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Pre-retirement Leave of Absence Program for Faculty

This Pre-retirement Leave of Absence Program allows eligible members of the faculty to elect to take a one-year leave of absence and retain half normal base salary during the leave year, in formal duties or responsibilities to the College.

An eligible, tenured, full-time member of the faculty may elect to take a final, one-academic- year leave of absence during which he/she will have no teaching or other responsibilities. A faculty member who elects to participate in the Pre-retirement Leave of Absence Program is irrevocably agreeing to retire from the College immediately following his/her one-year leave of absence. The faculty member will have no option to extend the leave of absence period beyond one year or to return to teaching on a fulltime basis; full retirement must immediately follow the leave of absence.

Eligibility

Faculty members who meet the criteria outlined below are eligible to participate in the Pre-retirement Leave of Absence Program:

1.     classified as full-time, benefits-eligible,

2.     tenured,

3.     are at least age 64 as of the July 1 when the leave year commences,

4.     are not participating in the Phased Retirement Program for faculty, and

5.     have completed at least 15 consecutive years of full-time employment with Franklin & Marshall after the age of 40 upon full retirement, except as outlined below.

• Faculty age 55 and over as of December 31, 2012: Full-time faculty members employed by the College as of December 31, 2012, and who were age 55 or over by December 31, 2012, may participate in the Pre-retirement Leave of Absence Program at age 64 or older. Upon full retirement, such faculty members must have completed at least 10 consecutive years of full-time service after age 50.

• Faculty age 50 through 54 as of December 31, 2012: Full-time faculty members employed by the College as of December 31, 2012, and age 50 through 54 as of December 31, 2012, may participate in the Pre-retirement Leave of Absence Program at age 64 or older. Upon full retirement, such faculty members must have completed either at least 15 consecutive years of full-time College employment after age 40, or 10 consecutive years of full-time service after age 50, whichever occurs first.

A faculty member may not have taken a sabbatical during any of the three academic years preceding participation in this Program.

Pre-retirement Leave of Absence Agreement

To participate in this Pre-retirement Leave of Absence Program, an eligible faculty member must enter into an irrevocable Pre-retirement Leave of Absence Agreement no later than by April 15 of the year preceding the last academic year of full-time employment. This Agreement can be found in the Human Resources public folder in eDisk.

Salary

The faculty member will be eligible to receive the percentage increase that faculty outside the merit system receive, effective as of the July 1 when the leave commences. During the pre-retirement leave year, a participating faculty member will receive fifty percent (50%) of what his/her normal base salary would have been for that year, paid over the 12-month leave period.

Benefits

Dental Coverage – Prior to full retirement, faculty members participating in the Preretirement Leave of Absence Program continue to be eligible for dental coverage per standard College policies, and pay the same premiums offered to active, full-time employees.

Dental coverage is discontinued upon full retirement (after the leave year). However, the retired faculty member may elect to continue dental coverage temporarily, generally for up to 18 months, via "COBRA".

Health & Prescription Drug Coverage -- Prior to full retirement, faculty members participating in the Pre-retirement Leave of Absence Program continue to be eligible for health and prescription drug coverage per standard College policies, and pay the same premiums offered to active, full-time employees. Upon full retirement (after the leave year), a faculty member who has met eligibility requirements as outlined above may enroll in a College-sponsored health and prescription drug plan as outlined below:

• Faculty members who signed a Pre-retirement Leave of Absence Agreement no later than by December 31, 2012: Faculty members who signed their Preretirement Leave of Absence Agreement prior to January 1, 2013, are eligible for coverage upon full retirement through the College’s retiree health and prescription plan currently administered by Highmark Blue Shield, per standard College policies.

• Faculty members who signed a Pre-retirement Leave of Absence Agreement on or after January 1, 2013: Faculty members who sign a Pre-retirement Leave of Absence Agreement on or after January 1, 2013, may enroll in a health and prescription plan available through Emeriti Retirement Health Solutions upon full retirement.

“Grandfathered” Faculty Members: The College will pay a portion of Emeriti health and prescription premiums, per standard College policies, for faculty members employed by Franklin & Marshall in a full-time capacity on December 31, 2012, and who were age 55 or older on or before December 31, 2012. The College will also make its standard subsidy payment on behalf of the faculty retiree’s enrolled spouse or same-sex domestic partner. The College will fund a portion of Emeriti premiums during the retiree’s lifetime, or until the retiree is no longer enrolled in an Emeriti plan. The subsidy will be provided for the retiree’s spouse or same-sex domestic partner until the earlier of: the date the spouse/partner is no longer enrolled in an Emeriti health plan; the date the College retiree is no longer enrolled in an Emeriti health plan; or the date the College retiree passes away.

