CUNY faculty and professional staff who wish to take phased retirement in Fall 2014 must provide notification of intent by October 1 of this year.
To be eligible for phased retirement, faculty and staff must be enrolled in TIAA-CREF (or the in the Optional Retirement Plan’s alternate funding vehicles with MetLife or Guardian); must be at least 65 years of age; must have tenure, a CCE, or 13.3b status; and must have at least 15 years of continuous, pensionable service. (Unfortunately, current New York law does not allow a phased retirement option for participants in TRS, which is the only retirement plan open to CUNY adjuncts.)
Under a three-year pilot program recently negotiated by the PSC and CUNY, eligible full-time faculty may take a voluntary phased retirement of one, two or three years in which they carry 50% of workload and receive 50% of pay. Eligible HEO-series employees and full-time CLTs can take a phased retirement for either six months or one year, at 80% of workload and 80% of pay. Health insurance continues during phased retirement. So do pension contributions, based on the reduced pay.
The decision to retire completely after the phased retirement period is irrevocable.
Notice of intent to take phased retirement must be submitted in writing to an employee’s department chair or supervisor by October 1, 2013, in order to take phased retirement in Fall 2014. (Forms are available from college HR offices.) Final arrangements, including an agreed-on schedule of work, must be in place by February 1.
(Professional staff also have a second option: they can begin phased retirement at the start of the Spring semester. To start “phasing” in the Fall, they must file by the prior October 1; to start in the Spring, they must file by the prior May 1.)
Further information on phased retirement, see coverage in the June 2013 Clarion.
Financial planning is an important part of making this decision. PSC Coordinator for Pension and Benefits Jared Herst encourages members to meet with their TIAA-CREF consultant or financial planner before making a final decision. Members can also meet with Herst to review details of the program; to contact the PSC Pension and Benefits Office, call 212-354-1252.