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2021-2022 Retirement Planning-Components to Pathways Memo

UCLA Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Personnel


Date:               November 22, 2021

To:                   Deans, Directors, Department Chairs & Administrative Officers

From:               Kathleen L. Komar, Interim Vice Provost

Subject:           Retirement Planning – Components to Pathways


Dear Colleagues:

UCLA’s Pathways to Retirement program was created in 2008, with the goal of facilitating faculty retirement as part of the larger goals of faculty renewal as well as enhancing the continuing participation of emeriti faculty in academic life. In just the past six years over 300 members of the faculty have taken advantage of the opportunity to set a specific date for retirement up to two years in the future in conjunction with specific plans for research, teaching, and service both preceding and following the move to emerita/us status. For Deans and Chairs, those guaranteed future faculty retirement dates have improved their ability to plan for future hiring. The health and budget uncertainties of the past two years has only enhanced the benefit of the Pathways program for faculty and administrators alike. 

My office will work with you to craft new and innovative Pathways to Retirement Agreements.  This can include exceptions to long-standing policy and practices, including those regarding return to service after one or more quarters of sabbatical leave. I urge you to consider re-assessing the terms you are willing to offer to senior faculty considering retirement.  Many of the benefits that you can offer have little or no direct cost. What costs may be involved are good investments, both in providing for continued contributions from your senior faculty and in your unit’s faculty renewal. 

Pathway to Retirement Agreements include an appointee’s letter irrevocably retiring as of a fixed date (usually the penultimate business day of June). Agreements typically include a mix of pre and post-retirement conditions, the latter for up to three years following retirement. Here are some elements you may want to include in a Pathways agreement:


  1. Chair’s Grant of Teaching Relief:  Teaching obligations may be shifted or reduced.  Departments can benefit if the faculty member engages in curriculum development or co-teaching, provides special administrative services, or concludes unfinished research or catalogues one’s scholarly work and research). Such relief can be spread over one or two years prior to retirement and coordinated with pending sabbatical leaves; it can be especially valuable during the last quarter or two before retirement.
  2. Deferral of Five-Year Review:  Agreements may “defer” a five-year review (or a review’s remedial plan); see UCLA CALL, Appendix 12. Such a deferral can be especially attractive when combined with teaching relief, as it can provide long-serving colleagues with a smoother path to retirement.
  3. Recall:  Campus administrators may enter a pre-retirement agreement with a faculty member who is at least age 60 with 5 years of UCRP service credit for a recall to service for up to three years following retirement, beginning no sooner than the date of retirement + 30 days. Recall may be renewed year-by-year thereafter. Recall may be for teaching, research, or administration, and must be based on programmatic need and budgetary capacity. Recall teaching is compensated on a per-course basis, following campus guidelines. Research recall is ordinarily supported by individual or group extra-mural grants. Overall, Paid Recall can provide up to 43 percent of an individual’s salary at retirement. See APM-205.     
  4. Space:  Consistent with campus guidelines for emeriti offices and laboratory space, Chairs, with support from their Deans, may approve an allocation of post-retirement space as a component of pre-retirement Pathways Agreements, subject to campus space policies and availability.
  5. Research Funds:  At the expense of the School or Department, post-retirement research funds may be made available, provided that use conforms to established University policy governing the expenditure of research funds. In very special cases, these funds may carry over from an Endowed Chair, as specified in the UCLA CALL, Appendix 18.  Even modest amounts can serve as attractive retirement incentives for many colleagues. 
  6. Research Professor Title:  Emeriti faculty continuing active research programs have embraced the opportunity to apply for the title of Research Professor (or Distinguished Research Professor, for Above and Further Above Scale Faculty), which they may use in lieu of Professor Emeritus. Chair’s and Dean’s support for this title may be included as a component of Pathways agreements, pursuant to UCLA CALL, Appendix 38.


Retirement agreements for Senate faculty are best made in the form of a Pathways to Retirement Faculty Agreement Form (DOC). The Academic Personnel Office website now includes a comprehensive set of resources for retirement planning on its website, including a Guide to Retirement, an overview of Emeriti Rights, and other helpful retirement planning materials.

For more information, please contact Emeritus Professor David Lopez, who serves as our Faculty Retirement Liaison by visiting the Faculty Retirement Liaison webpage or by email at Professor Lopez works with individual faculty members to develop their retirement plans and to adapt the Pathways form to their specific situations. He has moved his individual meetings, departmental visit, and workshops online.  Please contact my Special Assistant, Professor Robert Goldstein when you are ready to finalize a Pathways Agreement by email at