FAQ for Miami Faculty Considering Retirement
Academic Personnel Services is a good starting point for faculty with questions about retiring from Miami. Payroll Services and Employee Benefits & Wellness can also provide answers to particular questions. If you have questions not answered here, please call Academic Personnel Services (513-529-7268). Celia Ellison will be happy to talk with you.
The following MUPIM citations and definitions are pertinent: Retiree (section 3.2); Retirement with Rehiring Contracts (section 9.1); Transfer/Cash Out of Sick Leave (section 4.5.D); Professor Emeritus/Emerita (section 9.3). See end for specific citations.
This document is organized as follows:
- How to Retire from Your Retirement Plan
- What Happens Next
- Participation in the Retirement with Rehiring Program
- MUPIM citations
Q: What is the definition of "retiree"?
A: An employee who applies for and receives a service retirement benefit from an Ohio public employees retirement system (e.g., State Teachers Retirement System [STRS], Public Employees Retirement System [PERS]) or an employee who is a participant in the Miami University Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP), is 59 1/2, and who applies for and receives a retirement distribution from the ARP.
Q: What does "fully retire" mean?
A: That phrase is used when a faculty member retires and does not apply for or is not accepted into the Miami Retirement with Rehiring Program.
Q: What is "early retirement"?
A: This phrase was used when Miami had a mandatory retirement age. Today there is no mandatory retirement age. Most of the time when faculty use the phrase "early retirement" they are referring to the "Retirement with Rehiring Program."
Q: How do I fully retire?
A: (1) Send written notice to your chair and/or program director, with a copy to your dean and to the Provost (via Academic Personnel). You will receive a written acknowledgement from the Provost.
(2) Contact your retirement system (for most faculty, this will be STRS) and complete an application for retirement benefits.
Q: How much notice do I have to give?
A: (1) A member of the instructional staff is expected to give the University at least six (6) months' advance notice of the intention to retire (MUPIM 9.2).
(2) Check with your retirement plan for specific dates. STRS requests the completed application ninety (90) days before your retirement becomes effective. (Retirement is effective on the first day of the month following the last date for which you were paid, see www.strsoh.org or 888-227-7877.)
Q: How do I retire and apply to participate in the Miami Retirement with Rehiring Program?
A: See "How to Apply to the Retirement with Rehiring Program" section below. This program requires six months' notice.
Q: I've heard that I get a cash-out payment when I retire? What is it for?
A: This is a cash out of your unused accrued sick leave. Full-time employees earn fifteen (15) days of sick leave per year, which accumulate if unused. Faculty with ten (10) years of Ohio public service are eligible, upon retirement, to receive payout for one-quarter (1/4) of your unused sick leave up to a maximum of thirty (30) days. You can review your sick leave balance through BannerWeb, Employee Services Online or call Academic Personnel to learn your balance and the amount of cash out.
Q: Do I have to request the sick-leave cash out?
A: No. This is automatically processed by Academic Personnel after receiving confirmation of your retirement dates from your retirement plan.
Q: When do I get the sick-leave cash out?
A: Miami is required to pay it within ninety (90) days of retirement. Faculty accepted into the Retirement with Rehiring Program receive payment upon retiring with STRS/ARP. Such payment shall be made only once to any employee; there will not be another payout at the end of the three-year period of rehiring. Typically, faculty who retire in at the end of the academic year in May will receive the payment at the end of May. Faculty who retire in December, at the end of fall semester, can request that the payment be held until January of the following year, if the preference is to receive the payment in the following tax year.
Q: Is the sick-leave cash out taxable income?
A: Yes. However, retirement deductions are not taken.
Q: Can I put the sick-leave cash out in a pre-tax savings plan such as my 403(b) plan?
A: Yes. Contact the office of Employee Benefits & Wellness to make those arrangements (Room 15, Roudebush Hall; 513-529-3120).
Q: What about my health insurance? When does it end?
