Retiring from University Service

Retirement can be a wonderful and satisfying experience when you feel prepared for the big event! We recommend that you review the information below to develop a more complete understanding of the retirement process and steps an employee should take when considering retirement. You may schedule a retirement consultation with HR if you have questions about the process or your eligibility. Consultations or assistance may be requested by calling (313) 577-6353 or emailing Sophia Dollar (

Process & Timeline

The process of retiring begins when you confirm your eligibility and write a Letter of Retirement (see Step 3 below). Your department is responsible for terminating your employment with the university. Assuming you are eligible, a termination date is in the system and has received your retirement letter, Total Rewards (HR benefits department) will process your retirement the week of your last employee paycheck. Between the time you turn in your Letter of Retirement and your last employee paycheck, the Benefits Coordinator in Total Rewards will accommodate your WSU retiree benefit needs. 

Example: An employee decides to retire and that their last day of employment will be September 30. Their benefits will end September 30. Their retirement date will be October 1. Their Letter of Retirement should be submitted at least 2 weeks before September 30. According to the payroll calendar, their last employee paycheck will be for Pay Period 21 on October 12. The Benefits Coordinator will process the employee's retirement the week of October 12. To better understand what happens with your benefits at the time of retirement, please read Step 2 below. 

Steps You Should Take to Retire

  • Step 1 Consult with Your Financial Advisor

    You may want to consult with a financial advisor to review your income projections and income options as well as complete forms to initiate any income payment options. 

    If you have WSU retirement savings accounts, consult with either:

    Investment Carrier Contact Information

    TIAA-CREF Financial Services

    Telephone: 1-800-842-2252

    To schedule 1-on-1 Counseling:
    Make an Appointment

    Fidelity Investments

    Telephone: 1-800-343-0860

    To schedule 1-on-1 Counseling: 
    Make an Appointment

  • Step 2 Determine Your Benefit Requirements

    Medical, Dental & Vision Coverage Ending

    Your active-employee medical, dental and vision benefits will terminate when you retire, following these guidelines:

    Type of Employee & Age Last Day of Employment (Termination Date) Benefit Coverage Ends:
    12-Month, Less than age 65 1st-14th 14th of month
    12-Month, Less than age 65 15th-Last day of month Last day of month
    12-month, Age 65+ 1st-Last day of month Last day of month
    9-month, Any age End of Fall semester December 31st
    9-month, Any age+ End of Winter semester August 31st++
    9-month deferred employees, please contact us to determine your benefit situation.

    +Note regarding Medicare: WSU is not responsible for providing Medicare advice or enrolling employees, retirees or their spouses in Medicare. If you or your spouse are enrolled in Medicare as of your termination date or become enrolled in Medicare following your termination date, Medicare will become your primary coverage and the WSU benefit plan will become your secondary coverage effective on the later of June 1 or your Medicare effective date(s). You will need to let your medical providers know to bill Medicare first before billing your WSU coverage. Please visit to learn more.

    ++Learn more about how 9-month employees pay for Summer premiums

    Options When Coverage Ends

    You have two WSU options you may opt into for medical, dental and vision insurance when your employee benefits end:

    1. COBRA allows you to continue group medical, dental and/or vision benefits when you or your dependents become ineligible for university benefits. You will receive a COBRA package in the mail after your employment termination date (please be sure to check that WSU has your current address). COBRA is a continuation of your employee coverage, not a "retiree" plan. Click here to learn more about COBRA.
    2. WSU Retiree Medical Dental and/or Vision. Learn more about WSU Retiree Benefits

    Please note: If you or your spouse are age 65+ at the time of your retirement, it is your (or your spouse's) responsibility to enroll in Medicare if interested. WSU is not responsible for providing Medicare advice or enrolling employees, retirees or their spouses in Medicare. Please visit to learn more.

    Flexible Spending Accounts

    FSA coverage ends on your date of employment termination. Since this is a "use it or lose it" program, any unused funds will be forfeited. Claims (for incurred expenses prior to employment termination) may be filed for a period of time after employment ends. Please read the Flexible Spending Account website for more information.

    Helpful Resources:

  • Step 3 Confirm Eligibility & Write a Letter of Retirement


    To retire from WSU, you must have attained age 55 and have either 10 years of service with the university or 5 years of university contribution into your retirement savings account. Years of service means the continuous number of years a faculty or staff member has worked at WSU in a benefits-eligible employee classification. For more information about years of service, please read the university policy. Years of university contributions into your retirement savings accounts starts on the date of the first paycheck with contributions into the account. To confirm your eligibility, please contact us at or 313-577-3000. 

