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Phased Retirement/Knowledge Transfer Procedure - 63.04.15

College Policy Number/Title:


The Howard Community College phased retirement program is designed to provide a transition period between full-time work and retirement for faculty or staff with unique knowledge and competencies that the institution wishes to retain and transfer to a new faculty or staff person. The person eligible for retirement reduces their work schedule and workload to part-time, normally 50% of full-time, and receives a salary that is prorated accordingly. The person in phased retirement will develop a work plan for or define the transition period, responding to the specific needs of a department.


A phased retirement arrangement serves the purposes noted below.

  1. Workforce Planning: To assist the college in planning for projected faculty and staff retirement while maintaining a high level of expertise.
  2. Knowledge and Competencies: To provide continuity within academic and other departments by retaining important knowledge and competencies of long-term faculty and staff.
  3. Mentoring and Training: To provide mentoring and training of new faculty and staff by experienced faculty and staff over a transition period.

Eligibility Criteria

Full-time faculty and staff who have worked at the college full-time for at least five years and are eligible to retire under one of the college’s retirement programs (see procedure 63.07.11, Retirement Programs) may apply for the phased retirement program based on the following criteria:

  1. The faculty or staff member has unique and unduplicated knowledge, competencies, and leadership qualities.
  2. The proposed work plan incorporates mentoring and training of new faculty or staff.
  3. A phased retirement option is practicable and workable for the position and work plan.
  4. The opportunity for phased retirement is not guaranteed, but is dependent upon the needs and resources of the institution.

Work Plan

A work plan must be submitted detailing how the teaching and other job responsibilities will be structured for the part-time work schedule. The expected work schedule during phased retirement is 50% of full-time work; any exceptions to this percentage must be approved by the president. Any exceptions to the 50% must have a written explanation detailing why the excess over 50% is needed. The details of the work plan are negotiated among the employee, the supervisor, and the department head. For faculty, the work plan must incorporate all facets of normal, full-time faculty workloads including teaching, curriculum development, office hours, committee work, etc. Negotiations must take place and be incorporated into the application submitted by October 1. Exceptions to this application date may be allowed.

Application Process

Application forms are available on the human resources portal page. The application form, which includes a proposed work plan, is due to the area vice president or president by October 1 of the year prior to the beginning of the next fiscal year the employee plans to retire and will be considered on a case-by-case basis depending on college and departmental needs, budgets, and other planning processes. Applicants will be notified by the end of January of the status of their requests.

Terms and Conditions

Agreements for phased retirement, if approved, will be made between the employee and the college for a one-year contract period, effective on the first eligible contract date for the next fiscal year or an alternate date if mutually agreed upon. There may be some circumstances in which renewal for a second or third year may be considered, but typically the agreement will be for the one year. At the end of the approved contract period, the employee agrees to complete the retirement process.

During phased retirement, the salary rate will remain the same but will be prorated for the percent of full-time. Benefits will remain in place with the following exceptions: (1) benefits tied to salary will be tied to the phased retirement salary including any retirement contributions; and (2) retirement benefits will depend on arrangements made by employees with retirement plans (see next section). Leave plans will be adjusted to accrue on a prorated basis for the percent of full-time. When an employee retires and is paid out for annual leave, the annual leave payout will be paid at the full-time hourly rate.

Participants whose phased retirement crosses over fiscal years or have more than one year of phased retirement are subject to the regular performance appraisal system and are eligible for merit pay under that system, which would be prorated for the percent of full-time workload.

Retirement Options and Coordination

It is entirely the responsibility of the employee to coordinate their retirement intentions with the specific retirement plan -- Maryland State Retirement and Pension Systems (MSRPS) or one of the Optional Retirement Programs (ORP).

ADEA Release

The program is entirely voluntary on the part of participants; faculty and staff participants will be asked to sign a release under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) confirming that their participation is voluntary.

Effective Date: 02/08/19

President's Office Use:  VPAF

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