Life Events - Leaving the RF

If you are leaving the employment of the RF, please notify your manager as soon as possible and provide a letter of resignation.  Additionally, please contact your campus Benefits Office.

For more information, refer to these documents:

Health, Dental and Vision Plans
Your health benefit will end 28 days after your last day of employment with the RF.  This includes termination of coverage for all dependents included on your plan. 

You are eligible to continue your health benefit through COBRA.  COBRA is a federal law that requires employers to offer its employees and their covered dependents the right to continue health, dental and vision care coverage.

The right to choose continuation of coverage is available after an employee terminates employment, either voluntarily or involuntarily, or when the employee or dependent is no longer eligible for coverage because of certain qualifying events (e.g., reduction in hours of employment or a child reaching the limiting age).

As an alternative to continuing RF coverage, you can enroll for coverage through Those without coverage may qualify for federal subsidies to help them purchase coverage.

Your campus Benefits Office will provide you with a packet of information when you become COBRA eligible

Extended Dental Benefits
Charges for the following services are covered after coverage terminates provided that treatment began before coverage terminated and treatment is completed within 90 days of the termination date:

  • fixed bridgework, crowns, inlays, onlays, and gold restorations (treatment begins the date the tooth or teeth are prepared).
  • full or partial removable dentures (treatment begins the date the impression is taken).
  • root canal work (treatment begins the date the tooth is opened).


Basic, Optional, and Dependent Life Insurance
You may continue your basic and optional group goverage under the RF policy for up to 12 months by paying premiums directly to Securian Life. After the 12 month continuation is exhausted, you may port or convert your Basic and Optional Life Insurance coverage to an individual policy.

"Port" means to continue the policy in its current form, with rates that increase as you age.  "Convert" means to convert the policy to a whole life policy which initialy has higher premiums, but those premium remain stable as you get older. You must port coverage on yourself in order to port coverage on your dependents.

You may not exceed the amount for which you were insured under the RF's group policy. 

This individual policy will be issued at the insurance company's regular rates and will not require proof of good health. You must submit an application and pay the first premium within 31 days after your coverage ends.

Please contact Securian Life at 877-491-5265 or your campus benefits office for additional information.


Flexible Spending Accounts
The Dependent Care FSA is not eligible for continuation upon termination of employment; however, you can continue to request reimbursement for eligible expenses incurred until you exhaust your account balance or the plan year ends.

Note: IRS requirements for an eligible expense under this benefit is that your spouse must be working, and you must be actively at work at the RF at the time the expense is incurred.


Except as provided by COBRA, reimbursement through the Health Care FSA for health care expenses is only allowed after termination of employment if the expenses were incurred prior to your termination at the RF.


As a result of the termination of your employment, you may choose to continue your Health Care FSA.  Please refer to the COBRA Q&A section of the Flexible Benefits Plan Reference Guide


Basic Retirement Plan


Making a cash withdrawal and tax implications

When your RF employment ends, you may surrender your Basic Retirement Plan vested TIAA contracts for the cash value, subject to IRS regulations, if your TIAA Traditional Annuity retirement annuity accumulation is less than $2,000, and your total TIAA retirement annuity accumulation from employer-paid premiums is not over $4,000 and annuity payments have not begun, including a TIAA Transfer Payout Annuity.


Cash distributions are subject to ordinary income taxes and may be subject to an additional early withdrawal tax penalty.


TIAA must withhold 20 percent from any single sum benefit paid to you, and send it to the IRS. The IRS will apply the amount toward income taxes due. 


A 10 percent tax penalty will generally apply to cash withdrawals made before age 59½, unless you have medical expenses exceeding the tax-deductible limit or you become disabled, die, or end employment after age 55. There is no tax penalty applied to payments made to children or to a divorced spouse in accordance with a qualified domestic relations order.


If you are married, your spouse must consent in writing to the cash withdrawal. For more information, refer to Selecting your beneficiary: spousal rights in the Benefits Handbook or Postdoctoral Employee Benefits Handbook.


TIAA will provide additional tax reporting information when a distribution is made. Neither this Web site nor the information provided by TIAA is intended to be relied upon solely for tax advice. You are encouraged to consult a tax advisor.


Rollover to another qualified retirement plan or traditional IRA

Since 2002, the IRS has allowed the rollover of distributions between different types of retirement plans (e.g., to or from 401(a), 403(a), 403(b), 457(b), and IRA plans). The plan sponsor’s rules must also permit this, however. The RF’s plans do not permit distributions before termination of employment.


A qualified rollover will not be taxed. If, however, you take a distribution, and then do not roll the funds over into another qualified retirement plan or to a traditional Individual Retirement Annuity (IRA) account within 60 days of receipt, the IRS will consider the distribution a lump sum withdrawal and will tax the amount you received.


A mandatory 20 percent federal withholding tax applies to an indirect rollover (that is, one that is made to you, not directly sent to a recipient plan or IRA), which will be refunded by the IRS if the rollover is completed. If you use a direct rollover, the distribution is not received by you, therefore, taxes are not withheld.


You cannot roll over to a Roth IRA. However, you may be able to convert the assets to a Roth IRA based on IRA guidelines. Contact TIAA for information.


Optional Retirement Plan


If you leave the Research Foundation

The funds in your TIAA contracts continue to share in earnings/losses if you leave the RF, even if no additional contributions are made. The same options you have available to you for changing your distribution of funds as an active employee remain unchanged.



Funds contributed to a GSRA during your employment with the RF will continue to be available to you for loans, subject to IRS regulations. No future contributions may be made to your GSRA unless you are rehired by the RF.



No further contributions will be made to your TDA accounts under any circumstances.


Benefit payments from TIAA contracts and accounts

All options explained under payment options in the  Benefits Handbook or Postdoctoral Employee Benefits Handbook are available.


GSRA fixed-period option

In addition to the payment options shown in the Benefits Handbook, the fixed-period option allows you to receive income from your GSRA contract over a fixed number of years – from five to 30. If you die during that period, payments will continue to your beneficiary.

Note: The TIAA Interest Only Option is not available for GSRA contracts.


Minimum distribution requirements

The minimum distribution requirements for retirement funds from TIAA are the same for the Basic and Optional Retirement Plans. Refer to Minimum distribution requirements in the  Benefits Handbook.

© Copyright 2013 Research Foundation of SUNY