A: If you retire in May, your Miami-provided health insurance will remain in effect through August 31 of that year. If you retire effective December, your Miami-provided health insurance ends December 31st .
Q: How do I get health insurance after my Miami-provided insurance ends?
A: You should discuss this with your retirement plan provider. Faculty retiring through STRS may select an insurance plan through a provider affiliated with STRS. Upon the loss of your Miami-provided health insurance, you will receive information from Chard-Snyder about continuing the Miami insurance (COBRA) at your own expense. This is typically available for eighteen (18) months following employment and includes health, dental and/or vision coverage. If your dependent was covered by the Miami-provided insurance, he/she is also eligible to continue Miami insurance through COBRA. You may also be eligible for coverage through an employed spouse. You will automatically receive a letter of "creditable coverage" which may be requested by your spouse's employer when you are added to his/her benefits.
Q: Will my Miami-provided life insurance end?
A: Yes; you will receive information from Employees Benefits & Wellness on how to convert the life insurance to an individual policy.
Q: Do I need to meet with anyone when I fully retire?
A: It is advisable to visit Employee Benefits & Wellness for a short exit procedure. You will need to check with your department for procedures regarding your office key, etc.
Q: When am I awarded Emeritus/Emerita rank? Do I have to apply for it? How will I be notified?
A: Emeritus/Emerita rank is awarded upon "full" retirement for eligible faculty (see MUPIM 9.3); if accepted into the Retirement with Rehiring Program, it is awarded at the end of participation in the program. You do not apply for this rank, and you are eligible; the Provost will automatically forward the names of eligible faculty to the Board of Trustees for approval. After the Board of Trustees' meeting, you will receive a letter from the Secretary to the Board informing you of your status as "Emeritus" or Emerita."
Q: I retired as an Associate Professor; will I be "Associate Professor Emeritus?"
A: No. The official designation for retired, tenured faculty is "Professor Emeritus" or "Professor Emerita," with no other identification of your previous Miami rank or assignment.
Q: What is "SOME"?
A: Society of Miami Emeriti. Membership in the Society is open to all faculty appointed to the rank of Emeriti, as well as their spouses and widows or widowers, as approved by the Board of Trustees. Newly-appointed emeriti will receive a letter from Alumni Services regarding SOME and an invitation to participate in activities.
Q: What are the advantages of "SOME"?
A: The "SOME" brochure outlines many University privileges. Among them are: inclusion in academic processions, continuation of electronic accounts (email), library services, ability to purchase parking permits. This Society is supported by the Miami University Alumni Association (513-529-5957).
Q: What is "SOMR"?
A: Society of Miami Retirees. This Society is available to all Miami retirees (not just those who are awarded emeritus rank). Faculty are eligible to join this Society as soon as they retire (without waiting for participation in the Retirement with Rehiring Program to end). However, Academic Personnel has learned that membership in SOMR while still teaching can be confusing: for instance, a SOMR member will receive a new retiree ID card, without as many privileges as retaining the current faculty ID card.
Q: How do names of retirees get on the retiree plaque display at Shriver Center?
A: Human Resources orders the plaques with the retiree's name, after "fully" retired. HR reviews the names and year of retirement for faculty with Academic Personnel for accuracy.
Q: After I have "fully" retired and my participation in the Retirement with Rehiring Program has ended, can I come back to teach?
A: Occasionally a department will hire an emeritus faculty member to teach on a per-credit- hour basis, typically for one course. Current compensation is $1,000/credit hour.
Q: How do I indicate that I wish to retire and participate in the Retirement with Rehiring Program?
A: (1) Complete an Application for the Retirement with Rehiring Program available from the Academic Personnel Services web page (www.MiamiOH.edu/academicpersonnel). Select the "Faculty & Unclassified Staff" link from the navigation menu on the left and then go to the Full-Time Faculty tab. Submit this application to your department chair, program director, or Dean of the Regional Campuses, as appropriate. It will be forwarded to the dean and then to Academic Personnel Services.
