TUESDAY — Moving on out . . .

. . . of the University requires a bit of work. Retirement activities were on the schedule today.   We had an appointment at the office of Human Resources. This ended up involving two employees; one for over two hours and the other an hour.  I (Nancy) had to be present because . . .

Building a retirement for me has meant putting in a “defined contribution” from each pay period through a plan called a 403(b)-7.  This code comes from the federal law establishing the ability of an academic institution to set up the process.  In the non-academic world this is done via section 401(k) and seems to be the commonly used term for writers when they write about such retirement programs.

The university will send my contribution and its matching dollars to any or all of three major financial companies. The part with the match is restricted to only certain funds but I have the option (taken) to contribute more in a non-restricted set of funds, but not matched.  I’ve sent $$ to all three companies via both options.  The “contribution” part is ending and the “withdrawal” part has to be established.  Before that can happen each of the three companies has to be notified that I am being retired or “terminated.”  Then, because the State of Washington assumes the retirement funds are shared resources, a spousal signature is required to acknowledge said spouse knows what is happening and agrees to it.  And the six different sets of funds under the thumb of the university have to be “rolled over” into an individual retirement account (an IRA) that is controlled by me, independent of the university.

John thinks the term ought to be “roiled”, not rolled over, because there are several different things that can be done and, as I have six components, and the three company’s forms are unique to them, there is considerable paper work.

Now back to the “I had to be there” part:  To make sure we had all the correct and latest forms, plan numbers, signature pages and so on, we wanted to call and talk to a retirement specialist at each of the firms.  That requires my presence to answer questions (the usual stuff) while being recorded to assure that all is legitimate.  Once the fund rep had that assurance and my statement that my spouse and human resources person could participate in the conversation we could proceed.  Thus, three hours later we had a stack of forms half and inch thick and more on the way.  They are partly completed but there are still nitty-gritty details to be added.  In early April, the flow of $$ will reverse and we will be fully retired.

Some of the time today was also spent on making sure of the transition from the university group health provider (primary now, secondary soon) to Medicare (secondary now, primary soon).   More forms.

I owe a huge thanks to the folks for helping us sort out the details.