Faculty members who have a full-time appointment (FTE = at
least 50 percent) and who meet specific age and service requirements are
usually eligible to retire with benefits. For most faculty members, “eligible
to retire” means that, immediately preceding their retirement date: they are
actively enrolled in a University of Colorado 401(a) retirement plan; and they are at least 55 years of age; and their age plus years of university
employment is at least 75 years. Click here for additional
information regarding the definitions of normal and early retirement.
Upon retirement, faculty members may be eligible to continue
their participation in several university-sponsored health insurance plans.
However, the health insurance benefits and requirements can be complicated. If
you anticipate retiring from the School of Medicine in the next 3-5 years,
contact Employee Services for important information regarding your plans for
retirement. Employee Services Benefits Professionals can be reached at
303-860-4200 (option 3) or 855-216-7740 (option 3). You can also go to https://www.cu.edu/employee-services/prep-retire
for a comprehensive list of topics related to retirement.
Faculty members who retire may also be eligible to retain
certain benefits from their departments, such as office space, administrative
support, campus parking or a university email account. Please contact your
department directly to inquire about the availability of these benefits.
What is “Phased Retirement?”
Some faculty members prefer to retire “gradually.” One
option is to work at a reduced FTE (for example, 0.50 or 0.75 FTE) for a period
of time. This option is available to all SOM faculty members, regardless of age
or retirement eligibility, with the approval of the department chair. The
appointment FTE, length of agreement and work assignments are negotiated
between the faculty member and his or her chair.
Faculty members may also petition to participate in the
University’s Phased Retirement Program. These agreements with the university
permit the faculty member to reduce his or her time commitment, either
immediately or incrementally. Importantly, they also include the faculty
member’s irrevocable agreement to retire and, if tenured, to relinquish tenure
on or before a specified date. Phased Retirement Agreements are binding
contracts that are prepared by the university’s legal office, and they must be
approved by the faculty member’s department chair, the Dean of the School of
Medicine and the Chancellor. Faculty members participating in the Phased
Retirement Program accrue several benefits: (1) The university’s retirement
plan contributions (which are ordinarily 10 percent of full-time salary) are
paid at twice the faculty member’s negotiated workload percentage (subject to specific
limitations); (2) the university contributions to the group insurance plans
(including health, dental and life insurance) continue during phased
retirement, even if the faculty member is less than 50 percent; and (3)
assuming the faculty member is at least 59 ½ years old, he or she may begin retirement
plan withdrawals as permitted under the terms of the retirement plan and IRS
regulations. Click here
for important additional eligibility requirements, terms and conditions of this
What faculty titles are available to me after I retire?
After retirement, some faculty members may wish to continue
their teaching, research or other academic work on a voluntary basis. Talk to
your department chair or division head about converting your regular faculty
appointment to a clinical (volunteer) faculty appointment.
An Emeritus Professor
title may also be available. According to the Rules of the School of Medicine, “Upon retirement, any member of the School of Medicine faculty who
has given exemplary service to the School and continues to be active
in the affairs of the School of Medicine may be allowed
to retain his or her title with the description
of ‘emeritus’ or ‘emerita,’ respectively.”
Recommendations for emeritus or
emerita titles originate with the department chair and are then forwarded to
the School of Medicine Dean and Executive Committee for approval. Final
approval by the Chancellor of the University of Colorado Denver|Anschutz
Medical Campus is required. One additional
benefit of having an emeritus or emerita title is continued eligibility to be a
Principal Investigator on grants and contracts submitted through the School of
Medicine. For more information regarding the process for obtaining emeritus
appointments, please contact Cheryl Welch, Director of Faculty Affairs in the School of Medicine.