Eligibility for Retiree Benefits

Rule of 75

You are eligible to receive retiree benefits if you meet the “Rule of 75”. This rule states that you must be a minimum of 55 years of age and have a minimum of 10 years of full-time service without any intervening breaks in service*; if you meet both minimums, then the total of your age and years of service must equal at least 75. Age and years of service must be in whole years.

The Rule of 75 applies to eligibility for all retiree benefits, including tuition, life insurance, and dental and vision plans. Please see the applicable sections for more details.

*Bridging of separate periods of service doesn't apply to the Rule of 75. Time-in-service for the Rule of 75 accumulates from the most recent hire date.

Eligibility before 2009: If by December 31, 2008, you met either of the following minimums, you are eligible for retiree benefits regardless of the Rule of 75: 55 years of age and 15 years of service, or 62 years of age and 10 years of service.


If you terminate employment and do not meet the eligibility requirements described above, you may be eligible to continue your existing medical, dental or vision benefit through COBRA for up to 18 months. For more information on COBRA, review Penn’s Health and Welfare Summary Plan Description or contact the Benefits Solution Center (powered by Health Advocate) at 1-866-799-2329.

Voluntary Phased Staff Retirement Program

If you’d prefer a gradual transition into retirement, consider participating in the Voluntary Phased Staff Retirement Program. If you’re approved for Phased Retirement, you’ll work reduced hours but still be eligible for the same benefits that you receive as a full-time staff member. Phased Retirement cannot last more than two years, at which point you’ll officially retire and be entitled to Penn’s retiree health benefits.

To participate in the Voluntary Phased Staff Retirement Program, you must meet the Rule of 75. Participation also depends on the business needs of your department. To learn more about this program, visit the Voluntary Phased Staff Retirement Program webpage.


Eligible dependents include your spouse and dependent children who meet the requirements for eligibility on your last day of service. You and your dependents do not need to be enrolled in a medical plan on your last day of service in order to be eligible for retiree health benefits. However, you must register your eligible dependents with Penn within the 90-day period prior to your last day of service in order to cover them under Penn’s retiree health benefits at a later date. Eligible dependents who are not registered by the above date will not qualify for any retiree health benefits at a later time.

Note the following about your dependent children:

  • Dependent children may continue to receive coverage up to the end of the month in which they turn age 26.
  • Children are eligible for coverage regardless of their student, marital or IRS dependent status.
  • Children do not have to live with you or depend on you for financial support to be eligible.
  • Children over age 19 no longer have to be full-time college students to remain on coverage.
  • Disabled children who are unable to earn a living may be covered beyond age 26, provided the disability began before age 26 and has been certified by your insurance carrier.
  • The coverage does not extend to your child’s spouse or children.
  • If you have a dependent child who is disabled and has been approved and certified by your insurance carrier, that child may be covered under the University’s retiree medical plan past the limiting age as described above as long as your carrier continues to consider them to be disabled. If your dependent child is collecting Social Security and is eligible for Medicare Parts A and B, then they must enroll for Medicare. Contact your insurance carrier for more information on coverage for disabled dependent children.

In the event of your death:

  • Your surviving spouse may continue to receive coverage until remarriage or death.
  • Your eligible unmarried dependent children may continue to receive coverage up to age 26.
  • Your eligible unmarried disabled dependent children may continue to receive coverage past age 26 as long as your insurance carrier continues to consider them to be disabled.

For more information about eligibility rules for dependents, see the Retiree Health Plan Summary Plan Description (SPD).