UWRP: Preparing to retire

You’ve worked, you’ve saved, and you’ve envisioned your life in the years to come. Now as you near retirement, it’s time to make a plan for ending your service here at UW. The more you plan the smoother your transition will go — you may even realize you can retire sooner than you thought.

For help planning, use the resources on this page. Once you’re ready to retire, you’ll need to submit a UW Retirement Plan (UWRP) retirement application. You can find more information about the plan on the main page for UWRP.

When can I retire?

If you’ve participated in UWRP for at least 10 years without a break in service, you can apply for retirement once you turn 55. You can apply for retirement starting at age 62 regardless of how many years you’ve participated in UWRP.

Plan as you near retirement

There’s lots to consider as you approach retirement. Among other things, you’ll need to:

It’s a good idea to create your own retirement planning calendar. It’ll help you keep track of your plan and avoid missing any steps. Beginning at least one year before your target date for retirement, use the Retirement - UW Retirement Checklist (PDF) to help plan your retirement and make sure you take all the necessary steps.

You can also meet with a Fidelity representative or meet with a TIAA representative if you’d like in-person guidance.

Submit your application to retire

To be considered for retirement from active service, you must submit a retirement application within 6 months prior and no later than 60 days from the separation date. Contact the ISC if you need assistance completing the application.

UWRP participants preparing to retire are strongly encouraged to attend a UW retirement workshop to learn about retirement benefits.

Your retirement income

Your retirement income is based on the amount of money you and the UW contributed to your retirement account as well as the performance of the funds in your account. How much money you receive each month during retirement depends on the withdrawal option you choose.

You can access funds from the UWRP after your final UWRP payroll contribution has been deposited in your account.

You don’t have to start receiving income from UWRP at the same time you retire, though the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does require that you take a required minimum distribution (RMD).

  • For those that reached age 72 in 2022 or earlier, you are required to take a 2022 tax year RMD, unless you are still actively employed. If you are actively employed you can delay your RMD until after retirement.
  • For those that reach age 73 in 2023, you are required to take an RMD for the 2023 tax year, unless you are still actively employed. If you are actively employed you can delay your RMD until after retirement.
  • The RMD age remains at age 73 for 2023-2032. Those that reach age 73 in those tax years will be required to take their RMD, unless actively employed at UW and not retired.
  • Beginning in 2033 the RMD age will increase to age 75.

As a 403(b) plan, the money you withdraw from your UWRP account is subject to ordinary income tax. The IRS imposes an additional tax on early distributions if you withdraw your money before age 59 ½ while you’re still working. Consult with a tax adviser to understand the tax implications associated with taking any distribution from your UWRP retirement plan account.

Supplemental retirement benefit

Were you a member of UWRP on February 28, 2011? If so, you may be eligible for a calculation of the UW Supplemental Retirement Plan benefit.

Retire due to a health condition

If due to a health condition you can no longer work, UWRP allows you to retire before age 55 by using the UWRP disability retirement provision.