Regents propose new phased retirement program

The state Board of Regents will take a first look at a new phased retirement proposal for regent system employees when it meets June 7-8 in Cedar Falls. The current program expires on June 30.

Its proposed replacement provides one- and two-year phased options (the current allows up to a five-year phased period). If a two-year phasing is selected, the maximum appointment in year one would be 65 percent, and 50 percent in year two. Compensation would match the phased work percentage in both years, but in the first year only, the university would have the option of offering up to an additional 10 percent of the employee's fulltime salary.

The terms of a one-year phased retirement match the second year in a two-year phased period.

During both years of the phasing, university and employee contributions for life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance and TIAA retirement accounts would continue at the employee's fulltime rate. Contributions to the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System or federal Civil Service System would be based on the employee's actual salary during the phased period.

Eligibility for phased retirement would not change under the new proposal. Faculty, professional and scientific staff and merit staff who are at least 57 years old with a minimum 15 years of service to the university -- they needn't be consecutive years -- would be eligible to request participation in the program.

The board will hold a special meeting before the end of June to vote on the phased retirement proposal. If it's approved, the policy would be in effect for five years, through June 30, 2022. The regent universities have offered a phased retirement option since 1982, renewed for five-year periods since then.

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Phased retirement option set to expire in June, Jan. 5, 2017