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Five Keys to A Smooth Retirement from VUMC


Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of articles highlighting your benefits as an employee of Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Retirement is often a joyous occasion — a celebration and recognition of years of hard work and dedication. We appreciate the years you’ve given VUMC and want to make your transition from employment to retirement as smooth as possible. As you consider or begin preparation for retirement, here are five things to keep in mind:

  1. Be sure to notify your supervisor of your retirement plans. Exempt employees should give four weeks notice and non-exempt employees should give at least two weeks notice.
  2. Decide if you want to continue your health, dental and vision benefits through COBRA. Your coverage will end on the last day of the month in which you retire, unless you elect to continue your coverage on a self-pay basis through COBRA, which means you will be responsible for the entire premium amount. You can keep your coverage through COBRA for up to 18 months. You can also elect to continue your flexible spending account deductions through COBRA.
  3. Don’t forget your deadlines. You have 60 days from the date you are furnished your COBRA package to enroll.  You will receive a COBRA packet from the COBRA Administrator, benefitexpress. You must complete the enrollment form and return it to benefitexpress by the deadline specified in your packet. If you do not submit a completed enrollment form by the specified date, you will lose your right to elect continued coverage. After you submit your enrollment, you have 45 days to send in the first payment.
  4. Explore your options. Depending on your age, you may be eligible for Social Security benefits. If you decide to end your VUMC group coverage, you should explore your Medicare options within 60 days. Contact TN SHIP for free and objective counseling on Medicare and all related health insurance issues at 877.801.0044. You should also consider supplemental health alternatives, such as BlueCross 65, Healthspring and AARP, as well as coverage through the state health exchange.  Visit to research options and apply for coverage.
  1. Mind your investments. Contact your investment company (or companies) if you wish to request a distribution or rollover of your money in the VUMC Retirement Plan. If your balance is less than $1,000, you are required to roll your savings over to another plan or account or take the balance as a distribution.


 Other action items to consider:

  • Return your VUMC key(s), ID card, and any other VUMC property to your departmental administrator on your last day of work.
  • Contacted Central Parking to terminate your parking contract, if applicable.
  • Complete an exit interview with your supervisor. The information you provide about your experience working at VUMC is extremely valuable to us.
  • Visit the Leaving VUMC web page for more information.