Plan B

Employees hired prior to July 1, 2015

Retirement Plan B provides a monthly retirement pension with an option for a lump sum cash payment for benefits accrued after July 1, 1992. Annual accrual cash balance is based on 7 percent of the employee's earning for the fiscal year (July 1-June 30). Interest is compounded annually based on the five-year U.S. Treasury Bill rate as of the last trade date in June of the prior fiscal year, with a guaranteed minimum of 6 percent.

Staff are eligible after one year of service with CWRU or upon employment with at least one year of service from another university or related research institution. Benefits vest after three years of service.

What is Plan B?

This basic staff retirement plan, Plan B, provides Case Western Reserve University staff members, hired prior to July 1, 2015, with retirement benefits that count. This plan is provided by the university and reflects our commitment to offer you a sound level of retirement benefits.

Each year, CWRU credits an amount of money to an account in your name. The money will earn an annual rate of interest (a minimum rate is guaranteed), which accumulates tax-free. When you reach retirement age, the full value of your account will be used to provide benefits for you.

Who is eligible?

The plan year is July 1 through June 30. Plan B benefits all regular employees hired before July 1, 2015, working half-time to full-time, who are not eligible for Retirement Plan A.

You enter the plan on January 1 or July 1 after you have completed one year of service at CWRU. (Your years of employment with another accredited college or university—or one-year related research experience—can be used to help you meet this requirement for participation).

Your participation in the plan is automatic; you do not need to enroll. To receive retirement benefits from the plan, you must be vested.

How do I become vested?

You will be fully vested after you have completed three years of credited service at CWRU. You will receive one year of credited service for each full year of employment. Your period of service begins on your date of hire and continues until your date of severance due to termination, retirement, death, or a 12-month absence for any other reason.

How does my account grow?

On the last day of each plan year you work at CWRU, the university will credit seven percent of your pay to your account. Your pay for plan purposes is defined as your base salary (excluding overtime) received during the plan year up to certain Internal Revenue Service (IRS) limits. Your pay includes any pre-tax contributions you make for Benelect benefits or a supplemental retirement account.

Example: For a staff member who earned $25,000 during the plan year, the annual contribution credited on June 30 of the following year would be .07 x 25,000 = $1,750.

If you leave the university after you are vested, the university will credit your account with an amount equal to seven percent of the pay you received from the beginning of the plan year to your last day of employment. In addition, your account balance grows with annual interest. Interest will be credited on the last day of the plan year to the account balance at the beginning of the plan year.

The annual rate of interest will be the five-year Treasury bill rate effective on the last business day in June of the prior plan year. The plan guarantees a minimum annual rate of six percent. However, interest rates used to credit the accounts will be reviewed annually.

Example: If a staff member's account balance on July 1 of a given year is $10,000 and the one-year Treasury bill rate on the last business day of June of that year is six percent, the interest credited on June 30 of the following year would be $10,000 x 0.06 = $600.

How do I know what's in my account?

You will receive an annual statement showing the single life annuity amount you can expect to receive at normal retirement age. Participants also have the opportunity to view their benefit online.

  1. Go to
  2. Enter your ID and password and select Participant on the login screen. If you have not previously registered, the default ID is your Social Security Number, and the default password is your birth month and year (MMYY). If you  have not previously registered, please click on the New User button to go through the Registration process.  The SSN should not include dashes, the DOB should be in the MM/DD/YYYY format, and the Numerical Portion of the Address is only the street number.
  3. Prompts are provided to change to a personal password made from a combination of letters and numbers, a minimum of six and a maximum of 10 characters, and beginning and ending with an alphabetic character. If you do not remember your username and/or password, the "Login Help?" link will give you options on how to recover your username and/or passwords.

Pop up blocker must be turned off to use this tool.

Once you have logged in, you will view the "At-A-Glance" screen providing a snapshot of your benefit. Click on the Benefit Calculation tab to run estimated calculations. 

The system provides default assumptions that will calculate the benefit based on you leaving the university on the current date and commencing benefit at age 65. If you plan to work another five, ten or more years, click the “add” link and change the termination date to run additional calculations.

Further details are provided in the Milliman On-line Instructions

When can I receive my retirement benefits?

Because this is a retirement plan—and its purpose is to provide income after your working career has ended—the money in your account will stay in the plan and earn interest until you reach normal or early retirement age. Your normal retirement date occurs when you reach age 65 and have earned three years of credited service.

You may retire early, anytime after reaching age 55, if you have at least 15 years of credited service. Your benefit will be based on the value of your account balance at retirement. If you decide to work beyond age 65, your account in the plan will continue to be credited with annual university amounts and interest until your employment ends.

What if I leave before my retirement?

No benefit is payable from the Staff Retirement Plan if you leave CWRU with less than three years of credited service. If you are vested, your account will remain in the plan, be credited with annual interest and become payable to you when you meet the requirement for early or normal retirement.

If you die and have less than three years of credited service, no benefits will be payable from the plan. But if you have at least three years of vested service, the current value of your account balance will be paid to your beneficiary as a lump sum, with an option to elect an annuity.

How are my retirement benefits paid?

You can choose from several payment options designed to meet a variety of retirement needs. Keep in mind that if you select an annuity, the monthly amount payable will depend on the option you choose and the ages of you and your beneficiary (if any) at the time payments begin.

Available options:

  • Life Annuity. Under this option, you will receive the highest monthly income available based on the value of your account and your age when payments begin. When you die, payments stop.
  • Joint and Survivor Annuity. A reduced monthly income is payable to you for life. When you die, all or part of your reduced benefit will continue to your beneficiary for life. You can continue 50 percent, 66 2/3 percent, 75 percent or 100 percent of your benefit to your beneficiary. Your benefit reduction will depend on the percentage you choose to continue and the ages of you and your beneficiary when benefits begin. The 50 percent joint and survivor annuity—with your spouse as beneficiary—is the automatic form of payment if you are married. Federal law requires that you must have your spouse's notarized consent if you elect another form of payment or name someone other than your spouse as beneficiary.
  • Five- or 10-year Certain and Life Annuity. You receive a reduced monthly benefit for life. However, if you die before receiving payments for a specified period (five or 10 years), monthly benefits for the balance of that period will be paid to your beneficiary.
  • Account Balance Lump Sum. The value of your plan account (or minimum benefit, if applicable) can be paid to you in a single lump sum.

Are my benefits affected by Social Security?

Staff retirement plan benefits are not affected in any way by the Social Security benefits you receive. Your Social Security benefits will be paid in addition to your plan income.

How should I be planning for retirement?

The staff retirement plan is an important part of your financial planning for retirement. It will provide a competitive, consistent benefit. People often underestimate how much they'll need to live comfortably when they retire. But it's important to think of your Staff Retirement Plan B benefit as just one part of your retirement income.

In addition to contributing to your Social Security pension, CWRU offers a tax-deferred savings and investment plan that is a convenient and tax-effective way for you to save for retirement—Plan C - Matching.

What is Plan C - Matching?

Plan C is an optional, supplemental retirement plan for Plan B participants, which allows you to contribute either to a tax-deferred retirement plan with the university matching a portion of your contribution and/or to an after-tax Roth with no university match. The combination of Staff Retirement Plan B, Social Security, and your personal savings through Plan C - Matching offers you valuable benefits for meeting your needs for retirement.