Phased Retirement

Phased retirement is an option that could be beneficial to some faculty members. It entails a reduction in responsibilities for up to two years before full retirement. Phased retirement is a privilege and is not guaranteed. It must serve the best interests of the university.

In order to be eligible for phased retirement, you must:

Please discuss your interest in phased retirement with your department or school chair/head. If you have any questions, contact the Office of Faculty Affairs at

Phased Retirement Application (PDF)

Example Uses

  • A faculty member wishes to retire but would like to complete the final two years of a grant before full retirement. The chair agrees to limit responsibilities to grant activities during that time.
  • A faculty member wishes to reduce activities but stay active to ensure their final graduate student completes their thesis or dissertation. The chair agrees to reduce responsibilities including student advising.
  • A faculty member wishes to focus only on teaching duties before full retirement. The chair agrees to a reduced load with no other duties during the final two years.

General Terms

If you wish to retain eligibility for state benefits and tenure, you may request to reduce your appointment to 51% or 0.51 FTE. You can stay in this status for a maximum of two years, then you must retire. It's possible to modify the agreement to take full retirement at an earlier date.

Phased retirement requests must be approved at each administrative level from the department to the provost (or designee). An agreement must describe how the proposed phased retirement FTE would be allocated to your areas of responsibility during the length of the appointment.

Salary and Benefits

When you begin phased retirement, your fractional time appointment will be calculated on the total academic or fiscal year, depending on the term of the appointment, and carry a proportionate reduction in salary. You'll remain eligible for annual salary increases as defined in the collective bargaining agreement. Salary increases will be calculated for your reduced salary.

You'll remain eligible for benefits (sick, health, dental, etc.) at the 51% or 0.51 FTE. You must pay a portion of the state's cost for providing coverage. NIU will provide the prorated state's cost for health and dental insurance that has been passed on to you as a result of the reduction in FTE. The amount provided by the university is a taxable benefit and you'll be taxed accordingly.