Retirement Planning Timeline

0-15 Years Before Retirement

It is never too early to start to plan and anticipate your retirement. Start your education process early and maximize your opportunities to save. Become familiar with the features of your mandatory retirement plan and the options that are available to you in the voluntary retirement plans.

  1. Begin to investigate and review retirement income from all sources.
    • If you are entitled to retirement income from employers or sources other than the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE), you should check those plans at this time. If you are a classified employee, or a Faculty member who had an active account with PERS at the time you were hired by the Nevada System of Higher Education, check your annual PERS statement to ensure you have been credited with all your eligible service credit.  The annual PERS statement is mailed out between February and May each year. If you think all your eligible and/or allowed service credit has not been accounted for on your PERS statement, call PERS at (866) 473-7768 and speak to one of the Retirement Advisors.
    • If you are a Faculty employee, and a member of the Retirement Plan Alternative 401(a) Program, request an estimate of your retirement benefits from your investment carrier(s). 
  2. Establish or update your will.
    • Retirement specialists recommend that a will, living trust, estate planning, etc. are all established at an early age. Check with your attorney and/or financial planner for specifics as to your individual situation. Without a will, the matter of who will administer the estate can be the occasion for painful disputes and needless expense. If you do not have a will already established, you are strongly advised to make one at this time.
  3. Review and update your beneficiaries.
    • You should contact your retirement vendor(s) directly to see who is listed as your beneficiary. The beneficiaries that you designated when you first started with the Nevada System of Higher Education may need to be updated. You should contact the Benefits Office at (775) 784-6082 to review your beneficiary information on file. 
  4. Attend a Retirement Planning Workshop.
    • The Benefits Office sponsors various Retirement Planning Workshops throughout the year. All staff and faculty are encouraged to attend, regardless of age. Other seminars may be offered periodically concerning estate planning, taxes, wills and trusts or other retirement needs. All employees should be proactive in preparing for their retirement and blending employer-sponsored plans with personal strategies.
  5. Contact or make an appointment with a representative of your 401(a), 403(b) and/or 457 investment carrier(s).
    • Discuss your investment portfolio including the accounts you have, funds you selected, accumulated balances, projected totals at retirement and designated beneficiaries. Evaluate if you are contributing the maximum to your retirement plan and the advantages and disadvantages of changing the allocation of funds prior to retirement and after retirement. Discuss the options you have to withdraw accumulated retirement plan assets. Identify what forms need completion and how they are obtained.

Your investment carrier representative can provide specific information illustrating your projected retirement income and distribution options. This is a time to determine how much of your current income you will need for your living expenses in retirement and whether you need to accelerate your savings for retirement. 

Financial counselors from your investment carrier(s) are available for individual counseling sessions on a monthly basis. 

One Year Before Retirement

Academic/Administrative Faculty Only.

  1. Notify your Department Chair and Appropriate Dean.
    • This is the time to discuss your anticipated retirement date with your Chair and Dean. By providing adequate notice, you allow the department to prepare for the transition.
  2. Complete and discuss application to seek Emeritus/Emerita status with your Department Chair, Supervisor, and/or respective Dean/VP.

Emeritus/Emerita status is an honor which may be awarded to full-time faculty and professional staff who retire after distinguished and long-term achievement and service to a NSHE institution.

Guidelines for Appointment to Emeritus Status

As set forth by the University of Nevada, Reno Bylaws.

There shall be an emeritus faculty composed of retired faculty promoted to this rank: 

  1. Any member of the faculty may be considered for the rank of emeritus at retirement in accordance with regular personnel procedures; and/or
  2. Any member of the faculty retiring after at least ten years of full-time service shall be recommended for emeritus status.

(Title 5, Chapter 7, Section 18)

If you are eligible, you should contact your Dean/VP about making a recommendation for emeritus status to the Provost as early as a year and, if possible, no later than six months prior to your retirement date.

