Emeriti Retirement Health Solutions

What is the Emeriti Health Solutions Program?

Emeriti Health Solutions is a benefit program that provides tax-advantaged savings accounts to help employees pre-fund medical expenses in retirement along with access to several voluntary retiree health insurance options that may complement Medicare and fill the gaps in coverage.

Why is this an Important Benefit?

Medicare coverage does not cover all health care expenses in retirement, with the remainder being covered by private insurance or by your own out-of-pocket funds. According to actuarial projections, as of September 2021, a couple retiring at age 65 could expect to spend $350,000 for healthcare costs over their remaining life expectancy. That projection is expected to increase over time.

The earlier you start saving and pre-funding these retirement expenses, the better.

Who is Eligible to Participate?

Regular faculty and staff, who are at least age 21, with appointments of .5 FTE or greater may begin making their own post-tax contributions. Employer contributions to this same program begin at age 35 following one year of qualifying employment at SPU.

Table of Contents

What are My Benefits?

Employer Contribution Account

Beginning at age 35 and following completion of one year of employment, Seattle Pacific University contributes the same monthly amount to all eligible participant accounts. Contributions continue for up to 25 years. The amount that is currently being contributed by SPU is $88.00 per month (up to $1,056 per year!). Employer contributions, earnings and distributions are completely tax free to the employee.

Employer contributions are subject to vesting requirements. You become fully vested after 7 years of continuous service at Seattle Pacific University. If you do not satisfy this requirement, the balance in your Employer Contribution Account will be forfeited to the Plan, in most cases of employment termination prior to full plan vesting. If you have satisfied the service criteria, when you cease to be employed in any capacity by the University, your Employer-Contribution Account will be available for reimbursement of Qualified Medical Expenses incurred after employment.

Employee Contribution Account

Eligible employees may elect voluntary contributions to an employee savings account anytime.

  • Employee contributions are made on an after-tax basis via payroll deductions.

  • There is no limit to the amount you can contribute to your employee contribution account.

  • Participants may continue (direct) contributions following retirement or termination of employment.
  • Earnings and distributions are tax-free.
  • To enroll, change, or terminate employee contributions to the Emeriti fund via payroll deduction, complete the SPU Emeriti Employee Deduction Change Form.
  • To submit this form, please use secure means by dropping it off personally at Human Resources or using the HR Digital Drop Box and Secure Document Submission site.

The above accounts may be used to pay for retiree health insurance premiums offered through Emeriti (see below) and/or reimburse participants for qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses in retirement. Additionally, insurance premiums for Medicare Part C plans, COBRA coverage, and long-term care insurance may also be reimbursed, with proper documentation.

You may also continue to make contributions into your account after termination.

Medicare Plan Available through the Emeriti Health Insurance Program

Employees who retire from SPU at age 60 or more with at least seven (7) years of continuous service or age 65 or more with at least five (5) years of continuous service are eligible for coverage under the Emeriti insurance. This program provides access to Medicare supplement and dental programs that are specifically designed to meet the insurance needs of retirees, beginning age 65 and above, with no health underwriting requirements. A pre-65 medical insurance program is also available to spouses and dependents of eligible retirees. Aetna Life Insurance Company is the provider of these insurance plans offered through the Emeriti program - each of which is a voluntary enrollment.

Important: If you meet the retirement definition above, and do not select at least the lowest level of benefit eligibility (such as the least expensive Medicare Part D prescription plan) when you are first able to do so, you will lose your ability to select from any of the health insurances through Emeriti in the future (future annual enrollments).

Does the Emeriti Program Replace the University's 401(a) or 403(b) Accounts?

No, the Emeriti savings program is in addition to any contributions made and placed in the 401(a) and 403(b) retirement accounts. Contributions to an Emeriti account are completely separate from contributions made by the University into the Defined Contribution pension and follow independent rules and regulations.

Contact Information

  • For questions and assistance regarding any aspect of your involvement in the Emeriti Program, including your Emeriti Health Accounts and your Emeriti Health Insurance Options, speak with a knowledgeable Emeriti Specialist toll-free by calling 1-866-EMERITI (1-866-363-7484), Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to midnight ET (5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. PT).
  • View the Emeriti Health Solutions website by clicking here: Website
  • Access your Health Account information 24 hours a day, seven days a week, using secure technology, via TIAA/CREF's portal. You may also access your account information by phone, either through the automated voice response system or by speaking directly with an Emeriti Specialist, at 1-866-EMERITI (1-866-363-7484).