Human Resources Policies
HR55 Things to Know When Leaving University Employment
Policy Steward:Vice President for Human Resources>
POLICY'S INITIAL DATE: February, 1961
THIS VERSION EFFECTIVE: March 4, 1998
- Group Life Insurance
- Healthcare Coverage
- Dental and Vision Coverages
- Voluntary Accidental Death and Dismemberment Plan and Long Term Disability Plan Coverages
- Retirement Contributions
- Final Pay Checks
- Keys and Equipment
To outline the things that a faculty or staff member should know about group life insurance, healthcare, retirement contributions and other matters if he or she leaves University employment prior to retirement.
Protection in this plan stops 31 days after the end of the pay period in which the resignation becomes effective. The employee's University policy can be converted to an individual policy without a medical examination if application is made within this 31 day period.
A faculty or staff member should contact any agent of the Prudential Insurance Company if he or she wishes to take advantage of the conversion privilege.
NOTE: An individual who desires to continue life insurance and is in good health may be able to obtain more desirable coverage by contacting a representative of any commercial insurance company. This is because converted policies are limited to one type. The amount which may be converted is limited to the amount in force immediately prior to termination.
The cost of the converted policy will be higher than the University's because: (1) the type of insurance to which one converts is whole life insurance instead of the less expensive group term insurance; and (2) the age of the individual at time application for conversion is made is also a factor.
After a faculty or staff member leaves the University, protection under a University healthcare plan stops at the end of the pay period during which the resignation is effective.
Coverage may be continued for up to 18 months under the COBRA provisions, if application is made within 60 days from the date of termination of the coverage. Information about continuation may be obtained from the Employee Benefits Division.
NOTE: An individual who desires to continue this coverage may be able to obtain more desirable and less expensive coverage by contacting a representative of an outside insurance company.
Dental and vision coverages, if applicable, stop at the end of the pay period during which the resignation is effective. Dental and/or vision coverage may be continued for up to 18 months under the COBRA provisions, if application is made within 60 days from the date of termination of the coverage.
If applicable, coverages under both of these plans stop at the end of the pay period during which the resignation is effective. Both of these plans can be converted to individual policies if application is made within 31 days after the end of the pay period. Conversion application forms can be obtained from the Employee Benefits Division.
A faculty or staff member who is leaving University employment should contact one of the following offices regarding possible retirement benefits or the withdrawal of contributions.
- State Employes' Retirement System - Contact the SERS Counseling Center, or call toll free 1- 800-633-5461.
- Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association - Contact TIAA at 730 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017; call toll free 1-800-842-2010.
- Federal Civil Service Retirement System - Contact the Agriculture Extension Office.
In certain instances, retirement credit is portable and may be transferred to the retirement system of the new employer. If the faculty or staff member who contributed to the State Employees' Retirement System (SERS)is accepting a job with an agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, contributions may not be withdrawn when leaving the University. Likewise, if the faculty or staff member has contributed to TIAA and is accepting a position with an institution which has TIAA retirement, contributions may not be withdrawn when leaving Penn State.
It generally takes from four to six weeks following the termination date for contributions to be refunded.
The faculty or staff member must make arrangements to receive his or her final pay check (unless he or she has direct deposit) and year-end W-2 form. If a change of address is known, a new W-4 (Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate) should be submitted. If there is a change of address after termination but before the end of the calendar year, the Payroll Office (Room 101 James M. Elliott Building) must be notified so year-end tax statements can be forwarded to the new address.
In order for the final pay to include any unused accumulated vacation pay, if applicable, University policy states that the Termination of Employment form must reach the Office of Human Resources by the fifteenth of the month of termination for employees paid monthly, and by the end of the pay period for those paid biweekly. Refer to PR09 for the method used to calculate the rate of pay for unused vacation, if applicable.
If payment for unused accumulated vacation is due but is not included in the final pay, a separate payment at the next pay date will be made. For faculty and staff who do not have direct deposit, unless other arrangements have been made, the final pay check and/or the separate check for vacation accumulation will be held at the Office of the Bursar.
Prior to leaving, the faculty or staff member shall return all University-issued items including:
- ID Card/Security Badge
- Parking Permit (except Emeritus retirees)
- Calling Card
- SecurID Token
- American Express Corporate Card (except Emeritus retirees)
- Diners Club Corporate Card
- Purchasing Card
- Cellular/Car Phone