DePaul reinstitutes phased retirement

Faculty members enter St. Vincent de Paul Church during convocation. Certain tenured faculty will have the opportunity to participate in phased retirement. (Jeff Carrion / DePaul University)
Faculty members enter St. Vincent de Paul Church during convocation. Certain tenured faculty will have the opportunity to participate in phased retirement. (Jeff Carrion / DePaul University)

Certain faculty members will soon have more retirement options, as the university announced that will reinstate its longstanding phased-in retirement program.

The plan will allow for tenured faculty to gradually reduce their workload over a three year period, eventually leading to retirement.

“The idea here is that we are helping our eligible faculty to transition to retirement while still being able to avail ourselves to their talent and their resources,” said Kelly Johnson, associate vice president for academic administration. “But at the same time, it gives the university an opportunity to expand its faculty complement a little more by bringing in other folks.”

The prerequisites for participation include having tenure status, and being at least 55 years old with 20 years of service or 62 years old with 10 years of service.

The program differs with that of the early retirement program, which was offered to faculty in 2014 as a one-time only deal. That program was massively successful and helped fuel a $43 million budget surplus during the 2014-15 fiscal year.

“The early retirement incentive program is considered a one-time opportunity. The idea is that the university puts together a package that they would make available to eligible faculty to consider retirement immediately,” Johnson said. “And then once it’s done, it’s done. We don’t repeat it. A phased retirement program is a longer-term initiative that allows the faculty member to transition from full-time employment over a period of years”

Phased retirement had previously been offered at DePaul between 1998 and 2013, but was suspended while the early retirement program was running. According to Johnson, typically no more than three faculty members take advantage of phased retirement in a given year.

While it is a longstanding program, there are a few modifications. Faculty who opt in will longer be able to opt out and the phase-in period was reduced from five years to three. Salary reduction will correspond with the reduction in workload.

Faculty who are eligible will be notified and those with questions are encouraged to reach out to Johnson.