Preparing for Retirement


As an active employee, beginning the year you turn age 50, you are eligible to make a "catch-up" contribution of $6,000 to GW's 403(b) Retirement Plan. If you participate in the GW Health Savings Plan (HSP), and have a Health Savings Account (HSA), the year you turn age 55, you become eligible to contribute an additional $1,000 HSA catch-up contribution.

At age 59½, you are eligible for in-service withdrawals from your 403(b) Retirement Plan account and from any matching contributions in your 401(a) Retirement Plan account.
At age 62, you are eligible for in-service withdrawals from any base contributions in your 401(a) Retirement Plan account.
At age 64 and 8 months, you are eligible to apply for Medicare. If you are still working for GW and covered under a GW medical plan, you do not have to enroll in Medicare until you plan to retire (PDF).
At age 70½, if you are no longer working for GW, you must begin taking Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from your 403(b) and 401(a) retirement accounts.
Approximately 90 days before retirement, 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 your local Social Security and Medicare offices to arrange for the start of your Social Security Retirement Income. You may call to request an appointment at 1 (800) 772-1213. Informational booklets and a local office locator may be found on the Social Security Administration website at
  • Staff members: Inform your supervisor of your approaching retirement.
  • Faculty Members: Contact Faculty Personnel or your Department Chair to discuss your approaching retirement.