Phased Retirement



Phased retirement is an arrangement for reducing a faculty member’s workload prior to retirement, as provided in a phased retirement agreement between the University and the faculty member. This transitional reduced-load phase will normally extend for a two year period prior to retirement. During phased retirement, the faculty member’s appointment will be as a Senior Faculty Fellow, defined as a full-time teaching faculty member whose overall workload has been reduced as a means of transitioning into retirement. The reduced teaching load, ordinarily consisting of tee courses, is expected to be carried out over the full academic year. Other Senior Faculty Fellow responsibilities include advising and service to the department and institution. The Senior Faculty Fellow will draw half of normal salary during the phased retirement period.


To be eligible for participation in phased retirement a faculty member must:

  • Be a full-time teaching member of the University faculty
  • Be at least 59½ years of age
  • Have completed at least 10 years of service to the University immediately prior to entering into the phased retirement program

Criteria for Decisions

While participation in the phased retirement program is not a right automatically available to all people who meet the eligibility criteria, the University will give serious consideration to all requests. Factors that will guide these decisions include:

  • The faculty member’s most recent reviews (Unit Is and Unit IIIs)
  • Departmental needs
  • Institutional needs and resources

Replacements for faculty who are granted phased retirement will be determined based on department needs and institutional resources.

Application and Decision Processes

Any eligible faculty member may initiate the application process by submitting a letter of intent to his or her Department Chair, with copies to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and the appropriate Dean. Ordinarily, this letter will be submitted one year prior to the faculty member’s anticipated entry into the phased retirement program in order to facilitate department planning.

The Department Chair will consult with the Dean regarding the impact on departmental resources.

In the case of joint appointments, both Department Chairs must receive the written request and consult with their appropriate Deans.

After consultation with the appropriate Dean, the Department Chair will advise the applicant whether the request has tentative approval. Upon receiving approval, the applicant should make an appointment with the Human Resources Department to obtain complete details of phased retirement. The applicant should then initiate discussion with the Dean for the purpose of preparing a phased retirement agreement between the applicant and the University.

The decision of the University to permit phased retirement in each case is at the University’s discretion, and its decision is final. Denial of a request, however, does not preclude the approval of a subsequent request.

Phased Retirement Agreement

The written phased retirement agreement will contain the following provisions:

  • The faculty member agrees to formally retire from Elon University on an agreed-upon date (usually the end of the appropriate academic year).
  • Unless specific provisions to the contrary are included in a Senior Faculty Fellow’s agreement with the University, that person will retain faculty privileges, responsibilities, and benefits as outlined in this Faculty Handbook. During the phased retirement period, faculty members will be considered full-time faculty and will receive all appropriate fringe benefits.
  • The faculty member, Chair, and Dean will mutually agree on the responsibilities for teaching, service, and advising during the Senior Faculty Fellow’s phased retirement.
  • The faculty member will draw half of his or her normal salary.
  • Phased retirement cannot begin until it has been recommended by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and approved by the President.

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