Separating Service

We understand making a change in your career is big and understanding how your benefits are affected during this change is important. If you are separating services from the City of Surprise (COS), whether it is due to retirement or career change your benefits for the following coverages will continue through the end of the month including your last day worked.

  • Medical
  • Pharmacy
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Life Insurance
  • Aflac

Please note, services through our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) continue for 6 months following your date of separation.

COBRA

In compliance with the Consolidate Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (COBRA), employees and/or insured dependents may be eligible for continuation of health coverages, at your own expense, and under some circumstances extension of access to their Flexible Spending Account (FSA) after the employees’ separation of service. If coverage is elected, participants will have the same rights under the plan as other active participants or beneficiaries covered under the plan.

  • COBRA is offered for medical, dental, vision, and flexible spending accounts
  • If elected, COBRA is effective the 1st day of the month after you lost coverage (regardless of your election date)
  • Generally, you will have 60 days from your date of separation to elect COBRA coverage. If coverage is elected it will be backdated to your first day without coverage once payment has been received.
  • Coverage expires either 18, 29, or 36 months after the triggering event. More information will be included on your personalized COBRA notification.

You will receive information in the mail from our COBRA third party administrator, regarding COBRA continuation and steps to take if you wish to elect coverage. Please ensure COS has your most current address, so the COBRA information and all final documents including your year-end W2 and Form 1095 is sent to the correct address.

Life Insurance

If you wish to continue your life insurance coverages you may elect to Port or Convert your policy within 31 days of your employment separation. For more information on Porting or Converting coverages please refer to the "True Portability Trust and Conversation" chart or call The Standard at 1-800-378-4668 ext 6785 within 31 days of separating service.

Aflac

Aflac coverages can be ported into a personal policy by contacting Aflac at 1-800-992-3522 or the City of Surprise representative, Jeff Kleinman at 480-688-9642.

Retirement

ASRS (Arizona State Retirement System)*: Visit azasrs.gov to learn more about your retirement benefits, retirement benefit estimators, working after retirement, etc. ASRS has many member education videos available to you on their site as well. Please note if you are retiring from ASRS, you must log into your ASRS portal and submit your application for retirement benefits. If you have questions about your retirement you may contact ASRS at 602-240-2000.

PSPRS (Public Safety Personnel Retirement System)*: Visit psprs.com to learn more about your retirement benefits and to access forms to request a refund, retirement, or even an address change. If you have more questions regarding retirement you may contact PSPRS at 602-255-5575 or your local board secretary, Ariana Reyna at Ariana.Reyna@surpriseaz.gov or 623-222-3542.

*Note: if you retire from ASRS and PSPRS and are eligible for the Premium Benefit Subsidy, because you are enrolled in a COS COBRA or active employee plan, then please notify the Benefits team at Benefits@surpriseaz.gov and we will submit the request to ASRS or PSPRS on your behalf.

457/PEHP/401(a): If you are enrolled in any supplemental retirement plans and you wish to transfer your funds, request a distribution, or make another change please contact the City of Surprise Nationwide representative Scott Wheeler at Scott.Wheeler@nationwide.com or 480-242-8376. If Nationwide is requesting you get a separation date from COS please send an email to Benefits@surpriseaz.gov.

Final Paycheck

Per the Employee Policy Manual (EPM) sections 3.11 and 5.1, the following will be paid upon separation of service. Please review the EPM for all details.

  • Compensatory Time (Comp): Non-exempt employees will be paid for all accrued and unused compensatory time at the employee’s final base rate of pay.
  • Paid Time Off (PTO): Employees will be paid any remaining unused PTO at the employee’s final base rate of pay.  Pursuant to IRS guidelines, PTO lump-sum payments are considered supplemental wages and subject to the supplemental tax rate.
  • Paid Sick Time (PST): PST does not have a cash value and is not eligible for payout.

Benefit Deductions: If your final paycheck falls on the first paycheck of the month, benefit premiums will be doubled to cover through the end of the month.

Paycheck Statement: Since your access to ESS – Employee Self-Service and email will be removed after you terminate, your final paycheck statement will be mailed to your home address. Before your last day, you may consider accessing your ESS information to download/print copies of check statements, W2’s and 1095’s.

W-2 and 1095’s

City of Surprise will send your final W-2 and 1095’s to the last address on file. It is important if you move after your last day worked that you notify COS of your address change to ensure you receive your final tax forms. Contact Payroll to update your address at 623-222-1830.

If you need to contact one of the COS benefit carriers please refer to the Provider Contact List.

Additional Resources 

Medicare Information

We understand there are many options and rules for Medicare. The City of Surprise has partnered with The Medicare Architects to assist our employees with Medicare planning. You can schedule an appointment with a Certified Medicare Planner for FREE. The Medicare Architects utilizes advisory services by American Retirement Advisors.

More information can be found at themedicarearchitect.com/surprise

Additionally, you may view City of Surprise 2022 Medicare Guide or the What to Expect Medicare Brochure.

You may also get additional information on Medicare by contacting the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 or ssa.gov or medicare.gov.

Social Security Information

When planning for retirement, you likely will want to plan for when to begin taking Social Security benefits. Please contact the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 or ssa.gov for information on how to start receiving benefits.