Skip to main content

RIF and Non-Renewal Benefits Information

Employees whose employment is terminated based on Reduction in Force (RIF) or non-renewal have special considerations regarding their benefits when exiting the University. Employees should refer to their RIF or non-renewal letter for specific information related to their separation, including important deadlines for benefit elections.

Continuation of Benefits

Three-Month Health and Life Insurance Extension
Employees whose employment with WVU is being terminated involuntarily may be eligible for a three-month extension of their PEIA health and life insurance benefits (if applicable) at their current employee premium rate beyond their termination date.
Employees who would like to opt into this extension of benefits must complete the "RIF and Non-Renewal Benefits Form" linked in their RIF or non-renewal letter by the date listed in the letter to be eligible for these benefits. Failure to complete and submit this form or otherwise contact Benefits Strategy may result in loss of continued health insurance.

Please note that payment of the applicable employee contributions is due prior to the last day of each month in order to receive coverage in the following month. For example, payment for June premiums would be due by May 31. Payment for the first month of the benefit extension must be paid before the last day of active employment. If the employee contributions for the next month are not received by the last day of the previous month, then elected benefits will be terminated for lack of payment. Termination of benefits will be effective retroactive to the last day of the month for which benefits were paid in full and the individual may become responsible for any medical claims paid on their behalf. If the three-month extension is elected, Benefits Strategy will work with the employee to coordinate premium payments.

Contact Benefits Strategy at 304-293-8405 or with questions regarding continuation of benefits.
Additionally, employees leaving WVU may continue certain benefits via COBRA. Health insurance, dental insurance and vision insurance vendors will mail COBRA notices regarding the continuation of coverages and the employee's rights under their plans. COBRA is not applicable to life insurance, disability insurance or other optional benefits. Employees may contact PEIA at 888-680-7342 and FBMC at 844-559-8248 with questions regarding COBRA.

Sick and Annual Leave

Annual Leave

Upon separation from WVU, employees have two options to receive payment for unused annual leave:

Option 1: Receive a lump sum payment of the salary value of any unused accrued annual leave. There is no 401(a) retirement contribution with this option.

Option 2: Remain on payroll beyond the last physical day of employment to exhaust the value of any remaining annual leave. This option does allow for retirement contributions into the employee's 401(a) account. Note that employees selecting this option are not eligible to receive additional leave accruals, holiday pay or any other type of paid leave during the exhaustion period.

Employees must complete the "RIF and Non-Renewal Benefits Form" linked in their RIF or non-renewal letter by the date listed in the letter to elect their annual leave payout option. If the employee does not indicate their election in the form and submit the form, any remaining annual leave will be paid out in a lump sum.

Employees may also request to utilize their annual leave in accordance with normal annual leave request procedures prior to their separation date.
Sick Leave
Employees' remaining sick leave hours as of their WVU separation date will be banked. Currently, employees who are rehired at WVU or another West Virginia state agency within one year of their separation date are eligible to have all of their remaining sick leave balance reinstated at WVU or transferred to the other state agency. Employees who are rehired beyond one year are eligible to reinstate or transfer up to 225 hours (30 days) of sick leave.

Retirement Benefits

Mandatory 401(a) and Supplemental 403(b) and 457(b) Accounts
Employees should reach out to TIAA at 800-842-2252 or to discuss their options regarding their 401(a) and any supplemental accounts. Employees may also schedule a one-on-one consultation with TIAA on campus or remotely.

401(a) retirement account funds and any supplemental WVU retirement accounts are fully vested. Once the employee's last contribution is made to their retirement vendor by WVU, employees have several options for handling their account(s):

Option 1: Leave the account(s) alone. The funds in the 401(a) would continue to reflect market conditions based on account investments.

Option 2: Transfer funds to another retirement vendor.

Option 3: Request withdrawal of funds. Withdrawals may be subject to penalty.

Retirement Eligibility
Employees who meet eligibility guidelines for retirement and wish to enroll in any state and WVU retiree benefits they are entitled to should contact Benefits Strategy as soon as possible. Failure to contact Benefits Strategy prior to the last day of employment may put the employee at risk of forfeiting state and WVU retiree benefits. Retiree benefits cannot be made effective retroactively. Accepting a severance offer does not mean an employee will automatically be processed as a WVU retiree regardless of retirement eligibility.
Retiree Health Insurance
Employees should consult the PEIA  Summary Plan Document for information regarding retiree health insurance premium subsidies and Sick Leave Conversion or Faculty Service Conversion, including considerations for returning to public service in the future.

No Hardship Payment

Employees hired prior to July 1, 2002, without a break in service may have a No Hardship Payment due when they depart from the University. Prior to 2009, the University paid employees immediately for work completed. Once the switch to the arrears payroll was complete, pay was received on the next check date after the pay period ended. Those employees affected by this move to arrears payroll were issued a No Hardship Payment to prevent a missed pay during the period of the switch. Employees with an outstanding No Hardship Payment received an additional pay that is to be paid back upon termination from WVU. Visit the No Hardship Payment Knowledge Base article for additional information. Please contact WVU Payroll at with No Hardship Payment questions.

Longevity Payment

Employees exiting the University may be eligible to receive a pro-rated or full longevity payment for their years of service up to and including their last physical day of employment. Visit the Longevity Pay Knowledge Base article for additional information.

Updating Contact Information

It is important that WVU maintains current address and phone information for employees affected by a RIF or non-renewal. Employees with active WVU credentials may log in to WVU Portal, select "MyHR", then click "Personal Information" to update phone numbers and home address. Employees without active WVU credentials or former employees must complete the Change of Address/Email Form or reach to WVU Shared Services at 304-293-6006 or