Dean of the Faculty: Faculty Handbook

Retirement

As a faculty member approaches retirement, he or she should consult with the Dean of the Faculty and the Human Resources Office.

Retired faculty have emeritus status. Emeriti may participate in formal College ceremonies such as Commencement and convocation. They retain library privileges and full access to campus facilities though they cannot normally be granted the use of laboratory or office space. The College will invite those who retire in the area to participate in a variety of College social events.

a. Retirement Plans

(1) TIAA-CREF Retirement Income Plan. All full-time and part-time Faculty and Trustee-appointed administrators having completed two years of service, may participate in the College's TIAA-CREF Retirement Plan. The waiting periods may be waived in cases of new appointees with immediate prior service in a related industry at the time of appointment to Amherst College.

The basic plan provides for a College contribution of 6% of monthly compensation up to an integration level established annually, and 9% of earnings in excess of that level. Through the matching plan, a participant may elect to contribute 1, 2, or 3% of base salary and the College will make an equal, additional contribution to the plan.

The participant may elect to have the total premium applied either to the TIAA annuity or to CREF, or may elect to divide the total premium between TIAA and CREF in any proportion.

Participants' contributions may be made on a pre-tax or after-tax basis.

TIAA and CREF premiums are payable on the first of each month and will be deducted from salary in the same month (for example, July 1st premiums will be deducted from July 31st salary).

The TIAA contract and CREF certificate are the full and immediate property of the individual and on severance from the College may be transferred elsewhere, continued privately, or suspended, and may be redeemed by lump sum payment in accordance with College policy and TIAA repurchase conditions.

Pamphlets describing the various conditions of the plan, tax shelter procedures, and options available under TIAA and CREF are available in the Office of Human Resources.

(2) Tax Deferred Annuity Plan. GSRA Plans. Employees of the College may, through a properly drawn salary reduction agreement with the College, direct a portion of their compensation towards the purchase of a Group Supplemental Retirement Annuity (GSRA). Such reductions of compensation would not be subject to Federal income tax until they are received as benefits, which can be as early as age 59 1/2 without restrictions, or earlier, under certain circumstances, but generally occurs when the participant is retired and in a lower tax bracket. A GSRA is an annuity contract especially designed for use by those who want to set aside tax-deferred retirement funds over and above amounts being accumulated under the College's basic retirement plan.

GSRA annuities, like regular TIAA and CREF annuities, are fully owned by the Faculty member, provide the same choice of lifetime annuity income options, provide for loans, and are not assignable. GSRA annuities can be established with the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, or the faculty member may select another plan, subject to such plan meeting the administrative requirements of the College.

(3) Optional Phased Retirement Plan. Any regular member of the Faculty with ten (10) years or more of tenured service may elect to participate in the Optional Phased Retirement Plan at the end of the College year in which their 60th or subsequent birthdays to age 70 occur. Arrangements to participate in the plan should be made with the Dean of the Faculty by January 1 of the College year preceding entry into the plan. Such arrangements will be incorporated into an agreement which is subject to the approval of the President. The faculty member's department should be informed of the arrangements at the earliest possible date.

The plan provides opportunity for a member of the Faculty to teach part time through the end of the College year in which age 70 is attained. The plan also provides an early retirement option (see below) that does not require teaching. This option is available to members of the Faculty as early as the end of the College year in which their 62nd birthday occurs through the end of the year in which their 65th birthday occurs.

The general provisions of the plan are:

(a) Stipends. Stipends are payments for services rendered as established by the agreement. The value will be adjusted annually to reflect the percent change in the average salary of full professors.

(b) Service Agreement. The individual choosing to participate in the plan will teach two courses in either one semester or both of a given academic year as agreed upon with the Dean of the Faculty and the Department. During the period that a faculty member is on phased retirement, he or she may take up to one year of unpaid leave of absence. A faculty member on phased retirement is not eligible for sabbatic leave. It is expected that other obligations such as advising students and committee or community service will continue on a half-time basis.

(c) Retirement Income and Benefits

1) The College will pay the participating faculty member a percentage of his or her salary as follows, adjusted annually to reflect the percent change in the average salary of full professors through the end of the year in which age 65 occurs:

 

(1) Ages 60 - 61

  70% of salary

(2) Ages 62 - 65

  60% of salary

2) The College Housing and Second Mortgage Programs are available under the same terms as applicable to regular Faculty.

3) The Grant-in-Aid Program is applicable.

4) The participant may continue in the basic Group Life Insurance Program with coverage based on the estimated full time salary adjusted annually to reflect the percent change in the average salary of full professors. The College pays the full cost of this benefit for the length of the agreement generally to the end of the year in which age 70 is attained.

5) Participation in the College's health and dental plans will be continued on the same cost basis as regular Faculty members from the date of entry into the Phased Retirement Plan until the service agreement terminates.

Thereafter, a supplement to Medicare is available at no cost to participants for life for faculty hired prior to July 1, 2003. Dental benefits normally cease at retirement but may be extended at the faculty member's expense through COBRA. The College will reimburse the participants for the cost of Medicare premiums for self and spouse if the faculty member meets certain grandfathering provisions. Spouse and dependent's coverage under a medical plan may be added at the individual's expense.

6) Facilities, Library and secretarial services normally accorded faculty in connection with services rendered are available to the participant.

7. The College will continue to contribute to the individual's retirement annuity with TIAA-CREF. The participant will also be required to contribute to TIAA-CREF. The amount will be the same as those for active faculty, 9% up to an integration level established annually, and 12% of the balance of salary. Employee contributions will equal 3% of salary.

8) Disability benefits through TIAA-CREF cease upon participation in the Phased Retirement Plan. In the event of disability between the ages of 60 - 65, early retirement income of 60% or 70%, depending on the age at time of disability, will continue through the end of the college year in which age 65 is attained. The service stipend will cease at the end of the month in which the disability occurs.

9) In the event of death between the ages of 60 - 65, a death benefit will be paid to the next of kin (if dependent) consisting of six (6) months' payment of estimated full salary. Payments of premiums to TIAA-CREF will cease at the end of the month in which death occurs.

10) Participation in the Amherst Plan may continue coincident with the service agreement.

(4) Early Retirement. Teaching or performance of other services is not required. The College will provide 60% of salary between the ages of 62 and 65, plus all the above benefits excluding the stipend for services rendered, retirement plan contributions, and Amherst Plan.

Eligibility for early retirement ceases at the end of the College year in which age 65 is attained.