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Employee commenting on phased retirement closes today

The University of California is proposing a Phased Retirement Program that would help employees who are 55 or older transition into retirement.

The program would allow staff members to reduce their work hours by at least 10 percent per year for up to three years before retiring. Participants would receive a lump sum cash payment upon retiring that would be equal to half the amount of the reduction in time.

Read about the details of this proposed program and the frequently asked questions.

As part of the normal policy review process, you can comment on this proposal until Tuesday, Oct. 18, by emailing Michael Lum, UCOP Employee and Labor Relations Manager, at

UC wants to offer this program to allow for longer-term planning for employees, their families and the departments they work in. The program would help each department evaluate its needs and plan for transferring an employee’s responsibilities before retirement. It also creates potential cost savings while offering employees a cash incentive.

Under the proposal, if you have at least five years of retirement service credit and work at least 60 percent time, you would be eligible. You could participate for as little as 120 days to as much as three years, reducing your appointment by at least 10 percent annually if you reduce time over multiple years. You would retire when you finish the program and receive the incentive payment within 30 days of retirement.

For example, if you’re a full-time employee earning $50,000 a year and you reduce your work hours by 10 percent, your annual salary would be $45,000 and your appointment rate would be 90 percent. Your one-time incentive payment would be $2,500 upon retirement, which is half the amount you would have earned otherwise.

If you stay in the program and reduce your appointment the next year by an additional 20 percent, your annual salary would be $35,000, your appointment rate would be 70 percent and the payment would be $7,500.

Please keep in mind that, if you decide later you don’t want to retire or you don’t want to reduce your appointment by at least 10 percent a year, you would forfeit the incentive.

Individual departments would decide whether it makes sense to offer this program within their operations after evaluating business needs. Senior Management Group members and faculty would not be eligible for this particular program. The program would be subject to collective bargaining for represented employees.

Some of your employee benefits would stay the same if you sign up. For example, eligibility for medical benefits wouldn’t change as long as you work at least 17.5 hours a week. Other benefits would be affected because your salary or appointment rate would be less. You would earn less service credit toward the UC Retirement Plan and your retirement income might be reduced depending on your situation.

Send any comments to by 5 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011.

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