Retiree Benefit Overview

Retirement Eligibility

Faculty (FAC), Managerial & Professional Staff (M&P) Clerical & Technical (C&T), Security (SEC), Service & Maintenance Staff (S&M) * Command Staff & Yale Police (YPBA)
At least 55 years old At least 55 years old At least 50 years old
  Minimum of 10 years of vested service (Retiree Medical) * A minimum of 10 years of vested service (for YPBA Retiree Medical)
Age and service equals 75 Age and service equals 75 Age and service equals 70
Age 65 with 5 years of vested service (Retiree Medical) Age 65 with 5 years of vested service (Pension only) Age 65 with 5 years of vested service (Pension only)
  *Hired or re-hired on or after January 20, 2013. Minimum 20 years vesting service and at least age 55-59 at retirement (Retiree Medical); and or minimum 10 years vesting service and at least age 60 or greater at retirement  

Basic and Supplemental Life Insurance

You will receive a notification from The Standard regarding your eligibility to port or convert part or all of your Basic and Supplemental Life Insurance.

Retiree Life Insurance

Retiree Life Insurance is provided at no cost to eligible Managerial & Professional, Command Staff, Clerical & Technical, Service & Maintenance, Security, and YPBA retirees. The coverage amount is based on employment classification.

Retiree Dental

You and your eligible dependents may continue to participate in the dental plan if you were enrolled at the time of retirement. The duration of continued coverage varies based on your employment classification. Premiums are equal to the full COBRA cost of coverage. C&T/S&M/SEC elect COBRA coverage through WageWorks for up to 18 months. FAC/M&P/ Command Staff and YPBA elect dental coverage through Aetna retiree platform. 

Retiree Medical

Retiree medical coverage is available to eligible retirees and their eligible dependents. Pre-Medicare retiree medical options include Yale Health or Aetna.

Medicare-eligible retirees and spouses (typically age 65 or Social Security Disability) may choose from three Aetna preferred provider organization (PPO) plans:

  • Aetna Medicare Advantage Choice ESA Open Access Plan
  • Aetna Medicare Advantage Legacy ESA Open Access Plan 
  • Aetna Medicare PPO Plan.

Enrollment in these plans includes Medicare Part D prescription coverage.

Medicare Choice ESA Open Access Plan provides access to any provider who participates in the Medicare program. Yale Health members will continue to have limited access to Yale Health services and departments (if enrolled in Yale Health before retiring). You will pay a copay for non-preventive care services such as Specialist Visits, Inpatient Hospital stays and Diagnostic Procedures.

The Medicare Advantage Legacy ESA Open Access (PPO) is Aetna’s national Medicare Advantage plan providing comprehensive coverage and availability to any provider who participates in the Medicare program. Yale Health members will continue to have limited access to Yale Health services and departments.

The Aetna Medicare PPO Plan is a Medicare Advantage Plan (PPO) that provides access to in-network and out-of-network providers, except for Yale Health, which is excluded from the plan’s network and cannot be accessed as an out-of-network provider.

A PPO plan offers a network of healthcare providers you can use for your medical care. 


You can enroll in Medicare Part A - Hospitalization when you reach age 65 or earlier due to Social Security Disability, even if you are still employed. Your employer medical coverage will remain as the primary coverage until you reach full retirement.

You may enroll in Medicare Part B - Physician and Lab Services, three months prior to age 65 or during a special enrollment period at full retirement if retiring after age 65. If you are deemed eligible under a Social Security Disability Award you can enroll prior to retirement or attaining age 65.

Enrollment in the Aetna Medicare Advantage Plans includes automatic enrollment in Medicare Part D – Prescription Drug coverage. You can only be enrolled in one Medicare Part D Plan at a time and you will be disenrolled from the previous plan if joining another Medicare part D Plan.

If you are over 65 and your spouse is under 65, or vice-versa, each of you will enroll the age-appropriate plan.

If you or your spouse become Medicare-eligible while enrolled in Aetna Smart Care Plan (with Health Savings Account), it’s important that you review the HSA Rules of the Road brochure before enrolling in Medicare.

Paying for Retiree Medical

Payment for retiree medical coverage can be made through pension deduction or direct bill through Aetna.

