2015-16 Memo from Vice Chancellor Carole Goldberg on Retirement Planning
DATE: October 28, 2015
RE: Retirement Planning
I want to express my hope that you will enjoy a long, successful, and satisfying association with UCLA. The occasion for this annual letter, however, is a reminder that those who have had long associations with our campus may have opportunities to continue doing so after they have retired. UCLA benefits enormously from the contributions of its retired faculty, and it has been one of my highest priorities to augment and publicize the possibilities for mutual gain when faculty retire while sustaining connections to the campus.
During more than four years as Vice Chancellor, I have seen many faculty take advantage of the financial benefits of our excellent retirement system to launch productive and personally rewarding post-retirement endeavors, including mentoring, teaching, serving as PI on a research grant, chairing a dissertation committee, reviewing internal grant proposals, and serving on an Academic Senate committee. Because of recent increases in contributions to the retirement system (now 8%), the incentives to consider opportunities for retirement have grown, especially for faculty with 30-40 years of service. For example, simulations run by the Office of the President have shown that depending on your age, coordination with Social Security, and current contributions to a 403(b), faculty members in that range of service years may be able to take home as much as $2,000 more per month if they retire, even if they have opted for a survivor benefit. I encourage you to run the numbers at the “Retirement Estimator” on the bottom right hand corner of https://atyourserviceonline.ucop.edu/ayso/.
Of course, financial considerations, alone, do not guide any faculty member’s decision about retirement. The amount and type of fulfilling post-retirement activities are factors as well. UCLA Emeriti typically continue to be actively engaged with the campus, academically and socially. In cooperation with my office, UCLA Extension has developed a series of workshops designed exclusively for UCLA faculty. These workshops examine how to stay involved in your department, the Senate, and the campus generally; the personal experiences of a range of emeritus faculty who continue to be active in research teaching, and service; and also the nuts and bolts of the retirement process. This year the workshops will be held in the Winter Quarter. For dates and details, see http://errc.ucla.edu/Faculty/Planning-for-Retirement/Path-Forward-Workshops.
Last Spring I appointed UCLA’s first Faculty Retirement Liaison, Emeritus Professor David Lopez. David’s primary task is to work with individual faculty planning for retirement, helping them work out the best possible post-retirement arrangements with their departments as well as helping them through the UC Retirement System process. You can contact him for an appointment at (310) 210-1118 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He participates in the Workshops mentioned above and he has prepared a useful Guide to Retirement that is available online at http://errc.ucla.edu/Planning-for-Retirement/Guidebook. In addition, he has created an Unofficial Guide to Emeriti Rights and Compilation of Sources, also available on line, http://errc.ucla.edu/Faculty/Post-Retirement.
I am aware that space to work on campus is a major concern of faculty contemplating retirement, as well as a scarce resource for UCLA. In 2009, Chancellor Block asked all Deans, Chairs, and Directors “to provide, whenever possible, adequate office and laboratory space (individual, when feasible, or shared) for our retired faculty, as well as access to appropriate departmental services.” I have recently surveyed campus leadership to determine the current state of policy and practice on allocation of office space to emeriti. I have confirmed that for most of the campus, faculty active on recall are allotted work space, and those less active have access to shared space. I am following up on the results of that survey, to see where improvements can be made.
When you begin to consider planning for retirement, you should be aware of the following programs that the University offers, including, in some cases, an individualized Pathway to Retirement Plan (described at #8 below).
- UCLA Benefits Office: Our on-site benefits counselors are always ready to consult with you about the various retirement benefits available through the University of California Retirement Plan (UCRP) and about your specific situation. You may consult with one by calling the UCLA Benefits Office at (310) 794-0830.
- Fidelity Retirement Services: As the record-keeping and account services company for the UC Retirement Savings Program [Defined Contribution, Tax-Deferred 403(b), and 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plans], Fidelity Retirement Services can provide account balances and other information about your accounts. Its website has interactive planning tools and other information to help you plan for your financial needs in retirement: http://www.netbenefits.com. In addition, Fidelity has recently reintroduced a service enabling faculty to meet with a Fidelity Planning and Guidance Consultant on a face-to-face, one-on-one basis at three locations: Wilshire Center, Suite 200, 1116 Rolfe Hall, or on the health system campus. To make an appointment, call 1-800-558-9182 or go to: https://getguidance.fidelity.com/universityofcalifornia.
- UCLA Emeriti/Retirees Relations Center (ERRC): The UCLA ERRC sponsors excellent programs that assist faculty as they plan the transition from active work to retirement and anticipate ways of spending time in retirement and remaining active in our campus community. Discussions on topics of interest are offered throughout the academic year in conjunction with the established emeriti/ae programs. The ERRC staff, led by Director Ragini Gill, are also available to assist with emeriti/ae privileges. They may be reached at (310) 825-7456 or by visiting the website at: http://www.errc.ucla.edu.
- Research Professor and Distinguished Research Professor Working Title: Professors Emeritus who maintain an active research program and who demonstrate that their research activities have led to certain outcomes, including research funding or proposals, publications, and scholarly presentations, may be eligible to use the working title of Research Professor. Above Scale faculty who retire may be eligible for the Distinguished Research Professor working title. Emeriti have found that this working title can be helpful in securing grants and invitations to present at scholarly conferences. For more information about this working title, see Appendix 38 of The CALL.
- Cataloging and Archiving of Papers: Through the Panunzio/UCLA Library Endowment Fund, limited funds are available to employ student researchers to assist the UCLA Archives with the evaluation of the scholarly and personal papers contributed to the Archives by emeriti faculty. Thus, retiring faculty may be able to access these funds in order to facilitate the organization and disposition of their books and papers.
- Reduced Rate X Parking: Emeriti with over five years of service are eligible to purchase an X parking permit at a substantially reduced rate (currently $150.00 for the entire year).
- Faculty Center Reduced Membership: Membership dues are reduced for members who retire from the University. See http://facultycenter.ucla.edu/Membership/FAQs.aspx.
- Pathways to Retirement Plan: Through an individual Pathways to Retirement Plan, you can establish a specific date for separation up to two years in the future and a plan of research, teaching, and service prior to separation. Since the Pathways program began in 2008, 89 faculty have taken advantage of its terms; and the numbers have been increasing each year. If you are interested in such a plan, you should tell your Chair, who may then choose to develop one in consultation with you, subject to review and approval by your Dean and, ultimately, my office. Components of such a plan prior to separation may include a modified teaching schedule for up to one year, deferral of an upcoming five year review (which could otherwise entail augmented teaching or service responsibilities), and summer ninths for specific research or assignments performed. Components of such a plan subsequent to separation may include: office or laboratory space and research funds. If you are at least 60 years of age with at least 5 years of UCRP service credit, your Chair may also include consideration of a pre-retirement Recall Agreement, promising recall to teach or engage in research for up to three years after retirement. Please remember that “separation” is distinct from “retirement” and that you must have contacted your Benefits Representative to retire upon separation. Also note that separation does not have to occur at the end of the academic year; other possible dates are at the end of the pay period for a particular quarter or semester, which, you should be aware, does not always coincide with the end of instruction. Faculty Retirement Liaison David Lopez (contact information above) is available to talk with individual faculty members about how to make advantageous use of the Pathways to Retirement option.
As a member of the UCLA faculty for more than forty years, I continue to be impressed by the support the University provides for our professional and personal growth. The programs for individuals contemplating retirement are designed and implemented in that spirit.
Vice Chancellor, Academic Personnel