(2) Contact your retirement plan (for most faculty, this will be STRS) and complete an application for retirement benefits.
Q: If I submit this Application Form do I also need to send a letter announcing my retirement?
A: No. The form has a place for you to indicate your effective date of retirement. But a letter is always nice.
Q: Is there a guarantee that I will be rehired after I retire?
Q: Is there a deadline to apply to be rehired?
A: Yes: Six months prior to the date of retirement.
Q: Does the deadline change dependent upon the semester I want to teach?
A: No: The date is dependent upon date of retirement.
Q: How do I know that I have been approved to participate in the Rehire Program?
A: You will receive a copy of the Application form signed by the Provost.
Q: What happens next?
A: After your application has been approved, you then complete the Assignment Request, in collaboration with your chair, program director or Dean of the Regional Campuses, if appropriate. The Request form is available from the Academic Personnel Services web page (www.MiamiOH.edu/academicpersonnel). Select the "Faculty & Unclassified Staff" link from the navigation menu on the left and then go to the Full-Time Faculty tab. Submit the completed Assignment Request to your department chair, program director, or Dean of the Regional Campuses, as appropriate. It will be forwarded to the dean and then to Academic Personnel Services.
Q: When can I start teaching on the Rehire Program?
A: With a retirement at the end of an academic year (after spring semester), the first opportunity to teach would be the following spring semester.
Q: If there is no course assignment offered one year, can I request an assignment for the following year?
A: Yes. As long as an assignment form is submitted, even if one year has a zero course load, you are still in the Program and should work with your chair, program director or Dean of the Regional Campuses, if appropriate, for an assignment for the following year. This does not extend the program beyond three years.
Q: What if I don't want to accept the courses assigned to me?
A: If you refuse the assignment, you are deemed to have withdrawn from the program.
Q: If I refuse an assignment for one year, can I teach the following year?
A: No, refusal withdraws you from the program and ends your eligibility to participate in the Retirement with Rehiring Program.
Q: If that happens, what is my status with the University?
A: Your name will be submitted to the Board of Trustees for promotion to Professor Emeritus.
Q: Do I have to complete and submit an Assignment Request for each year in the program?
Q: What happens if I don't submit an Assignment Request?
A: If a request is not submitted for any of the three years, you are deemed to have withdrawn from the program.
Q: Can the semester of teaching change from year to year?
A: Yes, after the first year.
Q: What is the deadline to submit the Assignment Request?
A: There is no deadline; work with department chair, program director, or campus when course assignments are being determined. Review of the Assignment Requests by the Provost will begin after registration for that semester is underway.
Q: How am I notified of the approval of the Assignment Request?
A: Once approval is given by the Provost, copies of the approved request will be sent to you, your department chair or program director and the Dean. Provost's approval will be contingent upon meeting enrollment minimums.
Q: Is there a guarantee that I can teach for all three years?
A: Once you are accepted into the program, you can participate for a three-year period. However, the teaching assignments are determined each academic year. There could be a situation where, even though you have been accepted into the program, there may not be a teaching assignment for a particular year. (However, if you decline an assignment offered, you are withdrawing from the program.)
Q: If I retire at the end of the academic year (with a June 1st STRS/retirement plan date) when is the soonest I can begin the Rehire Program?
A: Spring semester.
Q: If I retire at the end of the academic year (with a June 1st STRS/retirement plan date) can I teach that summer?
A: If you plan to teach that summer, your date of retirement would have to be after the end of the summer teaching assignment.
Q: If I retire after teaching during a summer term (with a July 1st STRS/retirement plan date) can I teach in the rehire program in the fall semester?
A: No. Re-employment cannot begin until the following spring semester.
Q: Can I retire at the end of fall semester and be re-employed for spring semester?
A: No. Re-employment cannot begin until the following fall semester.
Q: Can I take a year off after retirement before I apply to be re-employed?
A: No. The re-employment must begin during the academic year immediately following retirement.
Q: Am I committed to remain in the program for three years?
