Faculty Phased Retirement Program (FPRP)
The Faculty Phased Retirement Plan allows participating faculty to move gradually toward retirement by phasing down their teaching and service responsibilities over a three-year period. The attached document describes the Faculty Phased Retirement Plan.
Many factors shape a decision to retire, and we have worked with Human Resources to provide a variety of resources, including financial planning resources, for those considering retirement. You will find these resources on the Financial Counseling Resources page.
If you are interested in learning more about retirement (including both traditional full retirement and the Faculty Phased Retirement Plan), please contact your Department Chair, your Dean, or the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs (Higgs@rice.edu or x5923).
- Plan Document
- Plan Summary
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Election and Agreement Form (without Attachment A)
- Sabbatical Salary Calculator Spreadsheet
- Eligibility: Tenured faculty who will be between 62 and 70 years of age and have at least 10 years of continuous service*at Rice as of August 15 in the calendar year they commence the program are eligible to participate.
- Sign-up period: The sign-up period for the calendar year 2017 cohort is November 1, 2016 through April 30, 2017. In future years, eligible faculty must sign retirement agreements by April 30th of the calendar year in which they plan to enter the phased retirement program.
- Retirement agreements: Participants must sign an irrevocable retirement agreement with a release of employment related claims. The Provost or his designate signs the agreement for the University. Faculty members may retire fully after year one or two of the program, and must retire no later than the end of year three.
- Phase-out plan: The retirement plan will allow faculty to shift to 50 percent effort for the academic year, starting in year one. The Dean and Department Chair determine the duties involved at 50 percent effort based on current teaching load, research, administrative activities and other service activities. The salary level for each year of the plan is shown below:
- Year 1: 50% effort and 80% academic year salary
- Year 2: 50% effort and 70% academic year salary
- Year 3: 50% effort and 50% academic year salary
- Pay raises: Those participating in the retirement program are eligible for pay raises, based on their academic year salary, for each of the three years in the plan.
- Benefits eligibility: Participants in the retirement program will maintain benefits eligibility until they retire. Active, paid faculty members do not have access to Rice Retirement 401(a) funds during the phase-out period, per the retirement plan document. However, active faculty over age 59 ½ may access their voluntary, 403(b) savings at any time without penalty, and may use these funds to supplement salary during the phase-out period.
- Sabbatical leave of absence: Faculty with at least 6 semesters accrued toward sabbatical as of June 30 of the calendar year in which they commence phased retirement will be eligible to apply for no more than one semester of sabbatical during the phased retirement period at the salary rate in the sabbatical policy. No sabbatical credit will be earned during the phased retirement period. However, should you opt to retire June 30, 2018, you would not be eligible for a sabbatical since faculty must return to Rice for at least one year following a sabbatical. The terms of the sabbatical should be confirmed in writing at the time the faculty member signs the retirement agreement.
- University policies and procedures: University policies and procedures apply to faculty participating in the faculty retirement plan.
- Title at retirement: Faculty will be eligible to receive emeritus status at the retirement appointment level consistent with University Policy 201. Faculty will remain eligible for promotion while they are in the phased retirement program.
- Space assignment during phased retirement: Continued use of office, laboratory and/or studio space during the phased retirement period will be negotiated with the faculty member's Department Chair consistent with University guidelines for space allocation and in consideration of the needs of the department, school and university. Such arrangements will be subject to approval of the Dean and Provost and should be confirmed in writing at the time of the retirement agreement.
- Post-retirement employment: All Rice retirees may be eligible to return to Rice employment after retirement, subject to the University’s policies on retiree hiring, that there is a need for their services. If rehired, retirees may become benefits eligible, as defined in University Policy 403.
*“Continuous service” means continuous time of benefits-eligible service as a faculty member at Rice, including any University approved leaves such as sabbaticals or junior faculty leave.