Office of the Provost

Faculty and Unclassified Staff Handbook
Chapter 5 -- Faculty: Leaves, Insurance, and Retirement Benefits

 

Retirement

Faculty members on a nine-month contract should plan their retirement to coincide with the end of an academic year or summer session. Members of the faculty or staff who are on twelve-month appointment should plan their retirements to coincide with the end of the fiscal year. A faculty or staff member, however, may request retirement at any time after their 55th birthday provided they have 10 or more years of Regents service.

Basic Retirement Program

There is a one-year waiting period for participation in the University's basic retirement plan. Participation in an acceptable retirement plan at another "institution of higher education" for one year within the last five years may be substituted for the waiting period.

Employee must be appointed to a budgeted position of .5 (half-time) or more to be eligible to participate.

Personal contribution is 5.5 percent--matched by University with 8.5 percent. How the 14 percent total contribution is distributed within the retirement program, is the employee's decision.

Two (2) companies are available for participation; however, the employee is limited to participation with one (1) company at a time. The employee may change companies once each calendar year. The company names are: 1) ING, and 2) TIAA-CREF.

Voluntary tax-sheltered options are available from the same company elected for the basic retirement program or 6 other life insurance companies licensed to sell in the state of Kansas.

Employees may participate in the voluntary tax-sheltered annuity program (without state contribution) whether or not they are eligible for the mandatory plan; there is no waiting period.

All University employees who are not primarily engaged as teachers participate in the KPERS. Employees hired after July 1, 2009, become eligible for membership immediately. For those eligible, participation is compulsory, and premium payments are by deduction from the payroll check. Under this system, members hired prior to July 1, 2009, contribute four percent of their gross wages.  Members hired after July 1, 2009, contribute six percent.  The University matches this and contributes sufficient additional funds to cover the employer liability under the act and group insurance programs.

KPERS, in addition to retirement benefits, provides for the University-purchased term life insurance, optional group life insurance, and long-term disability insurance. There are also service-connected death benefits available if death occurs in the line of duty.

Phased Retirement

Phased Retirement Program Regents Institutions

1. The Regents phased retirement program (hereinafter "the program") shall be open to all full-time, benefits-eligible unclassified employees of Regents institutions who have attained age 55 and who have completed 10 years of full-time service.

2. The maximum length of a phased retirement agreement shall be 5 years.

3. An appointment under a phased retirement agreement must be at least .25, but no more than .75.

4. Upon the culmination of the phased retirement agreement, the participating employee shall immediately retire.

5. Employees having retired upon completion of a phased retirement agreement shall not be precluded from re-employment with a Regents institution on a post-retirement basis.

6. Execution of a phased retirement agreement will not prevent an employee from retiring before the scheduled end of the agreement.

7. Funding for the program will come from the existing salary base.

8. Regulations of the Board of Regents shall be used and followed relative to operation and implementation of the program.

9. The maximum number of participants in any fiscal year cannot exceed 2 percent of an institution's unclassified FTE.

10. Phased retirement agreements must be mutually agreed upon by the employee and the appropriate institutional officer, within the limits of eligibility and limitations specified above. The reviewing officer must indicate that the agreement is in the best interest of the institution.

11. Participants in the program may partially annuitize their Regents mandatory retirement plan.

12. Participation in the program will not be counted against the institution's FTE limits.

K.S.A. 76-746 and K.A.R. 88-12, 1-8.

Kansas Board of Regents: Policies and Procedures Manual (12-01-95).

Phased Retirement Applications, Criteria for Evaluation of 

Pursuant to the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between Fort Hays State University's Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (FHSU-AAUP) and Fort Hays State University/Kansas Board of Regents (FHSU) for July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2013, the following are decisional criteria to be used by FHSU in evaluating phased retirement applications pursuant to Article XV (B)(3).

1. Number of phased retirement slots available.
  Per Kansas Law and applicable rules, policies and regulations, the maximum number of participants in phased retirement in any fiscal year cannot exceed 2% of FHSU’s unclassified FTE.

