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Retirement Planning

Retirement Plans

Employees are eligible for retirement benefits if they are working at least 20 hours per week and are expected to work at least five consecutive months. All benefit eligible classified employees are required to enroll in the Public Retirement System of Idaho, (PERSI) . All benefit eligible non-classified employees and faculty are required to enroll in the Optional Retirement Plan, electing VALIC or TIAA as their retirement vendor. Non-classified employees and faculty who have previously vested with PERSI may elect to remain with PERSI rather than enrolling in the ORP.

Optional Retirement Plan (VALIC or TIAA)

The State Board of Education has selected VALIC and TIAA-CREF as the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) vendors available to Idaho State University faculty and non-classified staff. This is a mandatory retirement program for benefited faculty and non-classified staff who have not previously vested with PERSI.

The Idaho ORP is a defined contribution plan where both the employer and employee make contributions to the individual employee's account. Employees are immediately vested when enrolled in the ORP. The ORP plan document is administered by the Idaho State Board of Education.

Further information regarding ORP vendors can be found by contacting the Human Resources Benefits Specialist at (208) 282-2517.

Public Retirement System of Idaho (PERSI)

Membership is mandatory for all benefit eligible classified employees, including temporary employees on benefits, who are expected to work at least 20 hours per week for five or more consecutive months.

The PERSI Base Plan is a defined benefit plan. The lifetime allowance received at retirement is based on a formula and is not directly dependent on the amount of money contributed to PERSI. Employees are vested when they have acquired 60 months of service. For further details, please refer to the PERSI handbook available online at: Public Retirement System of Idaho, (PERSI).

Supplemental Retirement Programs

All ISU benefit eligible employees are eligible to participate in supplemental retirement plans. Employees enrolled in PERSI as their regular retirement plan, may also enroll in the 403(b), 401(k), and the 457(b) plans. Employees enrolled in the ORP as their regular retirement plan may enroll in the 403(b) and the 457(b) plans.

Supplemental Retirement Investment Options

The 403(b) is a retirement savings plan, which can only be offered by public school systems and other tax-exempt organizations. It is a tax-sheltered annuity where the employee may invest in annuities or mutual funds. It is very similar to qualified plans such as 401(k). It is entirely employee funded; Idaho State University does not contribute to this plan. Payroll deductions can be pre-tax or after-tax (VALIC and TIAA only). Benefit eligible employees may enroll at any time. To sign up, the employee must complete the 403b Salary Reduction Agreement Form.

The employee may participate with the following approved 403(b) vendors:

457(b): Idaho State University also offers employees an opportunity to enroll in an IRC Section 457(b) plan, commonly known as deferred compensation. Benefit eligible employees are able to contribute pre-tax dollars to this plan through payroll deduction to the following companies: 457(b) Salary Reduction Agreement Form

401(k)-PERSI Choice Plan: The 401(k) Choice Plan is a defined contribution plan, meaning that the amount you receive at retirement is based on your contributions and earnings in the plan. It is only available to active PERSI members. The Choice Plan contains your gain sharing distributions, any voluntary contributions you make, and the earnings on those funds. Payroll deductions are pre-tax. For further details, please refer to the PERSI handbook available online at: PERSI Choice Plan 401(k) Enrollment Form/Salary Reduction Agreement.

For Enrollment, contact Human Resources at (208) 282-2517

Retiree Medical Insurance

Eligibility requirements can be found at Office of Group Insurance website.

Monthly Medical Premiums

Click on Premium Rates to find information on Retiree Group Insurance monthly rates.

If you are with PERSI, after all sick leave entitlement has been exhausted, premiums will be paid from your retirement allowance. If you are with the ORP, (VALIC or TIAA), you may self-pay your premiums after your entitlement is exhausted.

Medicare Supplements

For information regarding Medicare Supplement options and eligibility requirements, click Medicare Supplement.

Sick Leave Entitlement

Upon retirement from the state, an employee may convert a portion of his or her unused sick leave into a cash equivalent to pay for retiree medical insurance premiums after retirement. The formula used to determine the amount of Sick Leave Entitlement is:

½ of unused sick leave hours multiplied by the hourly wage at time of retirement.

The cap for sick leave hours is 1,200 hours.

Credited Hours of ServiceEstimated Years of ServiceMaximum Allowable Sick Leave Hours
0-10,400 5 420
10,401-20,800 5-10 480
20,801-31,200 10-15 540
31,21 and over 15 and over 600

For more information regarding the sick leave entitlement, please contact PERSI, at 1-800-451-8228

Retiree Life Insurance

Idaho State University provides life insurance for retirees if at the time of retirement, the retiree's age plus years of ISU service total at least 80, (Rule of 80).

Life insurance benefits are paid at the following rates:

  • 100% of salary at time of retirement - to age 65
  • 75% of salary at time of retirement - from ages 65-70
  • 50% of salary at time of retirement - after age 70
  • Spouse: $1,000
  • Children under the age of 23: $500

The retiree life insurance benefit is administered through Idaho State University, Human Resources. To file a claim, contact ISU Human Resources Benefits Specialist at (208) 282-2517.