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Phased Retirement Resources (Tenure-track)

University Policies Governing Phased Retirement

Chapter 4.0 of the Faculty Handbook contains Retirement, University Policies for Emeritus Faculty, and Separation, and there are also links to retirement information on the CAPE website.

Chapter 5.3 of the Faculty Handbook contains The Retirement Checklist, on this website you will find the following informative sections:

  • Section 1: Become Familiar with the University’s Retirement Resources
  • Section 2: Understand How Phased Retirement Works
  • Section 3: Identify Your Contacts
  • Section 4: Initiate a Conversation with Your Chair
  • Section 5: Formalizing the Agreement with the Chair
  • Section 6: The Actual Transition

The University Human Resources Pre-Retirement Planning website has additional information, including an invitation to upcoming retirement workshops.

Additional information is also available at the University Human Resources Contract College Faculty Phased Retirement website.

CALS Procedures for Establishing a Phased Retirement Agreement

Within CALS, to begin the process of conversion to phased retirement, it is recommended that the following steps be completed:

  1. Interested faculty members should review the University Policies listed above to confirm eligibility and establish a meeting with a retirement specialist at University Benefits to discuss and resolve questions related to impact on retirement, health and other relevant benefit-related questions. Faculty members may accomplish this by calling University Benefits at 607-255-3936, and asking to speak with or schedule a time to meet with a retirement specialist.
  2. Interested faculty members should discuss plans with their unit chair/director to develop a mutually agreeable level of effort, a set of duties that will continue in phased retirement, and the phased appointment dates and duration. This discussion is outlined in a letter that is incorporated into the formal phased retirement agreement by reference. 

Appointments will normally be at least half-time for for the academic year, or full time for only one term of the academic year, and should not exceed half-time for the full academic year. The maximum duration for a phased retirement is 5 years; shorter times are possible. At any point in this process a meeting between the retiring faculty member and their Senior Associate Dean or Executive Dean can be helpful.

Please note that accrual towards sabbatical leave ends when entering phased retirement, and no leaves can be considered unless they are part of the discussion with the unit chair/director.

  1. Once the expectations of the phased retirement are outlined in the letter referenced above, the template phased retirement agreement in the link below should be completed and reviewed by CALS HR.  This can be accomplished by the faculty member scheduling a meeting with the CALS HR Director to discuss/complete the agreement, or the agreement can be completed and submitted for review to the CALS HR Director. Phased Retirement Agreement Template
  2. Once the HR review is completed, please have your signature page notarized. Then send the entire phased retirement agreement, including the notarized agreement and the retirement approval letter from your unit chair/director, to your SrAD or Executive Dean, who will have their signature page notarized. A final electronic copy will be sent to you, to your unit chair/director, and to CALS Human Resources. Optionally, there is a notary in the SrAD office, and both signatures can be notarized there.

Frequently Asked Questions

Effective July 1, 2000, phased retirement was available to all full-time tenured faculty members between the ages of 55 and 70 (inclusive) who have held full-time professorial appointments at the University for at least ten years. The faculty member should hold a full-time appointment prior to the start of phased retirement. The first day of phased retirement must occur within this age range, before one’s 71st birthday.  Faculty not meeting these criteria should consult Human Resources.

If the faculty member's appointment is for one-half time or more, coverage will continue as if at full-time.  Health insurance is not affected so long as the effort in phased retirement is at least at the half-time threshold, nor is there any change in the application of remaining sick leave towards payment of health benefits during retirement.  

If the faculty member's appointment is for less than one-half time, he or she is not eligible for health insurance benefits.  We strongly encourage faculty members considering less than half-time appointments to meet with Human Resources to discuss how faculty members on terminal appointments leading to retirement, with accrued sick leave credits, have the option of beginning coverage in a retired status during the period of the phased retirement agreement. 

For Optional Retirement Plan Participants (SUNY ORP) contributions to basic retirement continue as though the appointment had remained at full-time as long as the retirement effort is one half-time or more.  For New York State Employees Retirement System (NYSERS), the faculty member participating in this program does not receive defined employer contributions and therefore should carefully consider the effect that a reduced-time terminal appointment may have upon their NYSERS retirement benefit, by calling NYSERS Information Call Center in Albany at (866) 805-0990.

CCTS coverage continues under phased retirement as though the appointment had continued at full-time.

So long as the appointment is at half-time or greater, vacation (if on a 12-month appointment) and sick leave continue to accumulate proportionately.

For questions regarding the impact of phased retirement on your benefits, please contact the Human Resources Benefits office at 607-255-3936, and ask to speak with or schedule a time to meet with a retirement specialist. Also please refer to the following links (repeated from above):