Editor's notes:

POLICY TITLE: Carnegie Mellon University Policy to Provide Retirement Options for Tenured Faculty

DATE OF ISSUANCE: This policy was approved by the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees on April 13, 1998. It goes into effect on July 1, 1999.

ACCOUNTABLE DEPARTMENT/UNIT: Office of the Provost. Questions on policy content should be directed to Mark S. Kamlet, provost, x86684.

ABSTRACT: Policy provides information, resources and, in some cases, incentives to retiring faculty members.

MISC: See also:


Carnegie Mellon University Policy to Provide Retirement Options for Tenured Faculty

I. Introduction

Carnegie Mellon University has adopted this policy to facilitate the voluntary retirement of tenured faculty. While faculty are not constrained to retire at any particular age, arrangements for retirement are naturally a part of a faculty member's personal and professional planning. The policy provides information, resources and, in some cases, incentives to faculty members that should make financial and retirement planning easier. This policy is aimed as well at promoting the well-being of emeritus faculty and encouraging their continued participation in the Carnegie Mellon academic community.

A clear, uniform and fiscally responsible policy is to the overall advantage of both the faculty and the university. It helps faculty and their respective departments plan for retirement in an orderly way. While retaining the presence and contributions of those who want to be actively engaged, it potentially opens positions for new faculty.

The decision to retire is left to the discretion of the individual faculty members, and remains entirely voluntary. However, if a faculty member decides to retire, this policy provides several retirement options so as to make available possibilities that fit individual circumstances: a monetary incentive retirement option; a phased retirement option; and an option for retirement with subsequent teaching. Financial planning and retirement information will be made available by the university to all faculty and their spouses. All retired tenured faculty become emeritus faculty, by authority of the Board of Trustees, with the rights and privileges described below.

Although this policy refers to employee benefits, such as health insurance and life insurance, it is intended that all employee benefits continue to be provided through, and governed by, the terms of the employee benefit plans maintained by Carnegie Mellon University, with such amendments as may be necessary to implement this policy. This policy in itself does not constitute an employee benefit plan or an amendment to any such plan. The university retains the right to alter, eliminate or revise this policy at any time in the future.

II. Monetary Incentive Retirement Option

A monetary incentive is available to tenured faculty members with ten or more years of service who make a decision to retire during one of three "window" periods within the requirements of this section, provided that at the end of the first window period, the faculty member has completed ten or more years of service as a regular faculty member.

The "first window period" begins on the July 1 coinciding with or immediately preceding the date on which the tenured faculty member reaches the age of 64 and ends on the June 30 immediately following. To receive the monetary incentive under this option of the policy, the faculty member must, during the "first window period," notify the provost in writing that the faculty member irrevocably elects to retire by the end of the first academic year thereafter. If a tenured faculty member makes the irrevocable election during this "first window period," and accordingly retires by the end of the first academic year following the "first window period" closing, the amount of the incentive payment will be equal to his or her base pay for the academic year that ends with retirement.

The "second window period" begins on the July 1 coinciding with or immediately preceding the date on which the tenured faculty member reaches the age of 65 and ends on the June 30 immediately following. To receive the monetary incentive under this option of the policy, the faculty member must, during the "second window period," notify the provost in writing that the faculty member irrevocably elects to retire by the end of the first academic year thereafter. If a tenured faculty member makes the irrevocable election during this "second window period," and accordingly retires by the end of the first academic year following the "second window period" closing, the amount of the incentive payment will be equal to two-thirds of his or her base pay for the academic year that ends with retirement.

The "third window period" begins on the July 1 coinciding with or immediately preceding the date on which the tenured faculty member reaches the age of 66 and ends on the June 30 immediately following. To receive the monetary incentive under this option of the policy, the faculty member must, during the "third window period," notify the provost in writing that the faculty member irrevocably elects to retire by the end of the first academic year thereafter. If a tenured faculty member makes the irrevocable election during this "third window period," and accordingly retires by the end of the first academic year following the "third window period" closing, the amount of the incentive payment will be equal to one-third of his or her base pay for the academic year that ends with retirement.

A faculty member who retires under this option of the policy becomes a member of the emeritus faculty as authorized by the Board of Trustees.

Faculty (current or future) who will not have satisfied the requirement for a minimum of ten years of service until after the age of 64 are nevertheless eligible to participate in the monetary incentive retirement option based on the following provision. At the time the ten-year requirement is satisfied, such faculty shall have a 180-day "window" in which to make a written election to retire. A faculty member who makes this election is eligible to receive the maximum benefit under the monetary incentive retirement option, i.e., an amount equal to his or her base pay for the academic year that ends with retirement. If a faculty member so elects to retire, that retirement must occur at the end of a semester (either June 30 or December 31) and not later than the conclusion of the first semester that ends on a date that is at least 180 days after the date of the faculty member's election. A faculty member who elects to retire under the terms of this paragraph must provide the provost with written notice of his or her election to retire at least 90 days before that retirement will take effect.

III. Phased Retirement Option

A tenured faculty member who has attained age 61 or older and completed ten or more years of service may voluntarily enter phased retirement under this part of the policy. A choice to enter phased retirement must be made and communicated to the provost at least one full year prior to the beginning of phased retirement. If a faculty member chooses the option of phased retirement, that faculty member may not thereafter participate in the monetary option described in Section II above. Similarly, a faculty member who elects the monetary option described in Section II above may not participate in the Phased Retirement Option described in this Section III.

