also view a sample Retirement Checkout Kit. Please note that the sample kit is provided for reference only. Do not complete or submit any forms before you receive your personal Retirement Checkout Kit from the SSC Contact Center.

6. Arrange to Pay for Your Benefits

You can have an automatic deduction taken from your checking or savings account each month to pay for your benefit premiums, or you can send in a personal check or money order.

7. Apply for Social Security and Medicare

Visit your local Social Security Administration office, or call for an appointment, (800) 772-1213, to apply for Social Security income benefits and for Medicare. Retirees and their dependents must enroll in Medicare benefits when first eligible. If you or a dependent who is eligible for Medicare fail to enroll when first eligible, your benefits will be drastically reduced until enrollment occurs. U-M health plan coverage will not pay for services that would have been paid primary by Medicare if Medicare enrollment had occurred. There may be a penalty for late Medicare enrollment of 10% a year for each year you could have been enrolled.

8. Obtain Your Retiree ID Card

Exchange your staff ID card (Mcard) for a retiree ID card once you retire; this gains you access to university facilities. The authorization for this card is included in your Retirement Checkout Kit. Learn more about how to get your retiree ID card from the Shared Services Center. 

9. Pick Up Your Retiree Parking Permit

Retirees from the Ann Arbor campus are eligible for a free After Hours permit that authorizes parking in Blue, Yellow, and Orange U-M parking lots and structures after 3:00 p.m. on weekdays and weekends but not for athletic events parking. Contact U-M Parking and Transportation Services for your permit. U-M Flint and U-M Dearborn also offer parking permits to their retirees.

10. Request Continued Access to Your U-M Email (Michigan Medicine only)

Complete this form for Michigan Medicine Retirees to request keeping their gmail account.

11. Consider Joining the U-M Retirees Association (UMRA)

All university retirees and their spouses are eligible to join the U-M Retirees Association. For more information on membership and annual dues, contact: [email protected] or call (734) 763-7385.