A: No. You can end your participation in the program after year one or year two. Send written notice to your chair and/or program director, with a copy to your dean and to the Provost (via Academic Personnel). You will receive written acknowledgement from the Provost that you are withdrawing from the Program. Your name will then be forwarded to the Board of Trustees for promotion to Professor Emeritus.
Q: How much can I teach each year?
A: The teaching load cannot exceed 12 credit hours.
Q: What will my salary be for the one semester under the Retirement with Rehiring Program?
A: The retired faculty member's salary during each year of the Program shall be three percent (3%) of the person's pre-retirement salary per credit hour.
Q: Can I spread this salary over the academic year, or over twelve (12) months?
A: No. Payment for fall-semester teaching will be on the regular payday (last working day of the month) in September, October, November and December. Payment for spring- semester teaching will be on the regular payday in February, March, April and May.
Q: Can I direct this salary to a pre-tax savings plan such as a 403(b) plan?
A: Yes, contact the office of Employee Benefits & Wellness to make arrangements.
Q: Can I be paid for any other work while participating in the Rehire Program? How about income from a grant or from summer teaching or a workshop or Summer Orientation?
A: No. Reemployed faculty are not eligible for any additional University employment for overload teaching, administrative assignment, workshops, or any other service.
Q: What's my status with Miami University while participating in the Retirement with Rehiring Program?
A: You are a "rehired retiree." You are considered part-time faculty; your tenure ends with retirement with STRS/ARP. You are not benefit-eligible.
Q: When I "come back" for my first semester of teaching, are there forms to fill out?
A: Yes; prior to the start of teaching in the rehire program, you will need to go to Academic Personnel Services to complete two forms: Re-employed Retiree Notification (STRS) and Employment Eligibility Verification (federal form I-9). You will be reminded by email and told what documentation to bring with you. You may also want to check the withholding or deductions you had set up for your pre-retirement earnings, unless changed by you, they will still apply to your rehire earnings.
Q: Can I still park on campus?
A: While participating in this program, continue to renew your red hang tag in the usual way. Respond to the notice sent for renewing parking passes. If you do this, you will be able to park year-round. It is not advisable to notify Parking Services that you are teaching only one semester. However, if you are only in town for one semester and you want to pay only a one-semester fee, you can request that from Parking Services. You will probably need an employment verification slip, available from Academic Personnel.
Q: What about my Miami ID and Library privileges?
A: Keep your current Miami ID; it should continue to carry your privileges. Academic Personnel leaves you "active" in the Banner system for the period of your participation in the Retirement with Rehiring Program.
Q: Can I continue to purchase items on campus using payroll deduction?
A: During the semester you are teaching and receiving salary payments, these charges will be automatically deducted from your payroll. During the semester with no salary payments, these charges will go on your Bursar bill. You will receive an email indicating that you have a balance on your Bursar bill that should be paid; you might receive an invoice via US mail.
Q: Will my Miami email account continue?
Q: I've heard that I'm not allowed on campus for sixty (60) days after I retire. What's that about?
A: If you retire through STRS, current state law indicates that in order to receive your pension payment you cannot return to work for sixty (60) days after the last day of the month for which you were paid. This means that you are not supposed to engage in activities that are similar to your prior work activities for sixty (60) days. You can discuss this with your STRS counselor. This does not preclude you from visiting campus.
Q: What happens to the STRS retirement deduction that is withheld from my checks during the Retirement with Rehiring Program?
A: The payments go into the Money Purchase Annuity Program and accumulate during the period of reemployment. You can apply to have this deduction returned to you at the end of the reemployment period. The returned amount is equal to your deductions (currently 13%), plus 5% employer contribution (if you are over 65 years of age) and interest. (see www.strsoh.org)
Q: How do I put this returned payment into an annuity?
A: The application form to receive this lump-sum payment (www.strsoh.org) provides instructions for a direct rollover.
Q: Will I continue to get an annual appointment letter during the Retirement with Rehiring Program?
