The Phased Retirement program is available to meet the needs of an eligible faculty or staff member who would like to transition into full retirement by reducing from full-time to no less than a half-time appointment directly or via a stepped schedule within the three-year maximum period. The employee will still provide service in their current position and department in fulfilling its objectives by enhancing succession planning and mentoring. 

Please note: A 3-year pilot phased retirement program was approved on June 3, 2022. The 2-year phased retirement program that was approved on July 1, 2017, continues to be in effect with the Board of Regents.

  • Employees within the 2-year phased program will continue their agreed-upon stepped schedule as normal and may not extend their phase period an additional year.
  • If an employee has a fully executed 2-year phased retirement agreement but has not yet begun their phased period (e.g., AY faculty with a fully executed agreement, but will not begin phased until 8/17/2022), and would like to participate in the 3-year program, they may do so by notifying their Human Resources contact, department, and University Benefits Office of their wish to cancel the current agreement and initiate the process for the 3-year program. The employee will be required to fill out another request form, gather department and leadership approval, and complete the official agreement.

Iowa Board of Regents Phased Retirement Programs

2-year Phased Retirement Program (approved July 1, 2017) and 3-year Pilot Phased Retirement Program (June 3, 2022, through June 30, 2025)

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Program Details

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Salary & Benefits

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How to Apply

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What to Expect

Program Details

Eligibility

Those employees who are eligible to negotiate with their department a schedule for phasing into retirement:

  1. Faculty members, professional and scientific, and merit employees that are holding regular appointments of 50 percent time or greater for at least 15 continuous years of service;
  2. and those employees who have attained the age of 57.

Please note that even if you meet the above criteria, approval of your request is not guaranteed. Visit the Request and Approval section for more detailed information. 

  2-Year phased retirement program 3-Year
Pilot Phased Retirement Program
Program Duration Began July 1, 2017 and continues
June 3, 2022, to June 30, 2025
Eligibility Regular benefit-eligible Faculty, P&S, and Merit employees employed for at least 15 continuous years of service and who have attained the age of 57.  Regular benefit-eligible Faculty, P&S, and Merit employees employed for at least 15 continuous years of service and who have attained the age of 57. 
Phased Retirement Period Maximum of 2 years Phased Program Maximum of 3 years Phased Program
Schedule of Phasing If a two-year agreement:
Year 1 - 50-65%
Year 2 - 50%

If a one-year or less agreement:
Year 1 - 50%

Full retirement is REQUIRED at the end of the specified phasing period. You may not extend your agreed-upon time. Once phased retirement is initiated, employees may not return to full-time.
If a three-year agreement:
Year 1 - 50-65%
Year 2 - 50-65%
Year 3 - 50%

If a two-year agreement:
Year 1 - 50-65%
Year 2 - 50%

If a one-year or less agreement:
Year 1 - 50%

Full retirement is REQUIRED at the end of the specified phasing period. You may not extend your agreed-upon time. Once phased retirement is initiated, employees may not return to full-time.
Compensation In the first year of a two-year phasing period, the salary received will reflect the reduced percent time plus, at the discretion of the institution, up to an additional 10 percent of the budgeted salary had the person worked full time.

In the only or last year following the initiation of the phase, the staff member's appointment will be no greater than 50 percent, and the salary will be proportional to the budgeted salary had the person worked full-time. 
In the first and second years of a three-year phasing period, the salary received will reflect the reduced percent time plus, at the discretion of the institution, up to an additional 10 percent of the budgeted salary had the person worked full time. 

In the only or last year following the initiation of the phase, the staff member's appointment will be no greater than 50 percent, and the salary will be proportional to the budgeted salary had the person worked full-time. 
Benefits Benefits: 
During the phased period, institution and staff member contributions will continue for life, health, dental, and disability insurance at the same levels had the staff member continued on a regular appointment. Accrual of vacation and sick time will be based on the percentage of appointments.
Mandatory Retirement:
UI contributions to TIAA will be based on the salary which would have been obtained had the individual continued a regular full-time appointment. As mandated by law, FICA contributions will be based on the employee's actual salary during the phased period. This is true for all contributions of those participating in IPERS. TIAA participants may access their retirement funds to assist in supplementing the loss of income that occurs when the person reduces their appointment through the Phased Retirement Program. 
Benefits: 
During the phased period, institution and staff member contributions will continue for life, health, dental, and disability insurance at the same levels had the staff member continued on a regular appointment. Accrual of vacation and sick time will be based on the percentage of appointments.
Mandatory Retirement:
UI contributions to TIAA will be based on the salary which would have been obtained had the individual continued a regular full-time appointment. As mandated by law, FICA contributions will be based on the employee's actual salary during the phased period. This is true for all contributions of those participating in IPERS.TIAA participants may access their retirement funds to assist in supplementing the loss of income that occurs when the person reduces their appointment through the Phased Retirement Program. 

 

Your Salary and Benefits

Compensation

The salary received will reflect the reduced percentage (between 50-65% for the first and/or second year depending on your agreed upon time period) based on the employee's annual budgeted full-time salary during the phasing period. If the approved phasing period is at or below one year, the salary will be no greater than 50% of the annual budgeted full-time salary. 

