Retiring from GW

As you begin to explore your retirement, we want to help you feel empowered and prepared during your transition. Learn more about retirement eligibilty, the resources available and the necessary steps to take during your planning process.

To access recent webinar recordings from our retirement fair, see the Education section below.


Benefit-eligible GW faculty and staff are eligible for retirement when reaching:

  • Age 65 (no minimum service requirement)
  • Age 60, with a minimum of 10 years of continuous full-time GW service*
  • Age 55, with a minimum of 20 years of continuous full-time GW service*

*Service must be continuous, although breaks in service of less than 12 months will be disregarded. Part-time service will also count toward service requirements on a pro rata basis (e.g. two years of part-time service at 50% will count as one year of full-time equivalent service). If you are not sure how many years of service you have completed with GW, please contact your HR representative or GW Benefits.

Preparing for Retirement

  • Reference the Retirement Planning Guide (PDF) during the process of retiring to help you stay on track with your planning.
  • Evaluate retirement income options and review your income sources including Social Security and your retirement savings plans. 
  • Beginning the year you turn age 50, you are eligible to make additional "catch-up" contributions to the GW 403(b) Retirement Plan. 
  • If you are contributing to a Health Savings Account (HSA), beginning the year you turn age 55 you can contribute an additional $1,000 HSA catch-up contribution per year.
  • If you are participating in the GW 457(b) Retirement Plan, additional "Limited Catch-up Contributions" may be available during the years you turn age 62, 63, and 64

Steps to Retire

  • Notify the university of your decision to retire:

    • Staff members: Inform your supervisor of your approaching retirement.
    • Faculty Members: Contact your Department Chair and Faculty Personnel to discuss your approaching retirement.
  • 90 days before your retirement:

    • Contact GW Benefits to inquire about Retiree benefits continuation
    • Make an appointment with your retirement investment representative to clarify any questions you may have about your retirement accounts, including current fund allocation, accumulated balances and distribution options.
    • If you are retiring at age 62 or older, contact the Social Security Administration to inquire about Social Security Retirement Income
    • If retiring at age 65 or older, enroll in Medicare through the Social Security Administration.

You can call the Social Security Administration to request an appointment at 1 (800) 772-1213. Informational booklets and a local office locator can be found on the Social Security Administration website.


Recordings of recent Retiree Benefit webinars: