What happens to my benefits?

As long as you do not have a break in service between GBP institutions, you will not have a waiting period for health coverage and you will have an opportunity to make benefits changes during the transition.

Your job changes
  • If you change jobs between state agencies, you can make changes to your insurance when you begin with the new agency or within 31 days of the event.
  • This also applies if your job changes in status from full-time to part-time employment (or vice versa).
Your spouse or eligible dependent changes job
  • If your dependent loses or gains insurance, this event allows you to make changes to your insurance within 31 days of the event.
  • You can add or drop dependents from your HealthSelect or HMO insurance.

Your GBP coverage ends on the last day of the month in which your employment ends. You may be eligible to continue health and/or dental coverage under COBRA for a maximum of 18 months by paying your premiums directly to ERS.

This only applies to your ERS retirement account. 

If you were hired before 09/01/2009 and leave state employment and don't withdraw your retirement contributions, you may still qualify for retirement at age 60, but only if you have enough service credit or qualify under the Rule of 80. This applies even if your age and service credit will not total 80 until after you leave state employment. You must retire directly from state employment to use your annual and sick leave.

If you do not retire directly from state employment, you must wait 90 days before your health insurance begins as a retiree if you are eligible for insurance.

You do not have to withdraw your money from your retirement account when you leave state employment. Your money will continue to earn 2% interest per year. If you decide to withdraw your account, you are cancelling your ERS membership and service credit. By leaving money in a retirement account with ERS, you can continue to earn state service credit if you return to state employment.

If you withdraw your retirement contributions, you cancel your membership and future retirement benefit with ERS. If you return to state employment, you will be considered a new employee with no ERS service credit. You can have some or all of your withdrawn account paid directly to you or rolled over to a qualified retirement plan. You won't be able to withdraw the full amount -20% will be withheld to pre-pay federal income tax.

You must retire directly from state employment to use your annual and sick leave towards retirement eligibility.

You may defer all or part of your annual leave lump sum payment into a Texa$aver account, but only if you do so within 2 1/2 months of leaving employment. You won't pay income taxes until you withdraw it. Social Security and Medicare taxes (7.65%) will be deducted.

Tell your benefits coordinator, Human Resources office, or Payroll office if you want to defer your annual leave to Texa$aver.

When you leave active state employment and you are participating in a Texflex Healthcare account, you are not required to continue paying your TexFlex contribution through the end of the plan year. Any eligible health expenses you have after termination are not reimbursed unless you choose to continue your participation through COBRA. You still have until December 31, of each year to file claims for expenses you had while participating.

If you have a TexFlex debit card, the card is deactivated on the last day of the month in which your employment ends.

Once you terminate, you can choose to continue TexFlex Health Care through COBRA. Keep in mind your contributions are post-tax. You may no longer have the remainder of your contribution taken out pre-tax from your last paycheck or your lump sum annual leave payment.

You can keep your money in the Texa$aver plan, even if you leave state employment. Keeping the money in the plan lets you continue to pay low fees, use the Texa$aver Advisor Service, transfer among investment options, and choose from a variety of distribution options when you are ready
to retire.

You pay severe tax consequences if you withdraw your funds. A mandatory 20% of any amount that is not rolled over will be withheld to pre-pay federal income tax. A 10% early withdrawal penalty may apply to distributions made before age 59 1/2 from the 401(k). Please consult with a tax advisor for more information.

If you decide to withdraw your money from the Texa$aver plan, you can get partial withdrawals at regular intervals, a lump sum, or you can roll it over into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).