Howard University Employees' Retirement Plan (Frozen)

The Howard University Employees' Retirement Plan (the "Plan") was effective from July 1, 1976 until June 30, 2010 (December 31, 2011 for certain participants represented by the AFSCME). No new participants or rehired former participants can enter the Retirement Plan. No credit will be given for any additional credited service or additional benefit accruals after that date. Compensation earned after the freeze date is not considered under the Plan. Upon eligibility, you may make your benefit election and start receiving your defined benefit amount, which will be paid to you for your lifetime and a beneficiary, if applicable.

See the additional information below to learn more about the Howard University Employees’ Retirement Plan. 

Plan Information

Retirement Dates

Normal Retirement

The Normal Retirement Date of a Participant shall be the June 30 coinciding with or next following the date on which the Participant attains his Normal Retirement Age. (Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, no Employee whose most recent hiring date with any Employer preceded July 1, 1988, shall have a Normal Retirement Date later than the June 30 coinciding with or next following his attainment of age 65). A Participant reaching his Normal Retirement Date while an Employee may at that date retire from the employment of the Employer; otherwise Section 3.2 shall be applicable.

Delayed Retirement

A Participant who remains an Employee after his Normal Retirement Date shall retire on his Delayed Retirement Date. The Delayed Retirement Date of a Participant who continues his employment with the Employer beyond his Normal Retirement Date shall be the first day of the month coinciding with or next following the actual date the Participant retires from the employment of the Employer.

Early Retirement

Upon proper notice a Participant may retire from the employment of the Employer on the first day of any month prior to his Normal Retirement Date, provided the combination of his age (computed to the nearest one-twelfth (1/12) of a year) plus the number of his years of Credited Service for vesting purposes (computed as full years) equals or exceeds seventy. Notice shall be deemed proper if the Committee is informed in writing of the Participant's desire to retire at least sixty days prior to any Early Retirement Date.

 

 

Available Options of Benefit

Single Life Annuity Option

A participant may elect to receive the maximum election of a single life annuity benefit that is only payable to the participant for their lifetime; no lifetime benefit is payable to a beneficiary.

You will receive a monthly pension for your lifetime. Upon your death, no survivor benefits are payable.

Period Certain and Continuous Option

A Participant may elect to receive a decreased retirement benefit during his lifetime, and in the event of his death subsequent to retirement but before either sixty, one hundred twenty, one hundred eighty, or two hundred forty monthly retirement benefit payments.

Joint and Survivor Annuity Option

A Participant may elect to receive a decreased retirement benefit during his lifetime and have such decreased retirement benefit (or one-half, two-thirds or three-quarters thereof) continue after his death to his designated Beneficiary, during the lifetime of the Beneficiary. If the designated Beneficiary is not living at the death of the Participant, no additional benefits shall be payable on behalf of the Participant.

Lump Sum Option

Effective for distributions payable on or after March 28, 2005, if the Actuarial Equivalent of a terminated or retiring Participant's vested benefit payable as a Single Life Annuity commencing at his Normal Retirement date exceeds $1,000 but does not exceed $5,000, the Participant may elect to receive such benefit in a single lump sum cash payment.

Automatic Payment Form for Married Participants

Married participants automatically receive the Qualified 50% Joint and Survivor Annuity (or Qualified Joint and Survivor Annuity) based on the Howard University Employees’ Retirement Plan (the “Plan”), unless you elect to receive an optional form of payment. Spousal consent within the 90-day period prior to the date of your first benefit check, witnessed by a Notary Public, is required if Qualified 50% Joint and Survivor Annuity or another Qualified Joint and Survivor Annuity with your spouse as beneficiary is not elected. Spousal consent is also required if you designate a beneficiary who is not your spouse; spousal consent is irrevocable.

Qualified 50% Joint and Survivor Annuity provides you with a monthly retirement payment for your lifetime and upon your death your surviving spouse will receive a retirement payment for their lifetime equal to 50% of the amount of the monthly benefit that you were receiving.  

