TO: New Brunswick Faculty Members
FROM: New Brunswick Faculty Council Personnel Policy Committee
Re: Individually Negotiated Retirement
This communication is intended for faculty who might be contemplating retirement. The New Brunswick Faculty Council, an elected faculty governance body, has approved this "Dear colleague" letter as a service to its constituency during its meeting of 5/7/99. While the information compiled in this letter has been provided in good faith, the NBFC cannot accept direct responsibility for any errors or omissions. Please also note that the University Administration has not reviewed this letter.
The New Brunswick Faculty Council in general and the Personnel Policy Committee in particular have been working on the issue of retirement incentives for the past several years and have passed several resolutions calling on the University Administration to implement a formal phased retirement plan. During our deliberations and sharing the experiences of colleagues from other Universities it was realized that in most cases the reluctance to retire is a result of lack of plans for after retirement and that one could ease into retirement much easier in a transitional manner. It was expected that such a program was only being held back awaiting passage of the Higher Education Bill in Congress which allowed age requirements to be explicitly included in such a program that would otherwise be construed as age discrimination. The bill passed (at least in part as a result of our University Administration's lobbying efforts) but we understand that the University has nevertheless decided not to formulate such a program explicitly. On the other hand, the University has indicated both that individual agreements between prospective retirees and their Chairs/Deans are being approved and that the vacated lines in New Brunswick will remain with the Deans so that there is incentive on both sides to pursue individual agreements. The NBFC still believes that a formal phased retirement program would best serve the University but, in the absence of such a program, we would like to inform the faculty of both the benefits that are available to them after retirement as a matter of course as well as some ways they can formulate their own "individually negotiated phased retirement program" in negotiation with their Chair and Dean.
The University provides benefits to retirees, among them the following of which faculty are not necessarily aware:
In terms of the negotiated arrangements, the possibilities can significantly vary depending on the particular needs and resources of each unit. The following, however, could be negotiated in order to facilitate an "individually negotiated phased retirement program" and have on occasion been granted in the past in return for voluntary retirement:
The third and fourth items above, which may carry a salary, deserve some further clarification:
In terms of part-time research, the retired faculty can participate in funded or unfunded research with or without salary. Retired faculty can be co-investigators in funded projects, in which case they can be paid as consultants or can submit proposals as PI's and be paid through their department as type 4 employees.
In terms of part-time teaching, retired faculty can be hired as PTLs or under other appropriate part-time tittles.
In either case, in terms of benefits, faculty who retire with over 25 years of full-time pension-benefitted service accumulated by 6/30/97, regardless of when they retire, are eligible for full medical benefits even if rehired on a part-time basis. Faculty who retire with the above 25 years accumulated after 6/30/97 will be eligible for whatever medical benefits are currently available under state law with premium sharing same as for active employees. Faculty who retire with under 25 years of service would probably want to continue their medical benefits by paying themselves for state health benefits.
Hopefully the above is helpful in starting the negotiating
process between prospective retirees and their Chairs. The return of the
resources to the department is a matter of negotiations between the chair
and the dean.