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Retirement benefits clarification


[The question] concerns using vacation time before retirement instead of
taking it in a lump sum. Some of us have been told by our administrators
that that is no longer allowed and has not been allowed for several years.
The article on page 11 states that an employee has been out of the office
since last summer, using up vacation time. The advantages are obvious: you
earn vacation while on vacation; UCAR continues to contribute to TIAA/CREF,
life insurance, disability coverage, etc. Just what is the policy?

Answered on March 19, 1997


There is not a UCAR policy that prohibits departing employees from using
their accrued vacation beyond their actual last day of work. UCAR has
discouraged this practice, since as the questioner points out, it increases
UCAR's benefits costs.

In the case cited in Staff Notes Monthly, the employee was under a
Preretirement Work Reduction Agreement, per UCAR policy 2-4-5, which
provides for a schedule of less than full-time employment for a specific
period prior to retirement. Under such an agreement, an employee is covered
by benefits and may use vacation time.

UCAR's policy for using vacation at the time of termination is under review
and may be modified in the future. Any employee nearing retirement may
request a Preretirement Work Reduction Agreement.

--Bob Roesch, UCAR Compensation/Benefits Manager