Phased Retirement Policy for Faculty

The Phased Retirement Policy allows eligible full-time, tenured faculty members to elect to reduce their teaching responsibilities in preparation for full retirement from the College.  The typical teaching obligation of a faculty member participating in the Phased Retirement Program is three courses per year.

Eligibility

Faculty members who meet the criteria outlined below are eligible to participate in the Phased Retirement Program:

  1. classified as full-time, benefits-eligible members of the faculty,

  2. tenured,

  3. are at least age 59-1/2 when the Phased Retirement period begins,

  4. are not participating in the Pre-retirement Leave of Absence Program for faculty, and

  5. have completed at least 15 consecutive years of full-time employment with Franklin & Marshall after the age of 40, except as outlined below for those faculty members employed by the College on 12/31/2012:

    1. If born prior to 12/31/1957, faculty members must have completed at least 10 consecutive years of full-time service after age 50 (age 60 or over upon full retirement).

    2. If born between 1/1/1958 and 12/31/1962, faculty members must have completed at least either 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.

The last year of full-time employment prior to the Phased Retirement period cannot be a year in which a sabbatical or leave of absence is taken unless approval from the Provost has been obtained.  Faculty members under a Phased Retirement Agreement are not eligible for sabbatical leaves.

Phased Retirement Agreement

An irrevocable Phased Retirement Agreement must be finalized no later than April 15 of the year preceding the last academic year of full-time employment.

Phased Retirement Period

The maximum period of Phased Retirement is three consecutive academic years.  In exceptional cases, a faculty member may, during the course of the three year Phased Retirement period, with the consent of his/her department and the College, further negotiate his/her teaching load.

Salary

While participating in the Phased Retirement Program, salary will be at an annual rate of twenty percent (20%) of full base salary for each course taught, or, under normal circumstances, 60% of full base salary. Faculty members under a Phased Retirement Agreement are eligible for pro-rated annual salary increases based on the average increment given all faculty in rank.

Benefits During Phased Retirement

Health & Prescription Coverage, Vision Coverage and Dental Coverage—Prior to full retirement, faculty members participating in the Phased Retirement Program continue to be eligible for this coverage per standard College policies, and pay the same premiums offered to active, full-time employees.

Such coverage is discontinued upon full retirement.  However, the retired faculty member may elect to continue coverage temporarily, generally for up to 18 months, via "COBRA".   To review health benefits available to retirees of the college, visit the Retiree Benefit webpage.

Flexible Spending Accounts Plan-- During the Phased Retirement period, 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 Phased Retirement period, 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. Phased Retirement participants may be able to purchase an individual policy to replace the amount of coverage eliminated. To do so, the Phased Retirement 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 Phased Retirement Program.

Long-term Disability -- Coverage under the Long-term Disability Plan will continue, with the amount paid in the event of total disability equal to 60% of the faculty member's actual (reduced) base monthly salary immediately preceding the disability. Per standard College policies, long-term disability coverage is discontinued at full 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 Phased Retirement period.  Phased Retirement participants may make elective, pre-tax contributions to the Retirement Plan through salary reduction.

Faculty members participating in the Phased Retirement Program who are at least age 60 may begin receiving distributions – both from their own contributions and College contributions - from their retirement account prior to full retirement, if they choose.  Phased Retirement participants may also rollover a portion or all of their retirement account balance during the Phased Retirement period.

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 Phased Retirement Program continue to be eligible for education assistance benefits, including benefits offered to eligible dependents, per standard College policies.

Outside Employment

While under a Phased Retirement Agreement, a faculty member may accept outside employment up to 40% of full-time.

Faculty Status

Participants in this Phased Retirement Program will continue to be active faculty members, with a full vote in faculty meetings. However, faculty members under this Agreement 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 under a Phased Retirement Agreement must fully retire from the College at the end of the Phased Retirement period. The College will rely on this in planning for its academic staffing, including the employment of additional faculty. A faculty member may retire before the end of the Phased Retirement period by providing one year's notice to the Office of the Provost.

Faculty interested in additional information regarding the Phased Retirement Program, and those who wish to initiate a Phased Retirement Agreement, should contact the Office of the Provost.

This Phased Retirement Policy 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 Phased Retirement Agreement.

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Policy Maintained by: Human Resources, Associate Vice President

Last Reviewed: July 25, 2016