Working After Retirement

At a Glance

  • Tenured faculty have a right to reemployment for five years following retirement up to 40% maximum from all funds
  • Tenured faculty who retire under VRI forego the vested right to reemployment
  • If retirement begins during an academic year (e.g. 12/16 or 3/16), that same academic year is the first year of reemployment eligibility. (e.g. retirement effective 12/16/2011, 5 year reemployment ends 6/15/2016.)
  • Reemployment during the remainder of the academic year for someone retiring midyear (for example, December 31) would be limited to 40% for the months remaining in the base appointment of that academic year.
  • 40% X 9 months or 40% X 12 months
  • Retired faculty are not eligible for merit salary increases
  • Retired tenured faculty who are funded with state appropriations or tuition funds after retirement are expected to provide classroom teaching
  • WOT and Research faculty are eligible for five year reemployment. Funding must be from sources such as grants/contract, clinic fees, other alternative local funds, unless the reemploying unit has instructional needs that can be supported by state or tuition funds.
  • Lecturers, Senior Lecturers and Principal Lecturers are eligible for up to the 40% reemployment which is granted on a year-to-year basis in consideration of instructional needs and availability of funds
  • Duties and space needs of retired faculty are managed at the unit level
  • Reemployment salary must be paid in the quarter in which faculty members are teaching or performing their research activities. Faculty desiring to receive the full 40% reemployment would need to be working in at least two quarters of the year
  • Faculty may work beyond the five year period based upon the local level need and the availability of funds
  • Faculty members are required to inform their units of plans to reemploy by December 1 each year
  • If a tenured faculty member retires under an A/B salary structure and elects the 40% reemployment option following retirement, the total 40% maximum will be based on the total University base salary. The vested right to reemployment is limited to the “A” salary ratio.

Partial Reemployment Policy

State of Washington law permits a faculty member to be reemployed up to 40% time, after retirement. The University of Washington has, by policy, granted to tenured faculty members the prerogative of requesting reemployment. By policy, the University has vested in tenured faculty members the right beginning at age 62, to be reemployed up to a maximum of 40% time for instructional and/or research purposes for five years after the date of retirement.

The University defines 40% as that maximum amount that it can pay a retiree from all sources (e.g., state funds, grant and contract funds, self-supporting budgets, professional/continuing education/extension funds, Summer Quarter, and excess compensation). This amount is calculated by multiplying the individual’s base salary rate at the time of retirement by 40%. Nine-month faculty members are eligible for 40% of nine months salary, and twelve-month faculty members are eligible to earn a maximum of 40% of twelve months salary.

Many faculty who are on nine-month appointments have a history of being employed during the summer for grant and contract research and/or Summer Quarter teaching. Faculty members with nine-month appointments who have normally had Summer Quarter salaries (either for instruction or research) may petition for an increase in reemployment eligibility to include these additional months. For example, a faculty member who, traditionally, has had two months summer salary from grant and contract funds, can be eligible for up to eleven months times 40% for reemployment. However, the vested right to reemployment resides in the nine month tenure appointment only.

The salary base for a retired reemployed faculty member may be increased at such times as the President authorizes across the board salary increases for all faculty. Reemployed retired faculty are not eligible for merit salary increases.

The University extends the five-year reemployment option to retired faculty members without tenure for reasons of funding, and to research faculty members. While the same reemployment opportunity applies, funding for reemployment must be supported by grant and contract research funds or clinical fees, unless the reemploying unit has instructional needs that can be supported by state or tuition funds. For retired lecturers, senior lecturers and principal lecturers up to the 40% reemployment may be granted on a year-to-year basis at the discretion of the Department Chair/Director and Dean/Chancellor.

Arrangements for instructional, research, or other designated duties of reemployed retired faculty members are to be made by agreement between the Department Chair/Program Director or Dean of undepartmentalized College, and retiring faculty member. Decisions about teaching load and their equivalent percentages of support are made at the local level, taking into account traditional teaching loads within the particular units. Departments/Programs, Schools/Colleges/Campuses, and the University cannot guarantee that the reemployment assignments specifically requested by the faculty member will be that which is offered. All efforts are made to accommodate a retiree’s desires for class scheduling, but the needs of programs and curricula take precedent over individual requests. Nonetheless, by vesting the reemployment commitment in retired tenured faculty, the University commits to honor, in some scheduled way, the total reemployment opportunity for each year.

Reemployment salary must be paid in the quarter in which faculty members are teaching or performing their research activities. The faculty member teaching full-time in one quarter could receive full-time pay during that quarter, which is the equivalent of 33.3% of a nine-month appointment. The faculty member performing other services in another quarter could receive the remaining portion of the 40% maximum reemployment in that quarter, if they are engaged in agreed-upon duties. Faculty desiring to receive the full 40% reemployment would need to be working in at least two quarters of the year.

If the reemployment is to be funded from state appropriations or tuition funds, those duties must be for classroom teaching unless the reemploying unit agrees to other instructional assignments.

Faculty members may be reemployed beyond the five-year period, but such reemployment still remains limited to a maximum of 40% time and is at the discretion of the Department/Program and School/College/Campus; and must be supported by the reemploying unit, or from research grant and contract resources.

The normal rules related to faculty appointments apply during the reemployment period. Faculty members are expected to maintain excellence in teaching, and the University retains the right to discontinue reemployment on evidence of diminished capacity or ineffectiveness in teaching. In addition, reemployment can be voided if the reemploying program is eliminated, or in the event of a financial exigency.

A faculty member need not elect reemployment in every year of the five-year reemployment period, but skipping a year does not extend the five-year period. Faculty must notify their Department Chair/Program Director (or Dean in an undepartmentalized School, College or campus) by December 1 of the preceding year of their election to be reemployed to ensure they are planned into the curriculum. 

The Partial Reemployment Policy offers a unique opportunity for individual and institutional renewal. It essentially provides eligible faculty with the option of retiring their position and continuing to teach or conduct research on a reduced workload. The net benefit to the School/College/Campus or Department/Program is in simultaneously retaining a core of seasoned and committed senior faculty for classroom teaching and research, while providing for the introduction of new faculty who constitute our future strength and excellence.

Additional Resources