Recent changes in federal regulations have set very high standards for providing investment advice and retirement counseling. The retirement plan companies listed below require extensive training of their representatives and stand behind the materials and advice these representatives give to you, the investor.
Benefit Services strongly recommends that you contact one or more of the investment companies below when you seek advice about the allocations of your retirement accounts and how best to use your accumulations to meet your income needs.
Endowed staff members: If you are an endowed employee currently receiving a CURP contribution, you will get 10 percent of your actual earnings in the Phased program as a basic retirement plan benefit, plus an additional 10 percent of your earnings in the Phased program.
Contract College staff members participating in SUNY-ORP: You will receive your basic SUNY- ORP contribution from your Phased earnings, plus an additional 10 percent of your earnings in the Phased program from CURP.
Contract College staff members participating in the NYSERS plan: You will receive your basic NYSERS credit based on your Phased earnings, plus an additional 10 percent of your earnings in the Phased program from CURP.
Contract college staff members who participate in a Staff Phased Retirement program do get a CURP contribution that equals 10 percent of their earnings in the phased program. These contributions will be tax deferred and invested in accounts in your name with TIAA and/or Fidelity. You do not have to make a contribution from your pay to get the CURP contribution. You pick the funds in which you want the money to be invested. At any time during your Staff Phased Retirement term, you may withdraw the money in your CURP account and it becomes taxable upon withdrawal. You should contact Benefit Services to learn more, and to set up your CURP contributions in Workday with TIAA and/or Fidelity.
The Staff Phased Retirement Program (Phased) is being offered to provide an alternative to full, immediate retirement, if the department has needs that will fit the model.
You should talk to your supervisor about the potential in your department or unit for such a model. Phased will not work in every situation. Your supervisor must create the business plan and seek approval for any Phased program before it becomes a formal offer for you to sign.
This is not a voluntary program that you can choose to create for yourself. The first steps are to collaborate with your supervisor to create a plan that has a good chance for success for you and for your department. It must make good business sense to be approved.
Cornell’s legal counsel has drawn up a model agreement for departments to use. If you enter a Phased agreement, you will have surrendered your current, regular position and will start a new, term appointment under certain conditions outlined in the agreement.
Your supervisor will include in the business plan an estimate of the length of time that will be appropriate for your Phased program. Durations can run from six (6) months up to but not exceeding three (3) years.
You must be eligible to retire before signing the Phased agreement, so you must meet the eligibility requirements beforehand.
Your pay will be based on the design approved for your Phased program. You may be doing the same type of work or working on other projects or tasks in your unit. You will know the compensation level before you are asked to sign the agreement.
Yes, you may access your CURP account once you are in a Phased program. If you are younger than age 59 ½ during the Phased period, you may have some limitations on how much you can withdraw from CURP due to federal regulations. Beyond age 59 ½, you can withdraw the money in any manner that meets your needs.
You will continue to have your health insurance coverage, since you will be in a benefits eligible position in the Phased program. Your life insurance will remain at the same levels you had before the Phased program began. If you were eligible for the educational programs and CCTS before entering the Phased program, you will continue to be eligible for them.
The only benefits that will change will be plans that are directly linked to actual wage or salary you are earning. These are short and long term disability or workers’ compensation.
In general, contract college employees must have at least ten years of state service, or ten years combined service with the state and one or more participating state agencies to continue health insurance benefits as a retiree. In addition, you must be enrolled in NYSHIP as an employee or a dependent at the time of your retirement. You can review the NYSHIP eligibility requirements in the Retirement and Beyond booklet. You can also call Benefit Services at 607- 255-3936 to set up a time to review your health insurance plan.
Yes, TIAA, Fidelity, MetLife, VALIC and Voya professional advisors are ready to meet with you to discuss your current situation. Representatives of these companies are available on campus regularly. Please see the listing of vendors at the end of this publication for contact information.
The Retirement and Beyond booklet includes the formula for determining your benefits under NYSERS. You can estimate your benefit using the calculator on the NYSERS website.
The NYSERS website includes a list of frequently asked questions and other relevant information on your benefit from NYSERS. You can access the NYSERS call center at 1-866-805-0990 if you want to speak with a NYSERS representative.
Please call Benefits at 607-255-3936 to set up a time to discuss your NYSERS benefit.
Based on the University’s needs, you may find work at Cornell once you are fully retired.