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Retiring in January? The “No Lapse in Pay” option may be for you

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This past spring, UC introduced a new option for some prospective retirees: a guarantee that after retiring on July 1 they’d receive their first well-deserved retirement benefit payment on August 1. This is referred to as the “no lapse in pay” option, and it will be available once again for some faculty and staff planning to retire in January.

UC employees who are on schedule to retire with a monthly benefit on Jan. 4, 2022, and who qualify, will have the opportunity to opt-in for a guaranteed payment beginning Feb. 1. (Note that a retirement date of Jan. 4, 2022, is recommended due to UC’s holiday schedule, and faculty members on a quarterly schedule are usually not eligible to retire on this date.)

Who qualifies

Before you take the time to apply, it’s important to consider whether you’re likely to qualify. A request for this option will not be approved for those who are opting for a lump sum cashout, or for those who have circumstances that can make the retirement process take longer.

Unfortunately, this includes a number of factors outside of your control. For example, you won’t qualify for this option if you:

  • Are eligible for reciprocity with CalPERS
  • Have UCRP service credit in more than one retirement tier
  • Have pensionable earnings and/or potential pension payments that exceed IRS limits
  • Have a divorce settlement that may require additional paperwork

Whether or not you qualify for “no lapse in pay,” RASC representatives will do their best to process your retirement within 45 days, and to provide a monthly benefit payment on Feb. 1 for retirees who submit all required paperwork by the stated deadlines. Health and welfare coverage for those who are eligible will continue without interruption during the transition to retirement.

How it works

The request to opt-in to “no lapse in pay,” along with a signed election and all required documents, must be submitted by Nov. 5, 2021. The UC Retirement Administration Service Center (RASC) will let you know if your request is approved.

If RASC isn’t able to calculate the confirmed benefit amount in time, retirees who are approved for “no lapse in pay” will receive a payment for their estimated retirement benefit instead. If there are differences between the estimated benefit and the confirmed amount, the retiree’s benefit payment and premium deductions will be adjusted no later than the May 1, 2022, payment.

Questions?

If you’re planning for a Jan. 4 retirement, the RASC offers two helpful webinars covering everything you need to know – including details about the ‘no lapse in pay’ option:

  • Preparing for Retirement, for UCRP members who are planning to retire within the next five years, covers topics such as understanding UCRP pension benefits, retirement savings and retiree health coverage. 
  • The UC Retirement Process – Step by Step, for UCRP members who are planning to retire within the next 4-12 months, explains everything you need to know about the retirement process, including required forms, important deadlines and helpful resources.

UCRP members can initiate and process their retirements electronically through UC Retirement At Your Service (UCRAYS) by following the steps in What to do if you’re preparing for retirement.

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