HR: Benefits: Trust Employees
Retirement Benefits

Upon separation of employment, you may qualify for retiree benefits and be eligible to continue your medical and life insurance coverage through Smithsonian Institution if you meet all of the following criteria.

  • You must be age 50 or over;and
  • have a combination of age and years of service equal to 60;and
  • have 5 continuous years of Trust employment immediately prior to separation or change in benefits eligibility;and
  • have been enrolled in a Smithsonian Trust Fund health plan for at least 5 years immediately prior to retirement.

Retiree Health Coverage:

You and your covered dependents will be able to continue your current medical plan in retirement by paying 100% of the monthly premium. The plan that you will have is the same plan you have as an active employee, in many cases. You will have the opportunity to change carriers each year during Open Enrollment.

If you have retiree status, when you and/or your covered dependent becomes eligible for Medicare, you will be switched to a plan coordinated with Medicare. The plan will provide the same level of benefits as the active plan, except that Medicare is the primary payer and your insurance through the Smithsonian is secondary. It is extremely important that you enroll in Medicare Part B because Smithsonian's plan, as secondary payer, will only pay benefits as if you have Part B of Medicare. You should contact your local Social Security Administration office at least three months prior to attaining age 65 or the date of your expected retirement if you retire after reaching age 65.

For detailed information regarding your Medicare options, you should contact the Center for Medicare Studies (CMS) at or (800) 633-4227, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for assistance.

Retiree Life Insurance:

Upon separation you can elect to continue your Basic Life insurance coverage at its full value until you reach age 66. The amount of life insurance will decrease by 75% over a three-year period after you reach age 66. If you are under age 65, you will be responsible for paying the monthly premium for this insurance. Once you turn age 65, Smithsonian will pay the premium beginning the month following your 65th birthday. If you retire at age 66 or older, your Basic Life coverage is reduced by 25% for 3 consecutive years beginning on the first anniversary date of your retirement. The maximum reduction in coverage is 75%.

Dental Coverage and/or Vision Coverage:

You can elect to continue your dental and/or vision coverage for up to 18 months under COBRA provisions. You will be required to pay 102 percent of the monthly premium promptly.

For further information on premium rates and applying for coverage, please contact


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