Planning for Retirement

Retirement Readiness Networking Group

Are you feeling anxious, dread, or even excitement as you approach your retirement and want to network with others in the same pre-retirement boat? Join the Office of Benefits & Worklife for a virtual networking meeting at noon on the second Friday of every month through June for a conversation about getting ready for retirement.

Add to your calendar here.

If you’re five or fewer years from retirement, you’ll no doubt have questions about how to make a smooth transition from full-time employment to post-work life. Be sure to take advantage of our pre-retirement programs, which offer insight into retiree benefits, legal and financial planning, and even social aspects such as planning for where to live and how to spend your time in retirement.

You’ll find details on our programs, and information about retirement eligibility, benefits in retirement, the cost of benefits, and more, below.

Retiring soon? If you’re 60 to 90 days from retirement, be sure to contact the Benefits Service Center to review your benefits in retirement and ensure a smooth transition.

Save the Dates for the 2023 Pre-Retirement Programs

Sessions will cover JHU benefits in retirement, Medicare, Social Security, financial planning, and more.

  • April 14 – 28, virtual       Register HERE

  • June 7 – in person at the Turner Concourse
  • September 8 – 22, virtual

Retirement Eligibility

To qualify as a JHU retiree, you must leave the university in good standing and meet one of these conditions:

  • Be at least age 55 and have completed 10 or more years of continuous full-time service, or
  • Have completed 30 or more years of continuous full-time service, regardless of age.

You shall be deemed to be in full-time service even if your level of service is reduced to less than full-time service in connection with the event described in (1) or (2), as applicable: (1) you are participating in a Transitions Program, and (2) you are determined by your medical insurance carrier to be eligible for long-term disability benefits and simultaneously continue performing part-time services for JHU.

Further, you shall have your full-time service to another employer included in the determination of years of full-time continuous service for JHU retiree eligibility: (1) if you transferred to JHU due to an involuntary administrative transfer from the Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation or one of its affiliates (as determined by JHU in its sole discretion), and (2) you were appointed and employed by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as an investigator immediately following full-time service with JHU.

Note: A leave of absence from which an employee does not return to full-time service does not count toward satisfying the service requirement except when on disability. Any break in service for reasons other than Position Discontinued or Lack of Funds to Support Position will not be bridged for purposes of retiree eligibility.

To take a distribution from your 403(b) retirement plan account, one of the following events must occur:

  • You terminate employment
  • You retire
  • You become disabled (as defined by Social Security eligibility)

Your beneficiary is entitled to a distribution of your plan benefits (if not yet distributed to you) following your death.

Learn and Plan: Pre-Retirement Programs and more

Our in-person sessions and on-line resources—offered to faculty, staff, and bargaining unit members who are ages 55 and older or five years from retiring—will help you better plan for retirement. Learn about JHU retiree benefits, financial and legal planning, social considerations, Social Security, Medicare, and other aspects of retirement.

Learn More

Faculty Transition Resources

Johns Hopkins offers transition programs and other resources for soon-to-retire senior faculty of specific schools.

Retiree Health Coverage

Having adequate health care coverage is an important consideration when you retire.

The university offers retiree medical and dental coverage for eligible retirees and their eligible dependents—the same coverage available to active employees and their families. The amount that JHU pays (the subsidy) is determined based on your age and years of service.

See the current cost of coverage for retiree medical and dental insurance, listed by employment type:

As an alternative to the JHU retiree medical plans for those 65 or older, you may want to consider Mercer Marketplace 365+ which provides access to the Mercer Retiree Exchange Platform and to one-on-one help from a licensed retiree benefits counselor. Choose from Medicare Supplement Plans, Medicare Advantage Plans, prescription drug plans, dental and vision.

Reach a benefits counselor toll-free at 1 855 206 8117 or visit to learn about Medicare and the different types of plans available.

403(b) Retirement Plan Access

The Internal Revenue Service requires a bonafide retirement in order for you to gain access to all your retirement plan contributions as a retiree unless you qualify by age for access to these funds.

You must indicate that you are leaving JHU with no intention of returning to active service with the university if you are requesting a distribution of your retirement benefits from the university. If your intention is to continue working at JHU in another capacity or return to the university immediately after retirement, you will not be able to access your retirement funds unless:

  • You are shown as terminated/retired in the payroll system; or
  • You are at least age 59½ to access your contributions to the plan or age 70½ to access your contributions and the university contributions to the plan as permitted by IRS regulations.
Meet With an Expert

Looking for personalized financial advice? Schedule a one-on-one session with a TIAA financial consultant or an independent Marsh McLennan Agency financial coach, at no cost to you.