Upon entering phased retirement, the faculty member will be permitted to work half-time for up to four academic years and, in return, voluntarily agrees to retire by the end of that period. (The faculty member may retire after fewer than four academic years.) Half-time work can be achieved either by working full-time during one semester and not working the other semester, or by working half-time both semesters in any given academic year. The choice of how to achieve half-time work will be made by mutual agreement of the faculty member and the respective department head, subject to approval of the dean. Compensation will correspond to the option chosen: regular full-time compensation for one semester and none for the other (under the first option), or half-time compensation for both semesters (under the second option).

In either case, the faculty member will be eligible throughout the academic year for health care, dental and vision insurance on the same terms and conditions as if working full time, except that the faculty member may not select an option for health care, dental or vision coverage that is not insured. The faculty member will be eligible throughout the academic year for the same life insurance to which the faculty member would be entitled if working full-time throughout the academic year, with the understanding that, if the provision of such life insurance would cause the life insurance feature of the Carnegie Mellon University Benefit Plan to be discriminatory under the Internal Revenue Code, a separate plan may be established for such faculty members and the cost of such coverage might not be exempt from federal income tax. If the department chooses to do so, the faculty member will remain eligible for short-term disability coverage on the same terms and conditions as if working full-time. Retirement benefits will be unaffected; that is, the Carnegie Mellon University Faculty and Staff Retirement Plan will be applied in accordance with its terms to the pattern of employment and compensation resulting from phased retirement.

A faculty member who retires through this phased retirement plan will be freed, if desired, from department, committee, administrative and other duties as far as possible during the period of phased retirement.

Upon retirement, the faculty member becomes a member of the emeritus faculty as authorized by the Board of Trustees.

IV. Option for Retirement with Subsequent Teaching

This part of the policy permits a faculty member who has retired and has been granted emeritus status to perform a limited amount of subsequent teaching. Such teaching will be reflected in an annual agreement with the department head, subject to approval of the relevant dean, that will also include the basis and amount of compensation. Employee benefits will not be altered by this policy or by such an agreement, but will be such as follow from the regular terms of the applicable benefit plans under the circumstances.

V. Financial and Retirement Planning

The university will make available to faculty and their spouses programs and materials relevant to financial and retirement planning. The university will designate a person within Human Resources who will be a readily accessible contact for assistance to prospective retiring faculty members in getting information on health care (including Medicare), Social Security, pension elections and other matters related to retirement. Materials available should include a compendium of the provisions of the various benefit plans that pertain to retirement, booklets issued by various government agencies on topics such as Medicare and Social Security, and informational materials prepared by organizations such as the AARP.

In addition, programs and materials will be provided by outside organizations and professionals, such as TIAA/CREF and Vanguard, rather than by the university itself, but at no cost to the faculty members. These programs will include the opportunity to meet individually or in groups to discuss aspects of financial and retirement planning.

It is understood that assistance with financial planning under this policy will not encompass such arrangements or advice as would cast the university in the role of a fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended, with respect to investment advice.

VI. Emeritus Status

Tenured faculty retiring under the university's Policy to Provide Retirement Options for Tenured Faculty will become associate professor or professor, emeritus or emerita by authority of the Board of Trustees. Emeritus faculty are encouraged to continue playing an active role in their academic discipline, in their department and in the intellectual life of the university generally. To foster this continued role and an on-going relationship with Carnegie Mellon University:

  1. Emeritus faculty continue to be members of their academic departments and will be listed as such in the university catalogues, the Faculty/Staff Directory, etc. They have continuing rights to attend and participate in department and university faculty meetings (without the right to vote) and other activities, except for those from which a regular faculty member of the same rank would be excluded.
  2. Retired faculty members should be retained on all mailing lists that contain information of general interest to faculty members, unless they specifically request that their name be omitted from such lists. They will be retained on invitation lists for faculty social functions to which non-retired faculty of equivalent rank are invited, and invited to become, or continue being, members of the Faculty Club. Likewise, they shall continue to have faculty privileges at the university bookstore, art store and computer store, and access to the same recreational and dining facilities that they could use before retirement.
  3. Reasonable office space shall be assured to emeritus faculty who need it. While this space may be shared, it should be a genuine office.
  4. An emeritus faculty member, with approval from his or her department head, can supervise doctoral students and/or serve as the principal investigator on grants.
  5. Emeritus faculty shall have access to electronic mail and networking through the university's Computing Services, as do other faculty. Likewise, they shall retain full access to library facilities, including borrowing rights and interlibrary loan privileges.
  6. Emeritus faculty shall continue to have the same access to parking as before retirement, and will retain their seniority in space allocation. For emeriti who are not employed by the university, free parking of up to 50 days is granted in one of the university areas; additional parking can be purchased by the emeriti at half the regular rate.
  7. Emeritus faculty are entitled to all benefits the university grants to retired faculty members, in particular eligibility for the university tuition remission and grant program and medical insurance benefits. These benefits are detailed in the Carnegie Mellon University Benefit Plan for full-time faculty.

The above is not meant to preclude the possible use of other university services or resources where arrangements have been made with the respective department and dean.

Related Information

See also the university's Policy on Emeriti Faculty.

VII. Miscellaneous

This policy will be administered by the provost.

This policy to provide retirement options for tenured faculty is expected to continue indefinitely. However, the university reserves the right to amend or terminate this policy at any time.

Since the benefits of Section II, III, IV and VI of this policy are over and above the benefits otherwise available to tenured faculty upon retirement, and further since retirement under the terms of this policy is entirely voluntary on the part of the faculty member, a valid election under Section II, III or IV will be conditioned upon the faculty member's executing (and not revoking) a release, in the standard form used by the university at that time, when the election to retire is made under the applicable section.

Contact

Questions concerning this policy or its intent should be directed to Mark S. Kamlet, provost, x8-6684.



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