    Letter of Retirement

    If you've confirmed your eligibility and decided to retire, determine your last day of employment. If you plan to use vacation time, please know those vacation days are considered dates of employment. Your last day of employment is your termination date and your retirement date is the day after. The two dates should be consecutive. For example, if February 9 is your last day of employment, February 10 is your date of retirement.

    Write a Letter of Retirement to your department head or supervisor and the HR Service Center ( stating your retirement intentions at least 2 weeks prior to your date of retirement. Your Letter of Retirement should include your last day of employment and your date of retirement.

    Letter of Retirement Template - Download this fillable PDF to your computer to write your letter. You may write your own letter if you'd prefer, but it should include:

    • Your name and date of letter written
    • Last day of employment date (your termination date)
    • Retirement date (the date after your last day of employment)
    • Your address & phone number
    • Your 9-digit Banner ID or access ID

    After your department receives your Letter of Retirement they will process your termination; however, sending the HR Service Center ( your Letter of Retirement ensures that you're set up in the system as a retiree and that you'll receive the benefits associated with retiring (group life insurance, email continuation, etc.). Your Letter of Retirement does not mean you are automatically enrolled in COBRA or WSU retiree medical, dental or vision benefits (see step 4).

    At this step in the process it is important that your contact information on file is up to date. Please click here to check your current contact information and update it if needed. 

    Consultations or assistance may be requested by calling (313) 577-6353 or emailing Sophia Dollar (

  • Step 4 Submit Benefit Forms

    You will be mailed a COBRA package after your employment termination date. Election of COBRA benefits (continuation of your active employee benefits) documents must be submitted to Businessolver, Inc. Businessolver, Inc. bills and collects for WSU COBRA benefits. Click here to learn more about COBRA.

    If you're interested in WSU retiree medical, dental or vision benefits or would like to convert your life insurance to a personal pay option, you have 30 days from your date of termination to elect these benefits and submit the appropriate forms to the HR Service Center. 

    If nothing else, please be sure your life insurance beneficiaries and address are up to date. If you need to update your beneficiaries, please submit the Life Insurance Beneficiary Designation Form. Please click here if you need to update your address

    If you've elected COBRA continuation, you may enroll in WSU retiree benefits within 30 days after it ends. It is your responsibility to enroll in WSU retiree benefits at that time. Learn more about WSU Retiree Benefits

    Retiree Benefit Forms

    Retiree Dental Plan Enrollment Form

    Use this form to enroll in, change or terminate retiree dental plan coverage.

    Retiree Vision Plan Enrollment Form

    Use this form to enroll in, change or terminate retiree vision plan coverage.

    Retiree Medical Plan Enrollment Form

    Retirees, surviving spouses and long-term disability recipients use this form to enroll in, change or terminate a retiree Wayne State University medical plan.

    2023 Aetna Medicare Plan (PPO) Enrollment Form

    Medicare-eligible retirees and their Medicare-eligible spouses use this form to enroll in the Group Aetna Medicare Plan (PPO).

    HAP Senior Plus HMO Enrollment Form

    Medicare-eligible retirees and their Medicare-eligible spouses use this form to enroll in the Group HAP Senior Plus HMO Plan.

    Life Insurance Beneficiary Designation Form

    Retirees and long-term disability recipients use this form to edit life insurance beneficiaries.

    Conversion and Portability Application

    WSU fills this out for you (upon your request) during the conversion and portability process (within 30 days of employment termination). Sun Life Financial will collect your premiums if you convert Life Insurance to a personal pay option.
  • Step 5 Obtain Your Retiree OneCard and Enjoy Your Retiree Benefits!

    Retiree benefits include vacation and illness bank payoffs (please refer to your labor contract or the Non-Represented Employee Manual for details), a $2,500 university paid life insurance policy, continued WSU e-mail access, a Retiree OneCard and free university parking and more! 

    Benefit Contact Information
    Vacation and illness bank payoffs

    Phone: 313-577-2138

    Retiree OneCard & free university parking (excluding Structure 6) - Apply after you have received your last employee paycheck

    OneCard/Parking Service Center
    Phone: 313-577-CARD

    Continued e-mail access - this is automatically set up for retirees Computing & Information Technology
    Phone: 313-577-4357
    Discounted rate at Mort Harris Recreation and Fitness Center (RFC) & Matthaei Center

    Mort Harris Recreation and Fitness Center 
    Phone: 313-577-2348

    Senior Citizen Reduced Tuition

    Student Service Center
    Phone: 313-577-2100

    Library Access Retiree borrowing privileges
    Show Your OneCard & Save Discounts Website:

    Learn more about WSU Retiree Benefits.