Emeritus status includes, but is not limited to, the following privileges:

  • Inclusion in faculty mailing lists
  • Invitations to attend appropriate University functions
  • Library access
About 90 Days Before Retirement
  1. Contact local Social Security Office if retiring at age 62 or older.
    • This is the time to arrange for the start of your Social Security Retirement Income, if eligible. You can call for an appointment or for forms at (800) 772-1213. The Northern Nevada area Social Security Administration office is located at 1170 Harvard Way, Reno and can be reached at (800)352-1605. You can find booklets online as well as a local office locator at the Social Security Administration home page, located at  www.ssa.gov.
  2. If you are a PERS member, request an estimate of benefits. 
    • If you are a classified employee, or a Faculty member who had an active account with PERS at the time you were hired by the Nevada System of Higher Education, and you are a member of the  Public Employees’ Retirement System of Nevada (PERS) you may request an estimate of your PERS benefit from the Public Employees' Retirement System of Nevada at (866) 473-7768 or by visiting them at 693 W. Nye Lane, Carson City.

OR

  1. If you are a member of the Retirement Plan Alternative 401(a) Program, make an appointment with a representative from your investment carrier(s).
  2. If you are a Faculty member participating in the Retirement Plan Alternative 401(a) program, you should schedule a meeting with a representative from your 401(a) investment carrier(s). The purpose of this meeting should be to clarify any additional questions you may have about your accounts including current fund allocation, accumulated balances, and distribution options. Mainly, this meeting should establish what action steps you need to take to implement your distribution decisions. These will include what forms need to be completed and when they need to be received in order to ensure a smooth transition into retirement.
  3. Make an appointment with a representative from your 403(b) Tax Sheltered Annuity or 457 Deferred Compensation supplemental retirement program investment carrier(s).
    • The purpose of this meeting should be to clarify any additional questions you may have about your accounts, including current fund allocation, accumulated balances, and distribution options. Mainly, this meeting should establish what action steps you need to take to implement your distribution decisions. These will include what forms need to be completed and when they need to be received in order to ensure a smooth transition into retirement.
  4. Notify your supervisor about your approaching retirement (Non-Faculty) or contact your Department Chair about your approaching retirement (Faculty).
    • If Non-Faculty, make sure that your supervisor is aware of your retirement date so that all necessary arrangements can be made. If Faculty, this is the time to remind your Department Chair of your approaching retirement and address any final transition issues.
  5. Identify Unused Vacation and/or Sick Time
    • Academic/Administrative Faculty
      • Vacation Time (Annual Time): Faculty on an A Contract may receive payment for up to 48 days of unused vacation upon retirement, unless they are directed in writing by their appointing authority to use this time prior to termination.
      • Sick Pay: Faculty employees are not paid out for unused sick time.
    • Classified Employees
      • Vacation Time (Annual Time): Classified employees who have worked for more than 6 months will receive a lump sum payout for unused annual time which has been earned through the date of separation.
      • Sick Time:  Upon retirement, voluntary termination, or death while in public employment, classified employees or their beneficiaries are entitled to payment for unused sick time in excess of 240 hours up to the following maximum amounts, providing there is a minimum of 10 years of service:
        Lump Sum Payout Amounts
        Years of Service Maximum Payoff Amount
        10 but less than 15 $2,500
        15 but less than 20 $4,000
        20 but less than 25 $6,000
        25 or more years $8,000
    • Additionally, eligible employees may receive a portion of unused sick time that was accrued but not carried forward (also known as special sick) when separating from State service.
  6. Evaluate Voluntary Supplemental Benefits
    • With your Benefits Specialist, review and determine if your voluntary benefit plan(s) can be taken with you upon retirement.
  7. Make appointment with a Benefits Representative at (775) 784-6082
    • This appointment should be used to help you evaluate retirement benefits and complete required enrollment for those benefits that you are eligible to continue after retirement. The Benefits office is located at 70 Artemesia Way, in the Artemesia Building, Room 1,  Reno.