Working Retirement Options/Phased Retirement for University Support Staff

Michigan State University deeply appreciates the many years of loyal service and contributions of its retired support staff and considers them a continuing resource for the institution. The University encourages the use of their skills for the benefit of Michigan State as well as for retirees themselves. Upon retirement, support staff generally discontinue their full-time roles, but may wish to provide their expertise to the university in a variety of ways. Indeed, such relationships may provide meaningful opportunities to phase into retirement while continuing to assure university access to important human resources.

Various ways a retired support staff member may be able to continue to provide service to the Institution:

Temporary or On-Call Appointments

Support staff may choose to take a temporary or on call appointment with the University. There are no benefits associated with these appointments; however, the retiree would continue with retirement benefits. The retiree may want to consider the impact on Social Security Income as a result of these arrangements.

Regular Part Time Appointments

Retired Support staff may be re-hired into a regular, part time appointment. These appointments may or may not have an end date. If the appointment is 50% or more for 9 months or longer, support staff may be eligible for additional benefits as an active employee (i.e. retirement plan contributions). The retiree may want to consider the impact on Social Security Income as a result of this arrangement.

Phased Retirement

Support staff who are vested and who do not retire, but reduce to part-time (phased retirement) will receive contribution toward benefits based on their current employment percent, or their eligibility for retirement benefits, whichever is more advantageous.

Change to Voluntary Flexible Appointment (applies to APA, APSA and CTU Only)

Based on the needs of the department, support staff interested in phasing into retirement may request a flexible appointment. Flex appointments may be 9, 10 or 11 months of active full-time employment with 1, 2, or 3 months of unpaid leave. The support staff member continues to receive benefits and service credit for the entire 12-month period.

Unpaid Leave to Retirement

Individuals who are within 2 years of being eligible to retire (25 years of service, or 15 years of service at age 62 or older) may request an unpaid leave of absence. The leave must be mutually agreed to by the department. Individuals continue to receive service credit during the leave and must be eligible to retire at the end of the leave. Sick leave and vacation accruals are paid at the beginning of the leave. The support staff member must pay the full premium for health, prescription drug and dental benefits during the leave. Individuals may also choose to continue other optional benefits (life and accident insurance) during the leave.

Retiree Association

Participation in the MSU Retirees Association is another avenue through which retired support staff can engage in meaningful opportunities and make valuable contributions to the university.