Vesting Chart

IF PAYMENTS START AT THIS AGE  YOU'LL RECEIVE THIS PERCENT OF YOUR EARNED BENEFIT
55 50%
56 53%
57 57%
58 60%
59 63%
60 67%
61 73%
62 80%
63 87%
64 93%
65 100%
66+ Actuarial increases amount

 

Death after Eligiblity for Retirement

If a Participant dies prior to the commencement of benefit payments but after becoming eligible for normal or early retirement under Section 3.1 or Section 3.3, there shall be payable to his spouse, if any, the benefit that would have been payable to the spouse under the automatic form described in Section 5.3 upon such Participant's death subsequent to retirement, determined as though he had retired on the date of his death, commenced receiving payments under the automatic form, and died the next day. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, if a Participant dies prior to the commencement of benefit payments but after having elected, pursuant to Section 5.2(b)(2), a joint and survivor annuity with a two-thirds or three-quarters survivor benefit, there shall be payable to his spouse, if any, the benefit that would have been payable to the spouse under the elected joint and survivor annuity option upon such Participant's death subsequent to retirement, determined as though he had retired on the date of his death, commenced receiving payments under the elected joint and survivor annuity option, and died the next day. Payments to the spouse under this Section 6.1 shall commence as of the first day of the month coincident with or next following the Participant's date of death, subject to the cash-out provisions of Section 6.2(b). Subject to Section 5.4(c), a spouse may elect to defer commencement of payments. Payments to a spouse shall be subject to a qualified domestic relations order within the meaning of ERISA Section 206(d)(3).

Death of a Vested Participant

  1. If a Participant dies after becoming vested but before meeting the requirements for retirement , there shall be payable to his spouse, if any, a monthly benefit based on the Participant's vested Accrued Benefit as of his date of death. Such benefit shall be equal to the monthly benefit that would have been payable to the Participant's spouse had the Participant terminated employment of his date of death, survived until the earliest date under the Plan on which he could have begun receiving a benefit under Section 6.4, commenced receiving a benefit in the automatic form under Section 5.3, and died the next day. Payments to the spouse shall  commence  as of  the first day of the month coincident with or next following the earliest date on which the Participant could have begun receiving a benefit under Section 6.4. Subject to Section 5.4(c), a spouse may elect to defer commencement of payments. Payments to a spouse shall be subject to a qualified domestic relations order within the meaning of ERISA Section 206(d)(3).
  2. If the Actuarial Equivalent value of a benefit payable to the spouse under subsection (a) or Section 6.1 does not exceed $5,000 (or does not exceed $3,500 in the case of a Participant who dies before July 1, 1998), such benefit shall be paid in a lump sum. No lump sum distribution shall be made here under after payments have commenced unless the spouse consents in writing to such distribution.
  3. Notwithstanding the above, a Participant who enters qualified military service as defined by USERRA and dies while performing such service will be treated as if he died while an active Participant.

Retiree Benefits- Medical/Dental/Life/Tuition Remission

  • Medical benefits only available to those retiring prior to age 65.
  • Dental benefits only available to those retiring prior to age 65
  • Post Age 65 Retirees –
    • Enroll in Medicare Parts A (Hospital) & B (Medical) - covers 80%
    • Enroll in Supplemental/Medigap Insurance Part C – covers 20%
    • Enroll in Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan/Vision/Dental
    • Website: www.medicare.gov
    • Toll-free number: 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)
    • TTY number: 1-877-486-2048
    • Your initial enrollment period begins three months before your 65th  birthday

 

  • Tuition Remission: As an eligible retiree, you will retain your remission of tuition benefits. This benefit is also available to your eligible dependents. If you have questions about these benefits, please contact Latashia Coleman at 202-806-1298.
    • Eligible retirees may:
      • attend University classes and receive up to 22 credit hours per semester in undergraduate or graduate programs at Howard University at no cost.
    • Eligible retiree dependent children enrolled and accepted by age 23 by the University:
      • Require documentation of dependents.
      • Excluded programs, including the Medical School, Law School, Pharmacy, Allied Health, MBA and Executive MBA.
      • More information can be found at: Tuition Remission.
  • Life Insurance:
    • Eligible retirees receive Basic Group Life Insurance and Accidental Death and Dismemberment coverage that is subject to a reduction schedule.
    • Supplemental life insurance coverage elected will not continue unless you make arrangements with MetLife, by calling 1-800-638-6420.
    • For more information regarding Life Insurance contact the Human Resources Benefits Department at 202-806-1280.

Change of Address Form

DB Participant Change of Address Form_v05232019.docx

Plan Documents

Annual Funding Notice Summary Plan Description