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When will I retire?

It’s a complex and personal decision that’s up to you. If and when you start to consider retirement, our team is here to answer your questions about retirement from UK and retirement planning in general.

There is no set retirement age at UK. Depending on your years of service and age, there may be a few options for when you can retire.
1. Retire any time at age 65 or after
2. Retire earlier if…

  • You have a combination of age and at least 15 years of service equaling 75 and
  • Your years of service are continuous regular full-time, or its equivalent

3. Phase into retirement at or after age 60 over the course of up to three years if…

  • Your years of service are at least 15 years of continuous regular full-time (or its equivalent) service and
  • Your department approves the agreement

UK years of service

Check with us to get your official number of years of service — it may be different than you expect.
For example: an employee who worked here for 30 years, but didn’t have a 100% full-time equivalency status, will show an official years of service number less than 30.
Our UK retirement officers are here to help you get your official years of service number and understand how it impacts when you can retire.
Email for a service check.

Keep in mind these milestones for retirement planning. From learning about retirement topics, to ensuring you’re ready for it from a financial and health insurance perspective, there’s much to consider.

This checklist explains all the steps you might take to learn about your readiness to retire and how you can use your employee benefits to the fullest to help you prepare.

ANY AGE: Look at your retirement savings

How much in savings do you have? When you see how much your money has grown over time and your current account balance, then it’s time to consider your strategy and make adjustments as needed.
Our retirement savings carriers: Fidelity and/or TIAA
If you receive our UK matching retirement savings as an employee benefit or if you chose to contribute to your voluntary retirement savings, you have an account with either Fidelity or TIAA or both.
     • Check your account balance easily by phone, online or download and use their app.
     • Meet one-on-one with their financial adviser for free to:
          - Learn more about your account balance and savings strategies.
          - Adjust your strategy, including how you allocate your money and how much you contribute.
          - Request a retirement illustration, which shows you the options for receiving your retirement savings.

AGE 55: Start learning about retirement planning

UK offers many different means and opportunities for you to learn more about planning for your retirement in person, online or by phone. You can:
     • Attend our annual retirement planning speaker series.
     • Connect with a UK retirement officer to check your official years of service and plan when you can retire.
UK retirement meeting
When you’re ready to retire, schedule a retirement meeting with a UK retirement officer. You’ll review your eligibility for UK benefits for retirees and the steps to take to give your official notice of retirement. Email

AGE 62: Earliest you can collect Social Security

Understand your Social Security options
Income amounts vary based on the age when you begin collecting Social Security benefits. To understand what’s available to you and when, check with a Social Security representative — the earliest you can start collecting Social Security benefits is age 62.
     • Explore calculators and tools available on the Social Security website.
     • Talk to a Social Security representative to understand what’s available to you and when.
     • Decide when to begin collecting your benefits, whether at or after age 62.
Social Security: (800) 772-1213
Office in Lexington: (866) 530-7754

UNDER AGE 65: Possibly eligible for UK retiree health insurance

Depending on when you were hired and how long you've worked at UK, you may be eligible to purchase health insurance when you retire at younger than 65 for discounted rates.

AGE 65+: Eligible for Medicare

Understand how your age and work status affect your health insurance options.
You’ll want to consider health insurance plan coverage and costs in your decision about when to retire, so it’s important to know what insurance is available to you and when.
At age 65, you’re eligible to receive Medicare health insurance from the government. According to their website, your enrollment period begins three months before your 65th birthday and ends a few months after your birthday. Even if you don’t retire at age 65, we recommend taking these steps at age 65:

  • Visit the Social Security website to create your account with Social Security, which is required for enrolling in Medicare.
  • If you’re working at age 65 and you have UK health insurance (HMO, PPO, EPO, RHP or Indemnity), we recommend you enroll in Medicare part A during your Medicare enrollment period. The government requires you to have part A and part B if you’re no longer working, and signing up for Medicare part A now makes it easier to sign up for part B when you retire.

Note: If you have UK Saver health insurance, you’re not eligible to enroll in Medicare part A until you retire.
Our UK health insurance plans for retirees
UK offers health insurance to eligible retirees and includes spouse coverage. Due to Medicare, the type of insurance plan offered to you depends on whether you’re age 65+ or under age 65. Under age 65, the same employee insurance plans are offered to retirees but with different, higher costs depending on your hire date and more eligibility factors. At age 65 and over, we offer UK Medicare Advantage to eligible retirees. UK Medicare Advantage costs also differ based on hire date and eligibility factors, but generally UK Medicare Advantage costs retirees less than the employer plans offered to retirees under age 65. Visit our website to learn more.
If you have questions about your benefits eligibility, call or email a UK retirement officer to understand whether you’re eligible for UK health insurance for retirees.
Health insurance differs by age
859-257-9519, select option 3 or 1-800-999-2183, select option 3

We’re here to answer your questions

As UK retirement officers, we have information for you about policy, benefits eligibility, and the process to retire in good standing.

When can you retire?

There’s no set retirement age at UK. While normal retirement is considered age 65, early and phased retirement options may be possible depending on your years of service and your department’s approval.

What happens to benefits?

We offer several benefits to all retirees including opportunities for learning and well-being. Health, dental and vision insurance depends on eligibility which is based on your years of service, hire date and more factors.

What is the process?

When you’re eligible, you can retire as soon or as far in advance as you’d like. A written notice of your intent to retire is required to leave in good standing with one semester notice for faculty, 90-day notice if you’re staff below age 65 and 30-day notice if you’re staff age 65+.

Get in touch with a retirement officer

We’re a team of 3 specialists dedicated to supporting you.

Ask for a service check

We’ll check your years of service so you know when you’re eligible to retire. This is the first step.


Follow up with us

Find the retirement officer you spoke with to follow up with any additional questions.

Our directory


Because eligibility to retire and receive retiree benefits involves many factors, employees must meet with a retirement officer to calculate their eligibility with a years of service check.

Contact our office

Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(859) 257-9519