Phased retirement at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln allows a faculty member to transition into retirement by reducing their appointment over time, thus bringing projects to conclusion or to a place where they can be handed off to trusted colleagues. Phased retirement is not an entitlement of employment at UNL but rather something that must be requested by the faculty member and then approved by the relevant department chair, dean, and vice chancellor based on the potential mutual benefit of the agreement to the faculty member and the university.

To be eligible for phased retirement, a faculty member must be 62 years of age with 5 years of service to UNL in a continuous (tenured) appointment at 1.0 FTE. (Note: Entering a phased retirement agreement does not guarantee the granting of emeritus status upon retirement. In particular, the eligibility requirements for emeritus status are different from the eligibility requirements for phased retirement. Read more about emeritus status for retired faculty.)

The initial phased retirement contract is for two years. After at least one year and by mutual agreement of the faculty member and the relevant department chair, dean, and vice chancellor, the contract can be extended for one additional year, making it up to three years total. The start of a phased retirement agreement must align with the start of the academic year (AY faculty) or fiscal year (12-month faculty). Applications for phased retirement agreements must be received in the appropriate vice chancellor's office no later than March 15 of the calendar year in which the agreement would start. Such applications should already have endorsements from the relevant department chair and dean, and colleges and departments may set earlier deadlines.

The minimum FTE level for phased retirement is 0.50 but higher is possible by mutual agreement, especially in the first year of a two-year phased retirement agreement.

Salary and benefits other than health insurance are reduced proportionally to FTE. Health insurance is maintained as if the employee were at 1.0 FTE provided that the teaching apportionment will be maintained at a level at least equal to the median teaching appointment in the department. In instances in which a department or college does not have established unit-level apportionment, it is the expectation that teaching responsibilities will remain at least proportional to the faculty member's current assignment.

Last updated: February 2021