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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

Jan. 26, 2007

Phased retirement program extended another five years

by Anne Krapfl

The five-year renewal was approved last May by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. Full details of the plan are online (from the Benefits home page, click on "Retirement" and then "Phased retirement").

The board approved three changes that take effect July 1:

  • Eligibility requirements for Merit employees will change to age 57 with 15 years of service, which matches eligibility for faculty and P&S staff. Currently, Merit system eligibility is 60 years with 20 years of service.
  • The benefits incentive is in effect for all five years of the phased period (currently, it's just for the first four years). Under this incentive, the university's and the employee's contributions for health, life and disability insurance will continue to remain at the same level as if the employee worked full time. TIAA-CREF contributions also will continue to be based on the salary the employee would receive as a full-time employee. IPERS or federal service system contributions and vacation and sick leave reflect the actual salary or appointment.
  • During the phased period, participants will have access to 99 percent of their TIAA-CREF (or substitute plan) retirement account funds in any method allowed by either regent policy or the carrier. Currently, this availability is more restricted. As is the case now, access to IPERS retirement funds is not possible.

Not an entitlement

Employees must apply to participate in phased retirement and all requests must be approved by the appropriate administrative offices.

"The program does not create a right for the employee to enter phased retirement," noted Ann Doty, retirement information specialist in the benefits office. "A request to enter the program begins the discussion, and it may not be approved if it is not in the best interest of the university."

Phased retirement, in place at the regent universities since 1982 and renewed for five-year periods since then, allows faculty and staff to transition from work to retirement over a period of time (current maximum is five years). Sixty-five percent of full time is the most an employee can work at any point during the phased period.

More information, including the application, is online, or contact Doty, 4-7680,


The regents' phased retirement program has been extended an additional five years, with three changes.