F.A.Q. - Planning

Planning

Planning

Q. What are the alternatives for saving for retirement offered by Columbia?
A. Columbia offers two plans to help you save towards retirement: the Officers' Retirement Plan and the Voluntary Retirement Savings Plan (VRSP). You choose where to invest your money in the funds offered by the Plans through TIAA or Vanguard. 
 

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Q. How can I get advice to manage my investments in the Officers' Retirement Plan and VRSP?

A. To learn more about the retirement plans, please refer to the Human Resources Retirement Planning FAQ webpage. You can contact the Columbia Benefits Service Center by calling (212) 851-7000 for general information about the retirement plans; however the Service Center cannot give financial advice on how to invest your monies. For investment advice, please call Vanguard on (800) 523-1188 or TIAA on (800) 842-2252.

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QWhat provision can I make now for long-term care for me or my family?

A. If you have a Long-Term Care Insurance policy with either John Hancock or Genworth, the coverage will remain in effect after you retire, provided you continue to pay your premiums. If you currently make payroll deductions to pay for this coverage, you will need to pay the premiums directly to Hancock or Genworth. See the Long-Term Care Insurance for Officers webpage for more information.

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Q. What options do I have as a retiree for dental coverage?

A. If you are enrolled in the Aetna Dental Plan you may continue this coverage for up to 18 months under COBRA. The Columbia University School of Dental Medicine provides dental services to retirees and their dependents at discounted rates through a network of faculty and alumni from the University. To participate you must receive care from a dentist listed in the CU School of Dental Medicine provider directory or who is part of a designated Columbia Dental facility. If you are interested in this dental plan, visit the website to find a network dentist or contact the Service Center for enrollment information at 212-851-7000 or by email at hrbenefits@columbia.edu.

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Q. How will my health insurance change after retirement?

A. If you are eligible for health care coverage under Columbia's Retiree Medical Plan at your retirement date (you must be at least age 55, and have completed 10 or more years of full-time service after age 45), you can select from the health plan options that are in effect at that time. The coverage is available for you, your spouse and eligible dependents, and is coordinated with Medicare. If you are 65 or over, Medicare will become your primary coverage.  See the Retiree Letter for more information. 

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Q. Can I use my life insurance after I retire?

A. You can convert your life insurance coverage to an individual policy. Cigna will automatically send a conversion notice to you when your retirement has been processed. 

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Q. Can I use the money in my retirement plan when I need it before retirement?
A. Hardship withdrawals are permitted from the VRSP if you are under severe financial distress. Loans and hardship distributions are not available from the Officers' Retirement Plan.

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Have another question?  Please don’t hesitate to contact us.