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2022-2023 Retirement Planning-Components to Pathways Memo

UCLA Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Personnel


Date:               November 10, 2022

To:                   Deans, Directors, Department Chairs & Administrative Officers

From:               Michael S. Levine, Vice Chancellor for Academic Personnel

Subject:           Retirement Planning – Components to Pathways

Dear Colleagues:

UCLA’s Pathways to Retirement program facilitates 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 the past seven years over 400 members of the faculty have taken advantage of the opportunity to set a specific date for retirement up to three 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 improve their ability to plan for future hiring.

Remember that for faculty the foundation of all retirement planning is the generous UC Retirement System.  In its classic version it provides pensions that, in take-home terms, can exceed final regular salaries.  My office will work with you to craft new and innovative Pathways to Retirement Agreements with your senior faculty members.  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 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 for recall to service for up to three years following retirement. Recall may be for teaching, research, or administration. 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:  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. In very special cases, these funds may carry over from an Endowed Chair, as specified in the UCLA CALL, Appendix 18.  
  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 the Professor Emerita/us title. Chair’s and Dean’s support for this title may be included as a component of Pathways agreements, pursuant to UCLA CALL, Appendix 38.

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 format to their specific situations.  Please contact my Special Assistant, Professor Robert Goldstein when you are ready to finalize a Pathways Agreement by email at

Finally, a summary of the Tier 2016 Retirement Choice Plan, which compares favorably to other academic pension plans but is different in several respects – has recently been posted on the APO Retirement Resources webpage as a reference to help you answer questions from prospective and new faculty hired after June 30, 2016.