Optional Leave to Retirement
(Revised March 2022)
Michigan State University policy allows for a Mutual Agreement Leave for up to two years, subject to department approval. For faculty, academic staff and executive management, the leave is also subject to approval by The Office for Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs. This leave can only be used to serve the final up to two years prior to the first of the month you meet the minimum retirement requirements (considered your vested date). However, faculty and staff must first request approval of the leave from their department. The following list provides additional information on the Optional Leave To Retirement:
- For faculty, academic staff and executive management, the department must first make a request to The Office for Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs.
- The department must complete and submit the Leave of Absence and Return Form, through the EBS Portal, for the faculty, academic staff, executive management or support staff employee. This allows for benefits to be billed or appropriate quota balances to be paid. Provide the written approval from The Office for Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs as an attachment to the Leave of Absence and Return Form.
- The employee must complete and submit the Special Retirement Form (a different Form created for special retirement situations). The Special Retirement Form must be completed at the same time as the Leave of Absence and Return form is submitted.
- Faculty and staff age 59 1/2 years or older may begin drawing their retirement income during the leave.
- The Leave to Retirement is an unpaid leave. However, support staff with unused vacation quotas at the start of the leave will have vacation quotas used as a paid leave until exhausted. During the paid leave portion, all benefits will continue to be provided the same as if the employee was still actively working.
- Faculty and staff can continue Health benefits during the leave, at their own cost. A billing notice will be sent.
- Staff can continue Dental benefits during the leave, at their own cost. Faculty may continue Dental benefits during the leave receiving their active University contribution level.
- Faculty and staff can allow the Health and/or Dental benefits to lapse during the leave, and then re-enroll in the benefits at the time of official retirement.
- Staff eligible for the University Sick Leave payoff will receive the payment at the beginning of the leave, rather than at retirement.
- Faculty and staff on approved leave are able to continue parking privileges during the leave by making payments directly to MSU Police. Documentation of the leave should be presented at the time of payment. At the time of official retirement, the Retiree may seek Retiree Parking privileges from MSU Police. Contact MSU Police at (517) 355-8440 for additional information.
- Faculty and staff on approved leave continue to be eligible for the Course Fee Courtesy benefit.
- Faculty and staff on approved leave may accept an overseas or temporary assignment during the leave.
- Basic Employer-Paid Life Insurance ends 180 days after unpaid leave begins. Faculty and staff may convert this policy within 31 days of expiration by contacting Prudential at 1-877-232-3555.
- University Long Term Disability Insurance typically ends with the last day actively at work.
- Optional Employee Paid Life and Voluntary Accidental Death and Dismemberment life insurances may be continued during the leave. A billing notice will be sent.