Phased Retirement Benefit Program

To:                   St. Lawrence Faculty
From:              William L. Fox, President
Date:               September 15, 2010
Subject:          Phased Retirement Benefit Program

Last spring, we shaped an early retirement incentive program for eligible administrative and hourly staff, with the motivation of reducing our personnel expenses by allowing voluntary departures.  At the time, we explained that faculty were not eligible because of the longer time perspective needed for academic and departmental planning.  Further, the responsibilities of a faculty member fundamentally differ from those of a staff member, allowing a faculty member to plan on gradual release of responsibilities over a few years.

Phasing retirement allows eligible faculty members to remain active as teachers and scholars, provides the University with budget flexibility and offers the departments/programs needed time to plan for future staffing.

Therefore, we have developed a Phased Retirement Program for full-time tenured faculty members who are age 62 or older and have at least 10 years of service at the time of effective retirement (so the first group of eligible faculty must be at least age 62 and have at least 10 years of service by September 1, 2011).  

The details of the Program will be e-mailed directly to those eligible for its first year.  I want everyone to know the outlines of the Program, because we intend this to be a continuing benefit for our eligible tenured faculty.

Program participants will retire, relinquish their tenure, and then work on a part-time basis during a phased retirement period of one to three years.  Retirement as a first step allows eligible faculty to retain health and life insurance benefits, as well as those current benefits such as Bookstore discount or tuition remission that are offered only to eligible active and retired members of our community.  During the phased retirement period, they will receive compensation that is proportionate to their part-time work load.  An eligible faculty member will plan with his or her department and/or program chair(s) and the Dean the courses he or she will teach each semester for up to three years. Tenured faculty of eligible age and service status occupying full-time administrative positions are not eligible to participate in the Program until they vacate such positions.

We will ask for applications for the first year of this Program, which is academic year 2011-2012, by November 15, 2010.  After this first year, applications will be due by May 1, for an effective date 16 months later.  This Program is contingent on Board of Trustees’ approval, which I anticipate we will receive in October.  The requirements of the Program will be governed by the formal Program document approved by the Board of Trustees. 

Questions about this Program should be directed to Valerie Lehr, Dean of Academic Affairs and Vice President (for curricular planning issues), and to Debra Mousaw, Human Resources Director for Benefits (for benefits issues).