UM System retirees and soon-to-be retired may not expect same benefits

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COLUMBIA - The UM System president announced in a video Friday some retiree insurance programs and benefits may not be available for employees hired after January 1, 2018.

Michael Middleton said UM leadership began evaulating the sustainability of the retiree insurance programs in 2013, and the Total Rewards Advisory Committee, a committee of staff, faculty and retirees has proposed a plan to revise the current retiree insurance provisions. 

System spokesman John Fougere said the goal of the potential changes is to "maintain financial stability for the university" and to "provide access to retiree insurance benefits for as many current employees as possible."

Fougere said nothing will change until the Board of Curators takes a vote. 

The recommendation says current pension programs and voluntary employee retirement investment programs will not be affected, although retiree insurance programs may be changed.

Retiree insurance offerings will depend on the employee's length of service, age and salary level.

If agreed upon by UM System leaders, effective January 1, 2018, current retirees will still have access to the current insurance programs offered.

Current employees who are at least 60 years old and have worked for the UM System for at least 20 years would be elligible for the current insurance programs. 

Other levels of coverage would depend on an employee's age and years of service at the time of retirement.

Middleton said there will be open forums in February and March to discuss the possible changes. Leadership will be present to talk with employees, staff, retirees and others interested about the potential changes.