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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the steps I should take to begin receiving Social Security benefits?

Choosing when to start drawing your Social Security income benefits is an important personal decision. Regardless of the age you choose to retire, it is a good idea to contact Social Security in advance to learn about the available options and make an informed decision. At least 90 days before you wish to start drawing your Social Security benefits, you should contact your local Social Security Office for an appointment. The Social Security website allows you to apply for your income benefits online without going to the office; however, by talking to a representative, you might find out about benefits of which you were not aware. Your birth year determines when you can start to receive full Social Security benefits. To locate your local office, learn more, and/or apply for Social Security benefits visit Social Security.

I'm turning 65, should I begin Medicare?

  • If you are still working when you reach age 65 and covered under a group health plan, or are a dependent on an active employee’s state plan: You should elect to enroll in Medicare Part A only. Medicare Part B has a monthly premium cost, and is not necessary as long as you are covered under a group health plan. There is no penalty for waiving Part B if you are covered under an active group health plan. Once you decide to retire, you need to obtain Medicare Part B. Human Resources can assist you in obtaining your Part B with no penalty at retirement, as long as you had been covered under an employer group plan, there is no penalty when you start Medicare Part B. At this point, you will choose a Medicare Supplement and a Medicare Part D plan. The Commonwealth of Virginia’s Medicare Supplement is the Advantage 65 plan. You can opt to elect the Part D through Advantage 65.
  • The same rules apply if a spouse is on disability and becomes eligible for Medicare prior to age 65. Part B is not needed until the employee separates.
  • Retiree/or Dependent of a Retiree: You should sign up for Medicare Part A & B online. The retiree/dependent who turns 65 will be automatically enrolled in the Advantage 65 supplement with prescription drug, dental and vision coverage beginning the month of their Medicare coverage.
  • Covered under Tri-Care: You will need Medicare Part B. Please contact your Tricare benefits office for additional information.

How do I enroll or change contributions for my voluntary plan?



How do I meet with a retirement specialist at Virginia Tech?

To schedule an appointment, contact the HR Service Center at 540-231-9331 or