In an effort to ensure that our employees have all the necessary information to make informed retirement decisions, we have compiled some information below regarding steps to take prior to and into retirement.

Retirement Eligibility and Criteria

Under Teachers Retirement System of Georgia (TRS) or Georgia Optional Retirement Program (ORP)

  • Completed 30 years of creditable service, regardless of age, of which the last 5 years of employment must have been continuous with the USG; or
  • Has completed 10 years of creditable service, and is age 60 or older; or
  • Has completed 25 years of creditable service, regardless of age , of which the last 5 years of employment must have been continuous with the USG.
  • Is deemed totally and permanently disabled as documented through the receipt of disability benefits from SSA following 9.5 years of creditable service to the USG in a regular, benefitted position.

Five Years Prior to Retirement

  • Attend events offered by UWG’s Human Resources team such as retirement seminars where valuable information is distributed and the retirement and pre-retirement experiences of faculty and staff are shared.
  • Request your Personal Earning and Benefit Estimate Statement from Social Security. Call 1-800-772-1213 or access
  • Contact UWG’s AFRS (Association of Retired Faculty and Staff) to develop a network of peers who are willing to discuss their experiences with choices they made in retirement planning.
  • Begin to think about post-retirement use of time, second careers, part-time work, and long-term commitments other than work – such as family, friends, community, health, and fitness.
  • Review your retirement plan asset allocations, long or short term goals, and distribution options.

Four Years Prior to Retirement

  • Attend annual retirement seminars and workshops offered by Human Resources.
  • Begin building a network or person who are also retiring or already retired.
  • Review your retirement plan allocations and distribution options to ensure you are remaining on track.

Three Years Prior to Retirement

  • Review your insurance coverage to see what is portable and what will end at retirement.
  • Schedule an appointment with your benefit’s specialist to review your benefits coverage available through UWG at retirement. Find out when you can make changes, add/delete dependents, or make payments.

Two Years Prior to Retirement

  • Take time to review health care and projected costs for medications. Talk with family members and friends.
  • Decide if you need to change plans during open enrollment period.
  • Attend any seminars related to benefits and retirement offered through Human Resources.

One Year Prior to Retirement

  • Locate your birth certificate, SS#, and marriage certificate (or divorce decree) and most recent W-2 to present when you apply for Medicare and/or Social Security.
  • Inform department head or dean of intended retirement date. Finalize plan.
  • Don’t forget to attend any retirement seminars offered!

Six Months Prior to Retirement

  • Finalize decisions on insurance coverages.
  • Finalize your retirement plan distributions.
  • Request any needed forms from TIAA-CREF, Fidelity, or Valic.
  • Apply for Social Security 3 months before you want benefits to start.
  • Request information on Medicare Parts A and B three months before age 65.

Three Months Prior to Retirement

  • Schedule an appointment with your benefits specialist to complete paperwork to continue healthcare and other insurance coverages.
  • Complete required TRS application and paperwork (if applicable)