Retiree Benefits

In 1981, The ACC Board of Trustees decided that ACC employees would not participate in the Social Security System. However, employees who become eligible to retire may participate in various insurance and retirement programs.

Definitions

ACC qualified retiree

An employee who retires from ACC after at least ten (10) years of service with the College.

Teacher Retirement System retiree

An employee who meets the service and age requirements for retirement from TRS (see below).  Service credit can be earned through ACC and other TRS employers.  In some cases, an employee may have worked at ACC long enough to qualify as a TRS retiree (5 years), but is not qualified under ERS retirement rules (10 years) for retiree health insurance benefits.

Employees Retirement System retiree

An employee who meets the service and age requirement for retiree insurance benefits from ERS (see below).  Service credit can be earned through ACC and other ERS state employers and in order to qualify, a retiree must have 10 years (120 months) of ERS eligible service credit.

Employees Retirement System (ERS) Retiree Insurance Eligibility

Employees must have at least 10 years of employment at an ERS Group Benefit Plan (GBP) agency or higher education institution to be eligible for insurance benefits.

If an employee began work before September 1, 2001, at least three of those years must have been with an agency in the Texas Employees Group Benefits Program (GBP). If an employee began work on or after September 1, 2001, at least 10 years must be with an agency in the GBP. Retiree insurance benefits will start at age 65, unless an employee retire under the Rule of 80.

In either case, an employee will not have a waiting period on health insurance if they retire directly from ACC employment and currently have health insurance through GBP.  If an employee does not retire directly from employment but gains retirement eligibility later when reaching age 65 (rule of 80 does not apply), they will be eligible for health insurance after a 60-day waiting period, but no evidence of insurability (proof of good health) will be required.

If an employee is eligible to receive an employer contribution toward the cost of their retiree health coverage, the amount of the employer contribution is based on their employment status (full vs part-time) with ACC during the last 3 months of service and if they had 5 or more years of GBP service on September 1, 2014.  If an employee is working part-time during this period, they will only receive a 50% employer contribution during retirement.  Click here for additional information. 

ERS Retiree Insurance Benefits:

Dental and Vision Insurance

ACC qualified retirees may enroll in any of the dental programs or the vision plan available to active ACC employees. There is an annual enrollment period when changes can be made (October/November) by retirees. Retirees are notified by ERS of any changes in the plans and of enrollment times.  ACC currently reimburses ACC qualified retirees who worked in a full-time status for the three months immediately preceding retirement for the cost of the retiree’s dental premium quarterly.

Health/Medical Insurance

ACC qualified retirees may enroll in the health coverage offered by ERS.  A retiree’s eligibility for Medicare determines which health plan they may select, but all the plans include comprehensive medical benefits and prescription drug coverage.  $2,500 of Basic Life insurance is also included when a retiree enrolls in an ERS health plan, but it does not include the matching accidental death and dismemberment coverage that active employee receive.

Optional  and Dependent Life Insurance

Retires are eligible for three levels of Optional Life Insurance:

  • Option 1 (1x the pre-retirement annual salary),
  • Option 2 (2x the pre-retirement salary), or
  • $10,000 worth of coverage

If an employee has Option II, III, or IV Life Insurance at the time of retirement, he or she is eligible to elect any of the three options available to retirees.  If an employee has Option 1 at the time of retirement, he or she can keep Option 1 or drop down to the $10,000 worth of coverage.  Employees who do not have Optional Life Insurance at the time of retirement are limited to only the $10,000 option.  For any retiree, Optional Life Insurance can be waived at the time of retirement.  Retirees pay the cost of this coverage.

A retiree may retain Dependent Term Insurance coverage in the amount of $2,500 for their spouse and $2,500 for each dependent child.  Retirees pay the cost of this coverage.

Retiree Life Insurance Plan Overview at Minnesota Life 

TRS Retirement Eligibility

In order to be eligible for a retirement benefit from the Teacher Retirement System, an employee must meet the following criteria.

For persons who became members of TRS prior to September 1, 2007, had at least five years of service credit on August 31, 2014, and maintain membership until retirement, the following eligibility requirements must be met to qualify for normal age retirement:

  • Age 65 with five or more years of service credit, or
  • Any combination of age and service totaling 80 with at least five years of service credit.

For persons who first became members or returned to membership on or after September 1, 2007, but prior to September 1, 2014, had at least five years of service credit on August 31, 2014, and maintain membership until retirement, the following eligibility requirements must be met to qualify for normal age retirement:

  • Age 65 with five or more years of service credit, or
  • At least age 60, meets the Rule of 80 (combined age and years of service credit equal at least 80), and have at least five years of service credit.

Persons for whom any of the following apply: (1) first became a member or returned to membership on or after September 1, 2014, (2) had less than five years of service credit on August 31, 2014, or (3) had at least five years of service credit on August 31, 2014, but terminated membership in TRS on or after September 1, 2014, and resumed membership in TRS again at a later date, the following eligibility requirements must be met to qualify for normal age retirement:

  • Age 65 with five or more years of service credit, or
  • At least age 62, meet the Rule of 80 (combined age and years of service credit equal at least 80), and have at least five years of service credit.

Reduced retirement benefits may be available for employees who meet additional early age retirement criteria with TRS. For additional rules and information regarding TRS retirement eligibility visit the TRS website at: http://www.trs.state.tx.us/active.jsp?submenu=retirement&page_id=/benefits/retirement_eligibility_checklist

ORP Retirement Eligibility

Employees retiring under ORP generally must meet similar criteria to that used for employees retiring under TRS.  However, in order to retain retiree insurance benefits, they must meet the ERS retiree insurance eligibility standards.  In addition, an employee must have an intact ORP account from which they are eligible to receive payments.  Withdrawing or rolling over the entire ORP account(s) to another type of investment will make an employee ineligible for ERS retiree insurance.  For additional information about ORP retiree eligibility, please review the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's Retirement Information for ORP Participants.

Important Notice:  When an employee elects ORP, they forfeit membership in the TRS and may withdraw any funds previously contributed to the TRS.  Once withdrawn, this forfeits all accrued rights to benefits from TRS, if any, including benefits based on TRS service credit accrued prior to this election.  Consequently, the prior TRS service does not count toward meeting the "Rule of 80" (age plus years of service equal 80) retirement eligibility rule which may affect when an ORP participant is eligible for retiree insurance benefits.   

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