Social Security and Medicare

Social Security and Medicare benefits

Most UC retirees are eligible for Social Security and Medicare benefits. A select few who chose not to coordinate with Social Security due to their date of hire (prior to 1974) may still be eligible for Social Security and Medicare benefits based on current or former spouses. This page is provided to assist with questions that relate to these benefits, but are not part of the UC Retirement Plan.

Social Security

How can one obtain information about estimated Social Security benefits?

Each year, everyone should receive the Social Security Statement from the Social Security Administration. This statement provides an estimate of one's Social Security benefits under current law. Estimates can also be obtained on the Social Security website. For more information, visit the Social Security website, or call them at:
   Telephone: 800-772-1213

Will Social Security benefits increase over time?

In general, a very modest annual increase is awarded to offset cost-of-living increases. Beneficiaries will be notified of any new monthly amount by the Social Security Office in December of each year.

Are Social Security benefits taxed?

Yes, Social Security benefits are taxed, with a rate determined by one's income from all sources in a particular year.

What is full retirement age?

The age at which one is eligible to receive full Social Security benefits is based on their year of birth. Visit the Social Security website or call them for more information.
   Telephone: 800-772-1213

What if one wants to collect Social Security prior to full retirement age?

Opting to draw Social Security benefits prior to full retirement age will result in reduced benefits. The minimum age to receive Social Security benefits is presently age 62. Visit the Social Security website or call them for more information.
   Telephone: 800-772-1213

If one retires from UC Davis prior to full retirement age, but waits to collect Social Security until full retirement age, will Social Security benefits be affected?

Social Security benefits may be reduced if one retires from UC Davis prior to full retirement age, even if he/she waits to collect Social Security until full retirement age. Social Security benefits are calculated on one's 35 highest years of earnings. The calculation is complex, and beyond the scope of this website. Visit the Social Security website or call them for more information.
   Telephone: 800-772-1213


Are UC Davis retirees required to enroll in Medicare?

If one is enrolled in a UC-sponsored medical plan after retirement and he/she or any of his/her enrolled family members become eligible for Medicare Part A free of charge, UC requires that he/she (or the family members) enroll in both Medicare Parts A and B. If a retiree does not enroll, his/her medical insurance will be permanently cancelled (exceptions: retirees who reside outside the U.S. or who will be traveling outside the U.S. for 6 months or more or those who retired prior to July 1, 1991). For assistance with this process, contact the Health Care Facilitator Program.

When should retirees enroll in Medicare?

Eligibility for Medicare is controlled by the Social Security Administration and usually begins at age 65, but those who are disabled may qualify at an earlier age. Retirees should begin the process of requesting information and applying for Medicare Parts A and B at least 3 months before age 65 even if they are not planning to request Social Security Income. To enroll in Medicare, visit the website (below), or call or visit aSocial Security (not Medicare) office. The UC Davis Benefits Office will be able to provide advice on the effective date to request Medicare. Once retirees have proof of enrollment in Medicare, they should contact the Health Care Facilitator Program for assistance with the next steps to ensure continued coverage of UC benefits. Consult UC’s Medicare Factsheet and the HCFP for more information.

What are the different parts of Medicare?

Medicare is the United States' health insurance program for people age 65 or older, certain people with disabilities who are under age 65, and people of any age who have permanent kidney failure. There are three parts to Medicare. They are:

  1. Hospital insurance (Medicare Part A): financed by payroll taxes and, if one is eligible to receive it based on his/her own or his/her spouse’s employment, there is no premium
  2. Medical insurance (Medicare Part B): has a monthly premium which usually is deducted from one's Social Security check
  3. Prescription drug insurance (Medicare Part D): the university’s medical plans coordinate with Medicare Part D, so retirees do not need to enroll in a separate plan for prescription drug coverage

How can one find out more information about Medicare?

Medicare information is available on-line at For more information about UC’s Medicare requirements, see the Medicare Factsheet.
   Medicare website:
   Medicare telephone: 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)

   Social Security office locations can be found at
   Social Security telephone: 800-772-1213

Contact Medicare at:
   Enrollment— or call Social Security: 800-772-1213
   Claims: 800-633-4227 (800-MED-ICARE)
   Coordination of Benefits Contractor: 800-999-1118