The above applies only to tenured faculty members employed by Franklin & Marshall in a full-time capacity on December 31, 2012; who were age 55 or older on or before December 31, 2012; and who retire after completing at least 10 consecutive years of full-time College employment after age 50.

“Non-grandfathered” Faculty Members: Pre-retirement Leave of Absence participants who do not meet the criteria for grandfathered status (faculty who were under age 55 as of December 31, 2012, or began their College employment after December 31, 2012) will pay full Emeriti health plan premiums upon retirement, if they choose to enroll in an Emeriti plan. Such individuals may use any vested balance in their Emeriti Health Account to help offset their health care expenses during retirement, per standard provisions of the Emeriti Retirement Health Plan.

Premiums through the College’s Highmark plan can be found by clicking here.

Current premiums for the Emeriti health plans can be found by visiting www.emeritihealth.org/ (click on “Tools & Calculators”).

Retirees and spouses / same-sex domestic partners who are eligible for coverage through Medicare must enroll in Medicare Parts A and B on the earliest possible date to be eligible for health coverage through either the College’s Highmark plan or an Emeriti health plan. College-sponsored coverage is considered secondary and will “wrap- around” Medicare coverage.

Flexible Spending Accounts Plan-- During the Pre-retirement Leave of Absence year, a faculty member may continue to participate in the Flexible Spending Accounts Plan. Eligibility to participate is discontinued upon retirement, although a retiree may elect to continue his/her participation in the Medical Expense Reimbursement Account through the end of the calendar year, via “COBRA”.

Life Insurance -- During the Pre-retirement Leave of Absence year, life insurance and Accidental Death & Dismemberment coverage will be equal to 1.5 times actual (reduced) salary, up to a maximum coverage level of $100,000. Pre-retirement Leave of Absence participants may be able to purchase an individual policy to replace the amount of coverage eliminated. To do so, the participant must contact the life insurance carrier within 31 calendar days of experiencing a reduction in life insurance coverage.

Upon full retirement, life insurance coverage will equal 25% of what the coverage amount would have been immediately prior to retirement if not participating in the Pre-retirement Leave of Absence Program.

Long-term Disability-- Coverage under the College’s group Long-term Disability Plan will terminate as of the date the Pre-retirement Leave of Absence period commences (as of the start of the leave year). Additionally, per standard College policies, long-term disability coverage is not provided during retirement.

Retirement Plan -- The College will make its normal retirement contribution on behalf of the faculty member, based on actual (reduced) base monthly salary received during the Pre-retirement Leave of Absence year. Pre-retirement Leave of Absence participants may make elective, pre-tax contributions to the Retirement Plan through salary reduction.

Faculty members participating in the Pre-retirement Leave of Absence Program (over age 60) may begin receiving distributions from their retirement account during their leave year, prior to full retirement, if they choose.

Upon full retirement, retirement savings may be withdrawn, rolled over to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), or left invested in the College's Retirement Plan, subject to federal regulations and standard Plan provisions.

Education Benefits -- Faculty members participating in the Pre-retirement Leave of Absence Program continue to be eligible for education assistance benefits, including benefits offered to eligible dependents, per standard College policies.

Outside Employment

While participating in this Program, a faculty member may accept outside employment.

Faculty Status

Participants in this Pre-retirement Leave of Absence Program will continue to be active faculty members, with a full vote in faculty meetings. Participants will receive the standard Faculty Research and Professional Development fund amount during their leave year. However, such faculty members will not be eligible to serve as a department chair or hold other academic positions that require full-time service.

Full Retirement

A faculty member who enters into an Agreement through this Program must fully retire from the College effective the last day of the leave of absence period (as of the June 30 when the academic year leave of absence ends). The Agreement will be irrevocable. The College will rely on this agreement to retire when planning for its academic staffing, including the employment of additional faculty.

Faculty members interested in more information regarding this Pre-retirement Leave of Absence Program, and those who wish to initiate a Pre-retirement Leave of Absence Agreement, should contact the Office of the Provost.

Information about benefits available to retired College employees is available at

www.fandm.edu/humanresources/Benefits.

This Pre-retirement Leave of Absence Program may be amended, modified, or terminated by the College at any time. Such amendment, modification, or termination will not affect faculty members who have already signed a Pre-retirement Leave of Absence Agreement

To download the Pre-retirement Leave of Absence Program Agreement, please click here: Pre-retirement Leave of Absence Agreement.