This policy arose from the work of the Ad Hoc Committee on Faculty Retirement Options which was created to respond to concerns raised by the Faculty Council about the range of retirement options available to faculty. On October 6, 2005, the Board of Regents passed a resolution authorizing the President to create such a policy to expand retirement incentive options.
The present document outlines the Boulder Campus guidelines for implementing this policy. They are designed to put the new policy into practice in ways that will both help the faculty and serve the institution. We all know that the decision to retire is an important one, often a difficult one. It is our hope that these guidelines will help faculty think through their options as they approach retirement. They are also designed to secure the best interests of the University.
It is important to recognize that Faculty Retirement Agreements are not necessary in many cases where a faculty member wishes to retire. Indeed, most faculty retire with the benefits available under normal retirement policies; they do not need a retirement agreement. In some cases, it will serve both a faculty member and the institution to create such an agreement. The President’s policy states that all retirement agreements must meet “the overall needs of the University. No faculty member has a right to such an agreement.” Such agreements will be created only when all parties are convinced it serves them well. The incentives outlined in the policy are not entitlements but a list of potential tools available to assist the University in meeting its goals with regard to faculty staffing needs. The use of one or more of these is not standard practice, but rather these tools are available to be used in extraordinary circumstances as approved, and deemed appropriate and feasible, by the chair/director, dean and provost. As is indicated below, applications for retirement agreements will be reviewed by the Provost; a case must be made that an institutional good is met by creating the agreement. Such agreements are also subject to the availability of funding.
In most cases, faculty will begin their discussions about retirement with the chair of their unit; they will want to talk about the faculty members’ plans and the needs of the unit. A faculty member may decide to pursue normal retirement; if so, the individual need only inform the campus of her/his decision by sending a letter through the chair to the dean and the Office of Faculty Affairs, and the Office of Faculty Affairs will provide the faculty member with information. If there is a decision to pursue a retirement agreement, the dean’s office will need to be consulted. The Office of Faculty Affairs is available to offer advice on retirement agreements. All retirement incentive agreements must include a statement by the faculty that s/he will relinquish his/her tenure on the date which shall be specified in the agreement. If a faculty member and her/his chair decide that a retirement agreement is appropriate, the faculty member should create a memo outlining the terms of the agreement. This should be approved by the chair and the dean’s office and sent to the Office of Faculty Affairs. Faculty Affairs will consult with Legal Counsel and Payroll and Benefit Services on such agreements. If OFA agrees with the proposal, it will draft a Faculty Retirement Agreement to be reviewed and signed by the appropriate persons.
The policy on Faculty Retirement Agreements grants the authority to approve such Agreements to the Chancellor, but allows the Chancellor to delegate that authority to the Provost. On the Boulder campus, that authority is delegated to the Provost who has the final authority to approve or to reject all agreements. All retirement agreements will be submitted to the Provost for approval. In making a request for a retirement agreement, the dean should make clear what institutional good is being served by the agreement; a case for a retirement agreement might include long term savings, the opening up of a faculty line for a new hire, an ability to adapt to changing academic goals, etc.
A faculty member is only eligible to retire once her/his combined age and years of service total at least 70. If the phased retirement period ends prior to the individual’s age and years of service totaling 70, the faculty member will not receive the University of Colorado retirement benefits available to those who do meet the minimum established age and years of service requirements.
Faculty who are tenured or tenure-track and who are employed at fifty percent time or greater and meet at least the minimum combined age and years of service requirements contained in Regent Policy 11-I are eligible for retirement incentive agreements. Non-tenure track faculty are only eligible for the phased retirement agreement designed for them.
For Tenure Track Phased Retirement Agreements: All tenured and tenure track faculty members who are employed at fifty percent time or greater and: 1) will be at least 55 years of age by the end of the term of the phased retirement agreement; and 2) whose age and years of half time or greater service at the University total at least 65 are eligible to participate in this phased retirement program (“Program”).
For Non-Tenure track Faculty Phased Retirement Agreements: All non-tenure-track faculty members who are employed at fifty percent time or greater and: 1) will be at least 55 years of age by the end of the period of the phased retirement program (“Program”); and 2) whose age and years of half time or greater service at the University total at least 65 are eligible to participate in this Program.
The new policy creates a menu of incentives that may be offered by the campus when a faculty member is ready to retire. Agreements will need the concurrence of the faculty member, the chair, the dean, and the Provost.
The new features of the new phased retirement agreements can be outlined:
Phased Retirement for Non-Tenure Track Faculty. The general rules governing these agreements are the same as for tenure track faculty, except that the agreed term of the agreement may be from one semester to up to one academic year.