For example:

  • An employee approved for a three-year phased period reduces to 60% for the first two years and, per program rules, will reduce to 50% for the third year. As a result, the employee will receive 60% of their annual budgeted full-time salary for the first two years and 50% of their annual budgeted full-time salary in the third year of phase as if they were still working full-time. 

Salary Incentive for Year One and/or Year Two

At the department's discretion, a salary incentive of up to an additional 10% could be approved for the first two years only. The salary incentive is unavailable if the phased period is one year or less. 

  • Continuing with the example above, the employee's department approved a 10% salary incentive for years one and two. Even though the employee is now only working 60% time, with the agreed 10% incentive, they will receive 70% of their budgeted full-time salary instead of 60% for the first two years of phase only. 

After the second year of an employee's three-year phased retirement, is completed, the employee must reduce time to 50%, and the additional salary incentive will no longer apply.

Benefits

Health, Dental, Life, and Disability Insurance

During the phased retirement period, the university and staff member contributions will continue for health, dental, life, and disability insurance at the same levels that would have prevailed had the staff member continued a regular full-time appointment. 

Mandatory Retirement Plans

Contributions:
The employee's contribution to their mandatory retirement plan will reflect their working percentage during their phased period for TIAA and IPERS participants.

UI contributions to TIAA will be based on the salary which would have been obtained had the individual continued a regular full-time position. As mandated by law, FICA contributions will be based on the employee's actual salary during the partial or pre-retirement period. The same is true for retirement contributions for those participating in the Iowa Public Employee Retirement System (IPERS) or Federal Civil Service System.

Accessing your funds during your phased period (TIAA only)
An individual participating in this program will be allowed access to their retirement funds to supplement the loss of income that occurs when the employee reduces their appointment down to 50% through 65% time, the maximum percentage permitted by the program.

The employee must contact TIAA to begin the process of accessing your funds while still employed. TIAA will reach out to the University Benefits Office to verify that the employee is indeed participating in the Phased Retirement Program. Our office cannot complete that verification until the employee has officially started the phased program. 

Sick and Vacation Accruals

Accrual of vacation and sick leave will be based on the percentage of the phasing employee's appointment.

Request and Approval

Request

All requests for participation in the institution's 2-year or 3-year pilot program must receive approval from the university's appropriate administrative offices.

To be considered for the 3-year pilot, you must enter an approved phased retirement agreement between June 3, 2022, and June 30, 2025. The 2-year phased retirement program approved on July 1, 2017, will continue as usual.

If interested in one of the Phased Retirement Programs, the employee will begin by filling out the Request to Participate in Phased Retirement form and work with their Human Resources representative to discuss options and retrieve the necessary approvals from your department and unit leadership.


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The Phased Retirement program does not create a right for the employee, and the department may not approve the request to enter the program if it is not in the institution's best interest.


 

Request Form

Request to Participate in Phased Retirement (pdf)

Filling out Your Form Details and Help

Dates

12-month fiscal year faculty member, professional & scientific, SEIU, and merit staff:

  • You may select any day you wish for your start or end dates, as long as it is a typical workday Monday through Friday and NOT on a university holiday (i.e., MLK Day, Christmas Eve, Memorial Day).
  • The calculation of days between your start date and end date cannot exceed three years or 1,096 days (which includes your last day worked) for the pilot program or 730 days for the 2-year program.
  • Please note that a Leap Year does not receive an exception.

9-month academic year faculty member:

  • Academic year faculty members may not begin or end the phased period during the summer months.
  • The start day of the phased period must be three working days before the first day of classes.
  • The end date of the phased period must be at the end of an academic semester.
    • If retiring after the fall semester, your employment and benefits continue until 12/31, which is the end date that will be listed on your phased agreement.
    • If retiring after the spring semester, your employment and benefits continue until 6/30, which is the end date that will be listed on your phased agreement.

Length of Phased Period

The maximum length of a phased period can be up to three years total. An employee may request a phased period for less length. 

Percent of Time to be Worked

  • Three-year phased period: Years one and two can be in the range of 50-65% time worked, and the third year must be 50% time if not already done in the previous year.
  • Two-year phased period: Year one can be in the range of 50-65% time worked, and year two must be reduced to 50% time if not already done in the previous year. 
  • One-year or less phased period: Time worked must be 50%. 

Salary Incentive

At the institution's discretion, up to an additional 10 percent of the budgeted salary, had the person worked full-time, could be approved by departmental/unit leadership. The HR representative will need to confirm with leadership and update the request form before sending it to the University Benefits Office to create the official agreement. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Answer

If an employee is currently in the 2-year program, they may not extend their agreement to 3 years with the new pilot program. 

Answer

The employee may not be extended past the agreed-upon end date, even if the employee is not at the three-year maximum. 

Answer

Suppose an employee already has a fully executed agreement, but the start date of the phase is after June 3, 2022. In that case, the employee and department, with mutual consensus, may cancel the current agreement and fill out a new request form for the 3-year pilot program. After receiving the new request form, University Benefits will create a new agreement for the employee.