Age 65 is a milestone that, for many people, comes with choices and decisions about their future – including finances, medical coverage, and retirement lifestyle. Entitlement for Medicare is also a qualifying life event.
Whether you plan to keep working or will soon retire, you need to take certain actions to ensure you receive the healthcare coverage at age 65 and beyond that's most appropriate for your personal situation.
If you have paid Medicare taxes during your working years, you are eligible for Medicare at age 65. Approximately three months before reaching age 65, you will receive a letter from the Board of Pensions with information and guidance for your Medicare enrollment options.
Minister members only: If you are enrolled in Pastor’s Participation and do not plan to retire at age 65, you may not waive Medical Plan coverage. You will need to visit the Social Security website to enroll in Medicare Part A only. There is no monthly cost for this coverage, which begins at age 65.
If you are enrolled in medical coverage through the Board (not in Pastor’s Participation), and you plan to continue working after age 65 you have two options:
When you retire, your medical coverage through the Board of Pensions ends. If you are age 65 or older (or under age 65 with certain disabilities), you can enroll for Medicare, which provides the foundation for your healthcare coverage in retirement. Visit the Social Security website if you wish to enroll in medical insurance under Medicare.
However, Medicare alone may not provide all the coverage you need. Therefore, you may want to consider enrolling in the Board’s Medicare Supplement Plan. As the name implies, Medicare Supplement Plan coverage supplements or adds to the coverage provided under Medicare Parts A and B. It also provides benefits for some expenses that are not covered by Medicare. Refer to the Medicare Supplement Plan for more information.
The age at which you retire and the payment option you choose affect your Pension Plan benefit. If you were not vested before age 65 and you are an active or disabled plan member, you are automatically vested on your 65th birthday.
Active and disabled members who are enrolled in the Pension Plan can use the pension estimator on Benefits Connect at any time to obtain a pension estimate. The tool allows you to view your projected benefit immediately and use various dates for your planned last day of work and the date you would like retirement payments to begin (first of any month). It also can incorporate projected annual salary increases up to 10 percent. This can help assess your current and future financial standing and the various options available to you.
If you qualify for Social Security benefits, you can begin receiving reduced benefits at age 62. Eligibility for full retirement benefits depends on your birth year. Earnings limitations apply if you choose to begin taking Social Security before your full retirement age. Visit the Social Security website before initiating your Social Security benefits, to review your options and any applicable rules.
If you participate in the Retirement Savings Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), a 403(b)(9) plan, you may begin withdrawing funds from your account at age 59½, but you are not required to do so. These funds are intended to provide income during retirement, so most participants wait until they retire. You may keep your account in the Retirement Savings Plan throughout your retirement. In fact, Fidelity has several options for periodic withdrawals while you keep your funds in your RSP account. You may want to consult with your tax or financial adviser about distributions and amounts best suited for your needs and future plans.