Phased retirement can benefit WSU, employees

Some WSU employees may have the option of easing into retirement, thanks to the university’s Phased Retirement Plan.

To participate, you must meet some basic criteria, including:

• Administrative professional or faculty employee
• Age 55 or older
• At least 10 years of cumulative service to WSU
• On the TIAA-CREF retirement plan

It is recommended that you talk with Benefits Services staff several months before you make a formal request for phased retirement. There is an application and approval process, followed by drawing up of a formal contract. Contracts typically are limited to seven years, though extensions may be renewed year by year.

Phased retirement can benefit both employees and WSU. Employees continue to draw a reduced salary while having more time to devote to personal or professional interests outside WSU. They continue to contribute to their retirement plan, may be able to draw some Social Security or other retirement benefits, and are still eligible for tuition remission, vacation and sick leaves, and promotion. If their appointment is 50 percent or more, they remain eligible for health insurance.

WSU benefits through retaining the services and experience of senior faculty and AP employees while opening up positions and funds. This lets WSU renew its personnel resources and meet its strategic goals through filling vacancies with highly qualified and diverse employees.

Taxability of retirement payments and timing of drawing payments are among the issues employees should consider before embarking upon phased retirement. For more help, contact Benefit Services at 335-4589 or visit