Premiums will be deducted directly from the monthly Staff Pension checks for Clerical & Technical, Service & Maintenance, Security, Command Staff, and YPBA retirees. Managerial & Professional and Faculty retirees will receive a monthly bill from Aetna. ACH Autodebit is available and strongly advised if being billed directly by Aetna. Non-payment of premiums will result in termination of coverage.

Sick Time, Vacation and PTO

Unused Accrued Sick Time

  • 50% of unused, accrued sick time is paid out in a lump sum at retirement.
  • 50% of sick time for Staff Pension Plan participants is added as pension credit to the pension benefit.

PTO/Vacation/Bonus Vacation

  • Unused accrued vacation, bonus vacation, and PTO are paid out in a lump sum at retirement.
  • Service and Maintenance employees will receive a pro-rated payout of their vacation time.
  • Unused PTO max carryover is not eligible for lump sum payout.

Unused Personal Time and Flex Days

Unused personal time and flex days are not eligible for payout.

You may choose to defer all or part of your unused accrued sick time, vacation and PTO payout to your 403(b) plans, up to the federal maximum deferral amount. Contact Employee Services at least 30 days before your retirement date for a Terminal Vacation Payout (TVP) deferral form.

Sources of Retirement Income

There are multiple retirement income sources available.

If participating, TIAA has an array of income stream options available for you to choose from and the Yale Staff Pension Plan provides Single Life Annuity, Joint and Survivor Annuity or Years Certain payment options.

You may begin receiving a reduced benefit as early as age 62 through Social Security Administration. The full benefit is dependent upon your date of birth.

Personal savings provide additional sources of Retirement Income through IRA’s, real estate, other pensions, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I enroll for coverage?
Enrollment in retiree medical can be done on the Aetna Retiree Health site or by contacting the Aetna Retiree Health Center at 800-338-4533. Enrollment can be made up to 90 days prior to your retiree medical coverage effective date.

How do I pay for my retiree medical insurance premiums?
Your monthly retiree medical insurance premiums will be deducted from your monthly Staff Pension Plan payments (if eligible). If you won’t be receiving pension payments or your pension payment doesn’t cover your premium, you will receive a monthly billing statement for the full amount from Aetna. ACH direct debit is available through Aetna.

When can I change plans?
You are eligible to change plans during Annual Enrollment or due to a Qualifying Life Event.

What if I or my spouse becomes eligible for Medicare Part B prior to age 65 due to disability?
Once you or your spouse become eligible for Medicare, enrollment in Medicare Part A and Part B and in one of the Aetna Medicare plans is necessary to retain retiree health coverage.

Do I need to enroll in a Medicare Part D plan?
You should not enroll in another Part D plan if you are enrolling in an Aetna Medicare Advantage plan through Yale. Individuals may only be enrolled in one Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plan at a time.

Is my new spouse eligible for participation in my retiree medical benefits?
Only spouses married to Yale retirees at retirement are eligible for retiree medical benefits.

If I pass away before my spouse, is my spouse eligible to continue retiree medical insurance?
Yes, if you were married as of your retirement date.

If I pass away before my spouse, is my spouse eligible to receive my Staff pension?
The form of pension you elect at retirement will determine if any survivor benefits are available upon your death. You will make an election on the form of benefit when you start your pension payments. Contact Yale Pension Service Center at 877-352-5552, ext. 2 or visit the Pension Service Portal.

When are pension payments made?
Pension payments from the Staff Pension Plan are made on the first of each month. Direct Deposit is available and strongly encouraged.

Am I still eligible for the Sons and Daughters Scholarship benefit when I retire?
Yes, if you have attained eligibility for the plan prior to retirement, your eligible dependents may continue to receive the Child Scholarship benefit during your retirement.

If I move after a retire, who should I notify?
Anytime you change your address, you should notify Employee Services, TIAA, the Aetna Retiree Service Center, Yale Pension Service Center and WageWorks if you have COBRA continuation for EyeMed or Delta Dental. 

Where can I find more information about when to begin the retirement process?
You can find the Financial and Benefits Planning for Retirement checklist on the benefits webpage.

Upcoming Financial and Retirement Planning Sessions through Zoom

  • Retiree Benefits Overview
  • Retirement and Financial Planning Workshop (three 90-minute sessions)
  • Social Security and Medicare Overview
  • Other workshops and webinars as scheduled

Sign up for workshops on the TIAA website.