Prepare to Retire
Retiring under URP 403(b) Rules


Changes in 2012

Visit or call 1-800-642-7131 to learn more about your retirement plan options or schedule a consultation with a Fidelity Workplace Planning and Guidance Consultant.

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Retirement Eligibility Under URP

Under the URP 403(b) Plan rules, you are eligible to retire from active URP 403(b) Plan participation starting at age 62 regardless of years of service. Retirement from URP requires separation from your WWU employment and URP-eligible position.

Consult your fund sponsors to understand the tax implications associated with starting an income before age 59½ .

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Disability Retirement

URP allows participants under age 55 and 10 years of service to apply for a retirement “Because of Condition of Health” if they become disabled. This is also known as "disability retirement." (This is a complex process requiring extensive documentation and review. For details, review the URP Disability Retirement web page and contact the Benefits Office at 360-650-3774.

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Income Options

Your retirement income will be based on the amount of money you and the WWU contributed to your retirement accounts, the investment earnings attributed to these monies, your age, and the income option you select.

There are a wide range of income options including:

  • a lifetime annuity for you,
  • a lifetime annuity for you and your annuity partner,
  • cash withdrawal of up to 100% of total accumulations,
  • minimum distribution required by the IRS,
  • interest only, and
  • other options that may be available.

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Steps to Retire

  1. Start discussing your retirement income needs and options with your fund sponsors at least three to five years prior to retirement.
  2. Give notice to your department chair, dean or supervisor.
  3. E-mail the Benefits Office to request a Retirement Packet.
  4. Decide whether or not you want to start an income right away.
  5. Complete your retiree insurance forms and return them to the State Health Care Authority within 30-60 days of your retirement date.

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Accessing Your Retirement Income

You do not have to start an income at the time you retire. The IRS has what are called Minimum Distribution Requirements, which require you to begin an income by April 1 following your 70-1/2 birthday. See the IRS website or your URP fund sponsor for more information about this rule.

Your retirement income cannot begin until your final URP payroll deduction has been deposited in your account.

To begin your income:

  1. Talk to your URP fund sponsor(s) about ways you can take an income.
  2. Send completed applications to your fund sponsor(s) at least one month prior to your income starting date.

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Additional Information

Contact the Social Security Office periodically to review your file's accuracy.

Working After Retirement - URP retirees may be re-employed up to a maximum of 40% of full time. The 40% limit applies to the URP plan year which is from July 1 through June 30 each year. Specified job class codes must be used by the department for each appointment type.

WWU Supplemental Retirement Plan (WWUSRP) - available only to those who were active participants in WWU Retirement Plan (URP) on February 28, 2011. It is closed to URP participants who were not active participants on the date it closed or who enrolled in the URP on or after March 1, 2011.

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Page Updated 12.15.2014