A: No. Your department/program/campus will be responsible for originating an Electronic Personnel Action Form (EPAF) through BannerWeb for the semester you will be teaching. This EPAF informs Academic Personnel Services of your salary and sends you an email asking for you to accept the appointment; you are able to print a contract at this point. This is very similar to the summer teaching assignments/contracts you may have received in the past.
Q: What happens at the end of the three-year Retire with Rehire period?
A: Your name will be forwarded to the Board of Trustees for promotion to Professor Emeritus/a (see What Happens Next section above).
A person who meets . . . the following definition:
An employee who applies for and receives a service retirement benefit from an Ohio public employees retirement system (e.g., State Teachers Retirement System [STRS], Public Employees Retirement System [PERS]) or an employee who is a participant in the Miami University Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP), is 59 ½, and who applies for and receives a retirement distribution from the ARP.
9.1 Retirement with Rehiring Contracts
Tenured members of the instructional staff, with the approval of the department chair/program director, appropriate dean, and the Provost, may participate in the University's Retirement with Rehiring Program during the first three consecutive academic years following their retirement. The faculty member should apply to the department chair/program director or, as appropriate, the Dean of the Regional Campuses for retirement with rehiring at least six (6) months prior to retirement. The reemployment period may not begin until sixty (60) days after the faculty member's effective date of retirement. In order to be eligible to participate in the Program, a faculty member must begin reemployment during the academic year immediately following retirement. Retired faculty participating in the Program are evaluated each year and must request an assignment for each year of the Program. The department chair/program director with the approval of the appropriate dean determines whether to offer a teaching assignment based on academic resources and needs, including instructional needs and individual performance. Assignments (e.g., first and/or second semester, courses to be taught) are made on an annual basis and determined by the department chair/program director or, as appropriate, the Dean of the Regional Campuses. Reemployment may be for a full teaching load for one semester or one-half (½) load for two semesters. Reemployment appointments are made on an annual basis and cannot exceed twelve (12) credit hours per fiscal year. Reemployed faculty are not eligible for any additional University employment for overload teaching, administrative assignment, workshops, or any other service. The retired faculty member's salary during each year of the Program shall be three percent (3%) of the person's pre-retirement salary per credit hour.
9.3 Professor Emeritus/Emerita
To be eligible for appointment to the rank of Professor Emeritus/Emerita of Miami University, a person must: have attained the rank of Senior Instructor or above; have been granted tenure or continuing contract; have been a full-time member of the instructional staff for at least ten (10) years; have retired from Miami University; and, be recommended by the President to and approved by the Board of Trustees. Regardless of rank at retirement, the designation is "Professor Emeritus" or "Professor Emerita," not, for example, "Associate Professor Emeritus/Emerita." Emeriti/emeritae status comes only on full retirement, not when one elects to take Retirement with Rehiring Contracts. 10
4.5.D Transfer/Cash Out of Sick Leave
An administrative or instructional staff member with ten (10) or more years of Ohio public service shall upon retirement from active service be paid in cash for one fourth of the value of earned but unused sick-leave credit to a maximum of thirty (30) days. Such payment shall be based upon the employee's rate of pay at the time of retirement. Payment for sick leave on this basis shall be considered to eliminate all sick-leave credit accrued by the employee at that time. Such payment shall be made only once to any employee and will be paid within ninety (90) days of retirement. In order to be eligible for the sick-leave payoff, the employee must, at the time of separation, be eligible for retirement benefits as determined by the applicable retirement system. If an employee transfers to or from another agency of the State of Ohio, unused accumulated sick leave entitlement shall transfer to the new unit. The unit of origin must furnish the receiving unit with written evidence of the employee's entitlement to sick leave. The previously accumulated sick leave of an employee who has been separated from Ohio public service shall be credited to that employee upon reemployment in the Ohio public service, provided that such reemployment takes place within ten (10) years of the date on which the employee was last terminated from public service.
Revised February 2010
Revised March 2013
Revised July 2014
Revised November 2015