2. The estimated impact on a faculty member's department of full retirement relative to a grant of phased retirement.
  The needs of a department regarding the usefulness of a transition period for a retiring senior faculty member and the mentoring of a less experienced replacement faculty member will be considered. An evaluation of this factor may take into consideration the special expertise and experience of the retiring faculty member.

3. Previous or pending grants of phased retirement within the same department or unit.

4. Any simultaneous or competing request for phased retirement.

5. The need to preserve any phased retirement slots for future requests.
Given the limited number of slots available in any fiscal year, anticipated upcoming retirements or phased retirement applications may be taken into consideration in evaluation current applications.

6. The intent of the phased retirement applicant with regard to the timeline for fulfilling the phased retirement agreement.
Preference will be given to applicants who express a firm interest in completing the timeline requested in the application.  Applicant will specify preferred time, location and method for duties to be performed.

7. Special duties or projects within the University for which applicant may be qualified or willing to perform if item 2, above, is not especial applicable. 

8. The recommendation of any previous reviewer or committee will be taken into consideration by the subsequent reviewer or committee.
  No such recommendation is binding upon the University President who has the ultimate authority with regard to phased retirement applications pursuant to Kansas law, Regents' policies and regulations, FHSU's policies, and the MOA.

9. Alignment with select goals and key performances indicators found within the university's strategic plan, FHSU's Kansas Regents Performance Agreement or Academic Quality Improvement Program priorities.

10. Any other consideration relevant to the University's mission, keeping in mind the purpose of phased retirement as set forth above.

Approved by Provost's Council (09/07).
Criteria revised to align with current MOA (08/12).

Limited Retirement Health Care Bridge

The purpose of the Limited Retirement Health Care Bridge Program is to provide a mechanism whereby state universities may assist unclassified employees who desire to retire before they become eligible to qualify for Medicare by contributing to the cost of the employee’s health care coverage.

1. Eligibility.

A. Participation in the Limited Retirement Health Care Bridge Program is a privilege, not a right, and is strictly voluntary. The university CEO or the CEO’s designee and the employee must all agree that it is in the best interest of both the university and the employee for the employee to participate in the Program; this decision will be made on a case-by-case basis taking the employee’s appointment or job responsibilities, the timing of the request and other pertinent factors into consideration.

B. Only unclassified employees at the state universities who are eligible for retirement and who have completed at least 10 years of full-time service shall be eligible for participation in the program upon reaching 55 years of age.

C. Employees participating in Phased Retirement pursuant to K.S.A. 2007 Supp. 76-746, as amended, and K.A.R. 88-12-1 through 8, as amended, are not eligible to participate in the Limited Retirement Health Care Bridge Program.

2. Procedure.

A. Each unclassified employee meeting the eligibility conditions of this policy provision who desires to participate in the Limited Health Care Benefits Program must submit, within six months of the employee’s proposed retirement date, a written request to retire and to participate in this program to the employee’s department/unit head or academic dean.

B. If the request is approved by the university CEO or the CEO’s designee, the university attorney shall draft an agreement between the university and the employee providing for payment of a specified lump-sum amount upon retirement, calculated in accordance with subsection c.(3).

C. The agreement shall be signed by the employee and the university CEO or the CEO’s designee.

D. Limited Retirement Health Care Bridge payments shall be paid as a payroll expense and will be subject to employee fringe benefit requirements, including taxes.

3. Amount of Benefit.

The lump sum payment shall be an amount negotiated between the university and eligible employee that is not more than the sum of 1) three times the maximum annual retiree direct bill medical plan premium for an employee, spouse and children under the State Health Care Benefits Program during the year the request for retirement is submitted, and 2) the amount necessary to cover the employee fringe benefits costs associated with the benefit amount. In no event shall the benefit amount be based solely on the age of the participant such that it would be a violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

Kansas Board of Regents: Policies and Procedures Manual (01-15-09).

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