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Retirement Planning

Tools, resources and planning workshops for those planning for retirement or who have already retired and just need some questions answered so they can make their transition to retirement successful.

Retiree Medicare Supplement Plans

Notification of Retirement

Once you make a decision that you are retiring. Submit a signed letter of retirement to your immediate supervisor and human resources (you may also want to copy your union association, if applicable).

Time Frame – Even though there is not a deadline as to when you need to submit your notification, we ask that you submit your notice as far in advance as possible to assist with staffing.

Contribution to Health Care Saving Plan (HCSP) – Reference the Master Agreement if you are in a bargaining unit or the benefit provisions if not in a bargaining unit, to determine if eligible for a HCSP contribution.

Impact of Retirement to Current Benefits

Mid-Year Retirement

  •  Health, dental, life, and Long-term disability insurance are in effect through the end of the month in which you last work.
  •  Flexible Spending Accounts are in effect through the end of the month in which you last work.
    • Flexible Spending Account – You have 90 days to submit claims for FSA eligible expenses that you incurred while employed during current plan year. 

End of School Year Retirement (Work through the last contracted day of school year)

10-month employees **

  • Health, dental, and life insurance are in effect through the month of August.
  • Long-term disability coverage effective through the month of June.
  • Flexible Spending Accounts are in effect through the month June.
    • Medical expense reimbursement claims must be submitted by September 30th. 
    • All expense reimbursements must have incurred during current plan year.

**Teachers who are on a stretch calendar, benefits are in effect through the month of June **

12-month employees

  • Health, dental, life, and Long-term disability insurance are in effect through the end of the month in which you last work.
  • Flexible Spending Accounts effective through the end of the month in which you last work. 
    • Medical expense reimbursement claims must be submitted by September 30th.
    • All expense reimbursements must have incurred during current plan year. 
  • Vacation balance – Contact Human Resources at for options.

Post-Retirement (What to Expect)

  • School email will be disabled; you may provide your personal email to Human Resources at, if you’d like continued access to Skyward Employee Access.  
  • If interested in attending District Arts/Athletic events, contact Human Resources or stop by District Office for a retiree card.
  • For those who are eligible, District will calculate and submit your eligible contribution to the Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS) who will than deposit the funds into a Health Care Savings Plan (HCSP) within 30 days following the effective date of your retirement. MSRS will mail a welcome packet, once funds are deposited into an account, typically 60 days past retirement date.  To determine eligibility, reference the Collect Bargaining Agreement if you are in a bargaining unit or benefit provisions if not in bargaining unit.
  • COBRA letter will be mailed to your home address. COBRA is a federal regulation requiring employers to offer 18 months of benefit continuation to employees who resign or retire. 
  • COBRA and Retiree Benefits run concurrently; if you are retiring from the district and you are eligible to receive and annuity from TRA/PERA your benefit continuation will be referred to as “Retiree Benefits” even though COBRA still applies for the first 18 months of your continuation.

Retiree Benefits/COBRA - Continuation of Benefits (Prior to age 65)

*Minnesota State regulation allowing for medical and dental continuation until age of Medicare provided employee retires with eligibility to receive an annuity from TRA/PERA.

As a retiree you have the option to continue your benefit coverage through District 196, as long as you meet eligibility requirements and pay the total cost of the premium. 

  • Retiree Benefit continuation will be offered at the level of coverage you have on your last day of active coverage
    • Health Insurance – can continue until you reach age of Medicare
    • Dental Insurance (if applicable) – may continue beyond age 65
    • Life Insurance - may continue up to 18 months
      • Basic Term Life & Supplemental Life
        • If you wish to continue Supplemental coverage, Basic coverage must be continued as well
        • Premium cost based on salary and age at retirement
        • After 18 months: Optional conversion w/ Madison National Life
  • Any dependent who has coverage on your last day of work can also continue to be covered, but retirement is not a qualifying event to add dependents. 
  • If you carry Employee +1 or Family coverage at retirement and only wish to continue with Single, you can choose to continue with only Single coverage into retirement.
  • If you elect not to continue as an early retiree on the district 196 retiree group health insurance, you cannot enroll at a future date. 

Electing Retiree continuation of Benefits

Retiree/COBRA Packet will be mailed to you from District 196, with information regarding; contains continuous options, cost of coverage, and election form. Packets will arrive up to two weeks after your last day worked, exceptions for 10-month employees; expect arrival approximately early August.

  • 60 days from date of notice to elect coverage, an election form must be returned in order for coverage to continue
  • Return the election form to Deanna Davis, Insurance Specialist (Enrollment effective retroactively to offer date)
  • Payment Coupons – mailed to you for any monthly premiums you owe based on your election
  • Payments due to District 196 by first of the month of coverage (payments by check or bill-pay) 

Future open enrollment options

Each year you are enrolled in Retiree Benefits, you will be eligible to participate in Open Enrollment. You will receive a letter from the district before each open enrollment period, providing you with information for the new plan year and instructions to make a change if you wish.

  • Can: Change between plans, change from family to single, drop coverage
  • Cannot: Add dependents, pick up new coverage

Important Note: if at any time you choose to drop District 196 retiree coverage, you will not be eligible to come back on to the plan at a future date. 

Medicare Eligibility (Retirees and/or dependents age 65 and over)

Medicare eligibility is the 1st of the month in which you turn age 65

Exception: If birth date = 1st of the month, benefit eligibility becomes effective 1st of the previous month

Retiree Insurance coverage with District 196 is automatically terminated at Medicare eligibility

Sixty (60) days prior to your 65th birthday, District 196 Insurance Specialist will mail you a letter; 

  • Two Medicare Supplement health insurance plan options available to a retiree of district 196 or your Medicare eligible dependent (enrollment is optional)
    • Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) - See top of page for plan details (Medicare Supplement Plans)
    • UCare - see top of page for plan details (Medicare Supplement Plans)
  • Rules pertaining to potential continuation of district dental insurance and dependent coverage (if applicable)

Medicare Supplement - Dependent Impact

  • Upon retirement, if you continue Employee+1 / Family coverage, and will reach age of Medicare before your spouse reaches age 65 or dependent child reaches age 26;
    • Spouse may continue District 196 benefits until his/her Medicare eligibility
    • Dependent Child may continue District 196 benefits until age 26

Additional Resources

Teacher Retirement (TRA) (TRA Checklist)

Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) (PERA Retirement Checklist)

Tax Sheltered Annuity 403(b)/457(b) 
For information on how to access the funds in your 403(b) contact your provider directly. 

  • MetLife 
    • Customer Service: 1-800-504-0740
  • Fidelity 
    • Customer Service: 1-800-343-0860

Aviben – Third Party Administrator of Fidelity & MetLife 403(b)/457(b) Plans 

  • Paperwork requiring a district signature for distribution or rollover for your 403(b)/457(b) should be directed to Aviben for processing
    • Address: 1995 E. Rum Drive S., Suite 2, Cambridge, MN 55008
    • Phone: 763-689-0111
    • Fax: 763-689-6685


Social Security Administration – Resource to assist you as you plan to receive retirement benefits from government

Minnesota Deferred Compensation Plan (MNDCP) – 457 plans
Customer Service: 651-296-2761

Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS) (HCSP at a Glance brochure)
Health Care Savings Plan

OneBridge -YourWay Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA) Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA) / Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
Phone: 1-800- 865 -1628