Emeriti Health Solutions Program - Retirement Health Benefit for Faculty and Staff

Frequently Asked Questions:


What is the Emeriti Health Solutions Program?

Why is this an Important Benefit?

Who is Eligible to Participate?

What are My Benefits?

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

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Emeriti Program Participant Website and Customer Service Information

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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 several retiree health insurance options that will complement Medicare and fill the gaps in coverage.

Why is this an Important Benefit?





Medicare covers between 50-55% of healthcare costs in retirement and that means reitrees must pay the remainder. According to actuarial projections, as of March 2009, a couple retiring at age 65 could expect to spend $240,000 for healthcare costs over their life expectancy.  That projection is expected to dramatically increase over time.

The earlier you start saving and pre-funding 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 begin at age 35 following one year of employment.

What are My Benefits:





Two Tax Advantaged Savings Accounts:

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.  Effective 7/1/2012 the amount is $78.75/mo (up to $945 per year!). Employer contributions, earnings and distributions are completely tax free.  You must call 1-866-Emeriti to assign eligible dependents to your account.

Employee Contribution Account: Eligible employees may elect voluntary contributions to an employee savings account.

  • 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 contributions following retirement or termination of employment.
  • Earnings and distributions are tax free.
  • To enroll in Employee contributions via payroll deduction, contact HR at (206)281-2676.

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 B, COBRA and long-term care insurance, may also be reimbursed with proper documentation.

Accounts valued at less than $5,000 may be used immediately to reimburse qualified medical expenses upon termination of employment.  Accounts valued at $5,000 and above may be used to reimburse qualified medical expenses up to $5,000.  The remaining balance may be used only after attaining age 55. 

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


Emeriti Health Insurance:

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. 

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, they are in addition to any contributions made and placed in the 401(a) and 403(b) accounts.  Contributions to an Emeriti account are completely separate from contributions made into the Defined Contribution pension.