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Retiring from Intel: Calculating Years of Service, Determining Retirement Eligibility and the Benefits of Being an Intel Retiree (Part 2)

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Last time we looked at how to calculate years of service at Intel and the different ways to qualify as an “official Intel retiree.” In part two, we get to the good part as we’ll review the benefits of retiring from Intel. Additionally, we’ll introduce the “Intel Retirement Benefits Calculator” (a free downloadable Excel tool) that will assist you in calculating your years of service and outline what it means for your retirement benefits.

The Benefits of Officially Retiring from Intel

Now that we’ve calculated years of service and determined retirement eligibility, it’s time to see how they interact with retiree benefits. The benefits are grouped as follows: 

  • Medical
  • Stock Compensation
  • Bonus
  • Pension
  • Life Insurance

Medical Benefits

Health and Vision Coverage

Retirees can continue medical coverage for themselves, their spouse and eligible dependents through the Intel Retiree Medical Plan (IRMP). In our experience, the plan offers premium coverage and therefore comes at a premium cost. This benefit was larger in the past when health plans came with preexisting condition exclusions, but, as of now at least, pre-existing conditions are not a barrier to private insurance. However, it’s nice to have options and is going to be right for some retirees.


In addition to the IRMP, Intel offers the Sheltered Employee Retirement Medical Account (SERMA) for eligible employees hired before Jan. 01, 2014 who qualify to retire from Intel. This account can be used towards eligible health expenses including the IRMP and the following:

  • Individual health, dental and vision plans 

  • Other employer retiree group plans 

  • COBRA 

  • Medicare 

  • Medigap 

  • Long-term care 

Intel contributes “$1,500 for each year of completed eligible service” which is generally defined the same as years of service. However, unlike the Rule of 75 calculation, if the break in service is longer than two years, the initial period of service does not count toward SERMA benefits (please check with your HR representative to make sure in your own specific circumstance).

We recommend retirees use their SERMA balance fully as medical expenses accrue as it earns a low rate of interest and is subject to being reclaimed by Intel as follows:

Intel reserves the right to return the credit from your SERMA to the program when one of the following occurs:

  • You, your spouse, and eligible child(ren) have died
  • You, your surviving spouse or eligible child(ren) have not used the account after 20 (twenty) consecutive year

Stock Compensation

Retirees meeting the Rule of 75 or anyone leaving Intel who is age 60 or greater (regardless if they meet one of the three official Intel retiree requirements) will benefit from accelerated vesting on their unvested Intel options and RSUs and potentially an extended option expiration on vested options.

Vested Stock Options

Retirees age 60 or older and those meeting the Rule of 75 will have up to one year from their retirement date (or the original option expiration date, whichever is sooner) before any vested options expire. Anyone not meeting these requirements will have 90 days to exercise their options.

Unvested Options

Retirees age 60 or older will receive one additional year of vesting for every five years of service. Those meeting the Rule of 75 will receive one additional year of vesting. The options expire, just like the vested options, one year from your retirement date or the original option expiration date, whichever is sooner.

Those not age 60 or who fail to meet the Rule of 75 forfeits any unvested options.

Unvested RSUs*

Just like with unvested options, retirees age 60 or older will receive one additional year of vesting for every five years of service and those meeting the Rule of 75 will receive one additional year of vesting. Any unvested RSUs, after the accelerated vesting, are canceled on your retirement date.

And again, those not aged 60 or meeting the Rule of 75 forfeit any unvested RSUs.

Here is the information summarized in table format from page 493 in the 2017 Handbook.


Retiree age 60 and above

Rule of 75

All other retirees

Vested Stock Options

Options expire up to one year from retirement date

Options expire up to one year from retirement date

Options expire up to 90 days from retirement date

Unvested Stock Options

One year of accelerated vesting for every five years of service.

One year of accelerated vesting.


Unvested RSUs

One year of accelerated vesting for every five years of service.

One year of accelerated vesting.


Unvested OSUs

Lastly, retirees age 60 and up or meeting Rule of 75 will see all OSUs from open cycles vest on their retirement date. However, “the payment of earned shares will occur at the end of the performance cycle(s).”


Anyone leaving Intel, whether an official Intel retiree or not, is eligible for prorated, based on the percent of the year (or quarter) worked in the year of retirement, contribution to the Intel Retirement Contribution Plan, and payouts for the annual performance bonus (APB) and quarterly profit bonus (QPB).


Years of service feature prominently in the Intel Minimum pension calculation. Each year, up to 35 years of service, will increase your potential benefit. See below for the minimum pension calculation and see our article on the pension for more details:

The formula for calculating your minimum pension from the Plan at normal retirement is the sum of:

    • 0.75% of final average pay plus
    • 0.65% of excess final average pay
    • times your years of service with Intel (up to 35 years)
    • minus the Annuity Value of your Retirement Contribution Plan account.

Life Insurance

And finally, for anyone taking advantage of supplemental or dependent life insurance, you may be eligible to continue coverage by purchasing coverage at “competitive group rates and without providing evidence of insurability.”

Wrapping Up and a Free Tool to Help You Maximize Your Benefits

Whew! We made it. As you know, there’s a lot to weed through when it comes to retiring from Intel. But, the payoff from maximizing your benefits can be enormous.

To that end, we've created an Excel tool that will calculate your years of service and tell you what this means to you regarding your benefits. You can download it here.

And, if you want more help weeding through your retirement benefits or need a Program Manager for your financial life to get your finances on track and keep them there, please, feel free to get in touch.

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*A reader pointed out that these rules apply to all focal RSUs. However, in certain instances, retention RSUs are issued which have their own rules are may not vest at retirement.


The information provided herein is intended for informational purposes only and is subject to change without notice. We recommend that you speak with your HR representative regarding your specific circumstances.


Click here for disclosures regarding information contained in blog postings.
Cordant, Inc. is not affiliated or associated with, or endorsed by, Intel.

Published on May 26, 2017

Isaac Presley, CFA

Isaac Presley, CFA

Isaac Presley is the President and Director of Investments for Cordant, a wealth management firm serving current and former Intel employees. To learn more, you can read Isaac's full bio.

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