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Board Approves Retirement Incentive Option

Board approves RIO

Chris Schanus

Regents Seal

May 14, 2008

The deadline for electing to participate in the Retirement Incentive Option has been extended to September 26. The extension of the window period for electing the program is being granted due to the positive response that RIO has received, so that additional time may permit others interested in RIO an opportunity to accept the program. The program provides 36 months of medical and dental subsidy following an employee's last day of employment.

The Board of Regents approved the Retirement Incentive Option (RIO) at its meeting May 9. RIO is a one-time opportunity for voluntary retirement for eligible employees. The program is being offered to minimize involuntary workforce reductions in response to current economic conditions.

RIO will provide 36 months of medical and dental subsidy following an employee's last day of employment. The subsidy and coverage is the same as if the retiree had remained employed. The University's contribution will be based on the employee's coverage level (employee only, employee and spouse/same sex domestic partner, employee and child/children, or employee and spouse/same sex domestic partner and child/children), work location, and permanent residence as of the last day of employment.

Faculty, P&A employees, Civil Service employees, and Radio and Television Broadcast Technicians may enroll in the program beginning May 15 through August 1, 2008. A faculty member who wishes to retire this term must do so on or before the last day of his/her appointment. Employees who elect to participate in RIO must retire at a date mutually acceptable to the employee and his or her unit, but no later than the last day of his or her 08-09 appointment.

As this benefit is subject to collective bargaining, discussions are currently underway with American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and Teamster leadership to provide a RIO benefit for their members. If an agreement is reached, a different window may apply to AFSCME and Teamster members, but in no event will the window period extend beyond August 1, 2008.

Eligible employees must be actively employed at 75 percent time or greater and hold an appointment term of 9 months or greater on the last day of employment. The employee must be currently enrolled in UPlan benefits and be receiving University subsidy for those benefits. Employees must also be eligible for retirement from the University under one of the following scenarios:

  • Age 55 with a minimum of 5 years of service
  • Age 50 with a minimum of 15 years of service
  • Any age with 30 years of service

Employees must meet these age and service requirements as of the earlier of a) their date of retirement or b) August 1, 2008.

An employee who retires under the RIO program may not resume employment at the University of Minnesota for a minimum of three months following the date of retirement. Beginning on the fourth month of retirement, the employee may return to University employment in a non-benefits-eligible position of no more than 19.5 hours per week.

Employee benefits counselors will be presenting RIO information on the Twin Cities campus once weekly throughout the window period. Please see the Employee Benefits Web site for a complete listing of dates and times. The presentation on May 27 will be available to those not on the Twin Cities campus via UM Connect. Complete information about RIO is available on the Employee Benefits Web site.

Please contact the Benefits Service Team at 800-756-2363 or 612-624-9090, option 2, with additional questions regarding program terms or eligibility.