Timeline & Steps to Retirement

The Retiree & Emeriti Center is here to help you throughout the process of retirement planning. Below is a timeline that outlines these steps to retirement.

Throughout Your Career

5+ Years Prior to Retirement

It is never too early to start planning. Learning about the steps to retirement you can start taking now. For more information click here

2 - 3 Years Prior to Retirement

When planning for retirement there are a few steps you can take 2 - 3 years prior to retirement. For more information click here


1 Year Prior to Retirement

There are beneficial steps you can start taking one year before retirement. For more information click here

sammy the slug

4 - 6 Months Prior to Retirement

Steps you can take in the last six months before retirement. For more information click here


3 Months Prior to Retirement

Employees should coordinate with a benefits representative 90 days prior to their chosen retirement date for timely processing. For more information click here


After You Retire make sure to visit:

Perks and Services for the Newly Retired

Retiree Life How will you write your next chapter?


Throughout Your Career

  • Consider making pre-tax voluntary contributions to retirement accounts, e.g. 403 (b) and 457 (b) Fidelity Retirement Services offers classes, individual consultations and online resources
  • Check accounts annually
  • If you have a spouse or domestic partner, involve them in all retirement decisions
  • As you think ahead to retirement consider options for lifestyle, volunteer, and leisure time activities

5 Years Prior to Retirement

  • Visit UC’s At Your Service website to estimate your pension income using the Retirement Estimator
  • Visit the Social Security website annually to review your benefits estimate statement and eligibility
  • Determine if past employers maintain reciprocal retirement agreements with UC, in very specific instances, UC maintains agreements with some public retirement systems
  • Attend retirement planning workshops offered by UCSC Staff Human Resources Benefits Office
  • If you are considering relocating after retirement:
    • Consider the implications on taxes
    • Health care benefits out-of-state retirees have different health care options and expense
    • Cost-of-living
    • Proximity to family and friends

Additional Step for Faculty

Faculty can contact the Faculty Retirement Liaison to discuss the Path Forward Agreement, which can include up to a three-year phased retirement plan and options as emeriti


2 - 3 Years Prior to Retirement

  •  Start making connections now if you think you might want to join a club, organization, volunteer or work after retirement
  • Gather the documents you will need when you sign your retirement election agreement:
    • Social Security card
    • Birth certificate
    • Marriage certificate, divorce decree -or- proof of domestic partnership
retirement planning

1 Year Prior to Retirement

  • Consider if you want to change health care plans:
    • Since you cannot change plans just because you retire, consider your options during Open Enrollment prior to your planned retirement date
    • The only exception is that you can change plans outside of the Open Enrollment period if you move outside of a plan’s service area
  • Meet with your tax advisor, financial planner and/or Fidelity consultant to review retirement account options and make necessary changes
  • Attend a Social Security workshop offered by Fidelity to learn more about options and timing for drawing benefits. If eligible to receive Social Security benefits (minimum age 62), apply three months before you want benefits to beginhere
sammy slug

4 - 6 Months Prior to Retirement

  • When you are ready to announce your retirement, write a letter of intent to your supervisor or chair
  • After retirement some retirees may be asked by the university to return to a part time recalled appointment, opportunities are limited, and strict policies apply- if interested in such opportunities, the UC Net website has detailed information
  • Thoroughly review the UC Retirement Handbook or consult with a retirement counselor to review your retirement income options, the timeline for receiving payments and options for continuing health care benefitshere

3 Months Prior to Retirement

  • Submit your letter of resignation, which must include your last date of UC employment, to your supervisor or Dean, explicitly stating that you are retiring
  • Consult with your RASC retirement counselor who will record your retirement election choices, sign and return retirement election from as directed once it is complete, when the process is finalized RASC will send a confirmation letter
  • Prepare for transfer of responsibilities at work
  • Inform the Retiree & Emeriti Center of your pending retirement and preferred email address if you wish to receive updates on health care and benefits information, as well as an invitation to attend the annual campus “Welcome to Retirement” event as a guest of honor

After You Retire

  • Contact the Health Care Facilitator to obtain your retiree ID card
  • Contact TAPS to arrange for retiree parking privileges
    Please note that retiree parking passes cannot be used during recall
  • Inform the Retiree & Emeriti Center of your post-retirement email address to receive regular updates that include news, updates on benefits, and events of interest to retirees
  • Whenever you move, keep your contact information up to date with At Your Service Online and the Retiree & Emeriti Center
  • Consider joining the Emeriti Association or the Retirees Association