Retirement: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the age and service requirement for retirement?

Faculty and Staff whose combined age and years of service total 75 and who retire from Williams at age 58 or older with a minimum of 10 years of service are considered eligible to retire.

Early retirees are those between the age of 58 and 65. Regular retirees are age 65 or older.

For the Tenured Faculty Early Retirement Incentive Program details, please visit the Tenured Faculty Early Retirement Incentive Program page.

Who is eligible for College benefits in retirement?

Faculty and Staff who fulfill the age and service requirement for retirement are eligible for College benefits in retirement if their final 10 years of service are in a benefit eligible position.

For the Tenured Faculty Early Retirement Incentive Program details, please visit the Tenured Faculty Early Retirement Incentive Program page.

How do I determine what date to use as my retirement date?

You retirement date will be the last day you are physically at work.

How is unused vacation paid out at retirement?

Vacation will be prorated based on the amount of time earned and unused up your date of retirement and will be paid out in the final paycheck. Any negative vacation balance will be deducted from the final paycheck.

What group health benefits are available to retirees?

Early Retirees
Early retirees who fulfill the benefit eligibility requirement may continue to participate in College health insurance plan on the same basis as active employees until they reach age 65. Early retirees will be billed monthly for their premiums and can make changes to their coverage during open enrollment each year until age 65.

If an early retiree’s spouse is age 65 or older or reaches age 65 prior to the early retiree, health coverage for the spouse ends. The spouse should enroll in Medicare Part A and B. While a supplemental health plan is not required, the College encourages spouses of retirees to review all possible options for plans in their state of residency at least 6 months prior to age 65. One option may be the supplemental health plan sponsored by the College for retirees and spouses through True North Insurance Agency, no residency restrictions apply. For more information about the College sponsored plan please contact Linda Grande at (413) 663-2384.

Regular Retirees
At age 65 College health insurance ends. Regular retirees should enroll in Medicare Part A and B. While a supplemental health plan is not required, the College encourages retirees to review all possible options for plans in their state of residency at least 6 months prior to age 65. One option may be the supplemental health plan sponsored by the College for retirees and spouses through True North Insurance Agency, no residency restrictions apply. For more information about the College sponsored plan please contact Linda Grande at (413) 663-2384.

What group dental benefits are available to retirees?

Early Retirees
Early retirees who fulfill the benefit eligibility requirement may continue to participate in College dental insurance plan on the same basis as active employees until they reach age 65. Early retirees will be billed monthly for their premiums and can make changes to their coverage during open enrollment each year until age 65.

Regular Retirees
The College group dental coverage ends at age 65, COBRA is available for 18 months after the early retiree turns 65 at full premium. More information about COBRA.

What happens to group health and dental benefits if my spouse is under age 65?

When the early retiree reaches age 65 and becomes a regular retiree, if his or her spouse is younger than 65, the spouse may continue coverage until he or she attains the age of 65, or for 10 years, whichever occurs first. The spouse must pay the full premium for this continued coverage and will be billed monthly for the premium.

What group term Life insurance benefits are provided to early and regular retirees?

Early Retirees
Eligible early retirees may continue basic and supplemental life insurance in force at the time of retirement until age 65. The College will continue to pay for the basic insurance of $50,000 and the early retiree will continue to pay for supplemental life insurance.

Regular Retirees
When the early retiree reaches age 65 and becomes a regular retiree, supplemental coverage stops and the basic coverage reduces to $5,000.

What happens to my Healthcare and/or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account(s)?

Payroll deductions stop with your final paycheck as an active employee. If a participant leaves the College during the year, he or she has three months after the end of the calendar year to submit claims for expenses incurred before the date he or she left.

What is the Retiree Health Insurance Benefit?

On July 1, 1994, the retiree health insurance benefit was established by Williams College for eligible regular retirees. An account is created for each eligible retiree that can be used exclusively for the reimbursement of paid Medicare Part B and/or Medicare Supplemental (Medigap) insurance premiums for the retiree and his or her spouse. Each plan year will begin on July 1 and end on June 30.  Click for more information on the Retiree Health Plan.

For the Tenured Faculty Early Retirement Incentive Program details, please visit the Tenured Faculty Early Retirement Incentive Program page and the Health Insurance Benefit available under this program.

What happens to the Long Term Disability Benefit at retirement?

The Long Term Disability Benefit ends at retirement.

Does the Tuition Grant Benefit continue for my qualifying dependents?

The Tuition Grant Benefit covers qualifying dependents of eligible retirees at Williams. In order for the child to be considered a dependent of the eligible retiree, the child must meet the dependent criteria established by the IRS. For full details please view the Tuition Grant policy in the employee handbook.

What happens to my College mortgage at retirement?

The mortgage will be in effect until the borrower has reached the term of the loan or leaves the College for any reason, including retirement. For more information regarding College mortgages please contact Mortgage Administrator in the Real Estate & Auxiliary Services office at (413) 597-4238.

What happens to my Long Term Care Insurance payroll deduction at retirement?

The College will contact the LTC provider with the date of your final payroll deduction.  The LTC provider will then begin billing you at your home address for future premium payments.

Are retirees issued a Williams College ID?

Retirees can be issued a Williams College ID card at no charge.  Retiree ID Cards are authorized by Human Resources and issued by Campus Safety and Security. The Retiree ID card is encoded with information that allows borrowing privileges in the libraries, and access to athletic and cultural events on campus. Employee spouses and qualifying dependent children are also eligible to receive an ID at a cost of $5. There is a $10 fee to replace a card.

Are retirees eligible to continue membership at the Faculty Club?

Upon employment at Williams, faculty and staff are automatically enrolled in the Faculty Club. Dues are waived for these members. This category also includes anyone who retires from Williams.

Are retirees eligible to participate in Wellness programs?

Yes, retires are welcome and encouraged to participate in Wellness programs.  Proper ID is required, please visit the Wellness webpage for a complete list of offerings.

What happens to my Williams email address when I retire?

When OIT receives notice of a staff member’s pending retirement date an email is sent to the employee and their supervisor detailing the College policies that determines what happens to computer accounts and files when people leave the College.  The email will include information on when your username and password will stop working, instructions for working with your supervisor to move job related files from your computer to another location and setting up an appropriate absence message for your email account.

Retirees can continue to use their williams.edu email address upon request. Supervisors should complete the Williams Affiliation Request Form for Human Resources to authorize the Staff Retiree email account.