Policies Concerning Retired Faculty

University Responsibilities

Retired faculty members and the University have a common interest in encouraging continued faculty creativity and contributions to the University following retirement. The nature of the University-related activities will depend on the interests of the individual faculty member, his or her residential location, and the details of particular University programs in which that faculty member may choose to participate.

The Provost's Office is the central administrative locus for overseeing the implementation of policies with respect to retired faculty. This office may provide assistance to retired faculty in identifying opportunities for University service. This information could be utilized in facilitating academic service to the University's programs or those of other colleges, participation in pertinent research projects, substitute teaching, activities involving liaison with alumni and students, or community service. Generations Together, a component of the University Center for Social and Urban Research, which develops programs for intergenerational interactions, offers a number of opportunities to retired faculty for engagement in community activity.

Consistent with the encouragement of retired faculty to continue creative activities and contributions to the University, access to University office facilities and equipment, communications and information systems, and other University facilities and programs will be considered whenever possible and when appropriate to their involvement with the University. This will include University computers, parking, libraries, athletic facilities, educational programs, and e-mail accounts upon request. Attending formal University courses will be permitted whenever possible. University identification cards will be issued to retired faculty to facilitate their access to various services. Also, retired faculty with University office space and/or telephones will be listed in the University of Pittsburgh Telephone Directory. Involvement and interaction with the retired faculty member's department and the availability of office space and other facilities will necessarily depend on the resources of the department and the interests of the University. Recognizing the key role of computer and Internet access in facilitating communication, the University will continue to provide and encourage such access to retired faculty.

Faculty Responsibilities

  1. The faculty member should advise the department chair, dean or campus president one year in advance of his or her intended retirement date. During the last year of teaching service, a prospective retiree should contact the University Benefits Section of the Office of Human Resources to schedule a discussion of various benefits, including retirement annuity.
  2. During the year preceding the proposed retirement date, the faculty member should discuss with the department chair, dean, or campus president his or her future plans concerning continued affiliation, if any, with the University.
  3. This discussion should lead to the formulation of clear understandings relating to the possibility of office space, secretarial and other support, computer access, specific academic and/or research assignments, membership on committees, and the terms under which such services would be offered.
  4. University identification cards will be issued to retired faculty to facilitate their access to various facilities. Faculty members must complete an application in the ID Center, Litchfield Towers Main Lobby.
  5. Retired faculty with University office space and/or telephones can request through their departments to be listed in the University of Pittsburgh Telephone Directory.
  6. Retired faculty may obtain a parking permit by completing a parking application at the Parking Office, 204 Brackenridge Hall. The request will be placed on a waiting list and a parking assignment will be made based on the date of application. The faculty member may retain their existing permit and designated parking lot if they have a continuing documented need, such as retaining the use of an on-campus office. The individual requesting the permit will pay for the permit. Deans, directors, and department chairs must verify the need for the permit. Retired faculty who are not on campus full-time may purchase validation stickers at the Parking Office.
  7. Retired faculty who wish to have access to computing and Internet services must complete the necessary forms with their departmental FAIS Administrator.
  8. A retired faculty member may remain as a member or chair of a doctoral committee if he or she is spending considerable time in Pittsburgh and is still professionally active. Retired faculty who meet these criteria may also be appointed as a member or as a co-chair (but not chair) of a newly formed committee. Retired faculty who leave the Pittsburgh area and/or do not remain professionally active should be replaced on committees and the revised committee approved by the department chair or the school's director of doctoral programs and the dean.
  9. The faculty retiree is eligible to receive the same tuition benefits as were applicable when actively employed. Their spouses and dependent children are also eligible to receive tuition scholarships to cover credits taken at the University of Pittsburgh.

For additional information, refer to Effect of Separation on Eligibility for Faculty Scholarship Benefits AC 20 (formerly 02-07-02).

Permanent Reduction of Employment

An option (partial retirement) available at any age, subject to agreement between the faculty member and his or her academic unit and with the Provost's approval, is a permanent reduction of the appointment to a designated fraction of full University responsibilities. Tenure or tenure-stream status may be retained if the fractional appointment is one-half or more. In such cases, salary and most fringe benefits are reduced accordingly. If the tenured faculty member enters part-time employment preceding retirement, he or she may qualify under TIAA/CREF/Vanguard and IRS rules to draw on his or her retirement funds. Detailed procedural advice should be requested from the Benefits Section of the Office of Human Resources. Faculty members should consult their personal financial planners for tax advice.

Planning for Retirement

As part of the process of planning for retirement, a faculty member may want to discuss various options with the head of his or her academic unit and, for the sake of clarifying the available benefits, with the Benefits Section of the Office of Human Resources. Although retirement may be elected at any time, official retirement status at the University, which carries with it certain insurance benefits, is normally accorded only to persons 62 years of age or more.

At least three months prior to retirement, the individual must contact the Benefits Section regarding the following:

  1. The faculty retiree may request an estimate of projected earnings from their accumulated annuity premiums. The retiree must select one or a combination of retirement income options which range from lump sum cash or an annuity.
  2. Medical insurance benefits in effect during active employment may be continued after retirement until age 65 years. The University contribution continues as usual and the retiree is billed for the equivalent of the payroll deduction. At age 65 years or more, the retiree may choose from several options of insurance which coordinate with Medicare A and B. Depending upon the option selected, there is no cost, minimal cost, or full cost to the retiree.
  3. Group Life Insurance in the amount of $15,000 is provided at no cost to the retiree with 10 or more years of service. For retirees with less than 10 years of service, the University provides a prorated portion of the $15,000. (An alternative applies to employees who elected to remain in the Group Life Insurance Plan that was in effect prior to May 1, 1977.) At retirement, the difference between the above amount and the amount of insurance held as an active employee can be converted to an individual life insurance policy at the then attained age without medical evidence of insurability, provided application is made directly to the carriers within 31 days of retirement.

For further information, contact the Benefits Section of the Office of Human Resources, and refer to AC 51 Preparation for Retirement (formerly 02-08-01) and AC 08 Benefits and Privileges of Retired Faculty 02-08-02.