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2017-18 Retirement Planning Memo

2017-18 Memo from Interim Vice Chancellor Levine on Retirement Planning

Date:               November 20, 2017

Subject:           Retirement Planning

Dear Colleagues:

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 faculty have opportunities to continue their engagement with the campus after they have retired. UCLA benefits enormously from the contributions of its emeriti faculty, and it has been one of this office’s highest priorities to augment and publicize the possibilities for mutual gain for emeriti.

Because member contributions to the retirement system are now at 8%, the financial incentive to retire has grown, especially for faculty with 35 or more years of service.  Depending on your age, coordination with Social Security, and current contributions to a 403(b), faculty members with 35+ years of service may be able to take home significantly more income after retirement. I encourage you to run the numbers at the online UC “Retirement Estimator.”

Of course, financial considerations alone do not guide any faculty member’s decision about retirement.  UCLA Emeriti typically continue rewarding post-retirement endeavors, including mentoring, teaching, serving as PI on research grants, chairing dissertation committees, reviewing internal grant proposals and serving on Academic Senate committees. 

Space to work on campus is a major concern of faculty contemplating retirement. 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.” For most of the campus, emeriti faculty active on recall are allotted work space, and many of those less active have access to shared space. My office continues to explore options for improvements in this regard.

As you begin to consider retirement, please be aware of the following planning services and programs:

  1. Path Forward Workshops: exclusively for UCLA faculty, this three-workshop series examines opportunities for continued involvement after retirement in your department, the Senate and the campus and delves into the nuts and bolts of the retirement process. This year’s series will be held on Fridays, March 9, March 16 and March 23, 9 a.m. – noon.  Click here for more details.
  2. Faculty Retirement Liaison: Professor Emeritus David Lopez, UCLA’s Faculty Retirement Liaison, coordinates the workshops above and consults individually with faculty who are planning for retirement, helping them make post-retirement arrangements with their departments and advising them about the retirement process. David wrote a Guide to Retirement and an unofficial Guide to Emeriti Rights. Contact him at (310) 210-1118 or
  3. Pathways to Retirement Plan: these individual plans specify a separation date up to two years in the future in conjunction with considerations both prior to retirement (e.g. reduced teaching loads, modest re-arrangement of sabbatical plans, suspension of an upcoming five-year review) and following retirement (office or laboratory space, recall teaching, research funds, etc.). Plans are developed in consultation with your department chair, subject to approval by your dean and my office. David Lopez can assist with the development of these plans.
  4. UCLA Benefits Office: On-site benefits counselors are available to consult with you about the University of California Retirement Plan (UCRP) and about your specific situation. Schedule a consultation by calling the UCLA Benefits Office at (310) 794-0830.
  5. Fidelity Retirement Services:  As the record-keeping company for the UC Retirement Savings Program’s Defined Contribution, Tax-Deferred 403(b), and 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plans, Fidelity can help you plan for your financial needs in retirement. Visit the Fidelity website to use its interactive planning tools or schedule a one-on-one meeting with a Fidelity Planning and Guidance Consultant by calling 1-800-558-9182 or clicking here to schedule online.
  6. UCLA Emeriti/Retirees Relations Center (ERRC):  The ERRC, led by Director Sue Barnes, serves as the connecting link between UCLA and its retirees. In partnership with the UCLA Emeriti Association and the UCLA Retirees’ Association, the ERRC offers social, educational and cultural programs, assists with emeriti privileges, and facilitates opportunities for retired faculty and staff to continue their engagement with the campus. Contact the ERRC at (310) 825-7456 or
  7. Research Professor and Distinguished Research Professor Working Title:  Emeriti Professors who maintain an active research program 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, see Appendix 38 of The CALL
  8. Reduced Rate Parking:  Emeriti are eligible to purchase an "Emer" parking permit, with privileges similar to an X permit, at a substantially reduced rate (currently $150.00 for the entire year).
  9. Faculty Center Membership:  Membership dues are reduced for members who retire from the University. Click here for details.

As a member of the UCLA faculty, I continue to be impressed by the support the University provides for our professional and personal growth. The programs for faculty contemplating retirement and in their emeriti years are designed and implemented in that spirit.


Michael Levine
Interim Vice Chancellor
Academic Personnel