Faculty Handbook

Working Retirement Options

Last updated: 11/19/1993


The following advisory statement was issued by the Office of the Provost on March 1, 1993 and revised on November 19, 1993.

Michigan State University deeply appreciates the many years of loyal service and creative contributions of its retired faculty and considers them a continuing important resource for the institution. The university encourages the use of their accumulated professional skills, as appropriate, for the benefit of Michigan State as well as for retirees themselves. Upon retirement, faculty discontinue their full-time roles, but many may wish to provide their lifetimes of professional expertise to the university in a variety of ways. Indeed, such relationships may provide meaningful opportunities to phase into retirement while continuing to assure university access to important human resources.

Service to Michigan State University may be in a variety of areas including but not limited to:

With the approval of the chairperson or director of the department or school, an Emeritus faculty member in a working retirement appointment may serve as one of the four required MSU regular faculty and may serve as a chairperson or member of a doctoral student's guidance committee.

Participation in the MSU Retirees Association is another avenue through which retired faculty can engage in meaningful opportunities and make valuable contribution to the university.

The university views retired faculty, in addition to their specialized disciplinary expertise, as an important continuing asset to this institution. Emeritus faculty can and do contribute in a variety of important ways at Michigan State University.

Creative Working Retirement Options

Deans, chairpersons, and directors are encouraged to actively explore, with current as well as prospective emeritus faculty, opportunities for creative working retirement options that are mutually beneficial and agreeable. For active faculty who relinquish tenure at the time of retirement, such arrangements will provide opportunities to continue to make key contributions to the university while phasing into retirement.

Chairpersons, directors, lead deans, and other appropriate administrators are responsible for negotiating specific appointment possibilities involving the activities described above as well as others, the nature of the appointment (full- or part-time), and the length of the appointment commitment. Such post-retirement appointment agreements can be for a fixed term or renewed on a mutually agreeable basis.

Creative working retirement options can be on a volunteer or paid basis. Salaries will be provided on a prorated basis based on the salary in force at the time of the retirement and the percent of employment during the post-retirement appointment period. When teaching responsibilities are involved, the salary will be calculated in accordance with university summer school teaching assignment policies. The assignment agreement also may include provision of services and facilities to the emeritus faculty member during the assignment period including but not limited to:

Emeritus faculty with creative working retirement assignments are appointed professor emeritus (with or without pay), and are encouraged to participate in collegiate and department/school academic governance. Grant and contract acquisition is also encouraged with the same support assistance available from the office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies as provided to currently appointed regular faculty.

In accordance with university policy, emeritus faculty with creative working retirement assignments who return to active employment at 50% time or more for nine months or longer are eligible to receive benefits such as health, dental, employee paid life, travel accident, 403(b) Base Retirement Program with University contribution, and 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Program and/or 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan in the same manner as an active employee. While the details of particular assignments must be developed and agreed to with the administrator of the appointing unit, the Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs serves as a clearing house on options and possibilities. Current emeritus faculty and active faculty contemplating retirement who are interested in exploring creative working retirement assignments should feel free to contact the Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs, Room 422 Administration Building, telephone number 353-5300.

Retirement Information Resources

MSU Human Resources provides a wealth of information to assist those contemplating or planning retirement. For more information, please see Retirement Homepage.

Information about retirement benefits and other services regarding benefit implementation is available from Human Resources, 1407 S. Harrison Rd., Suite 110, (517) 353-4434.

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