The Value of Phased Retirement

Steven G. Allen

NBER Working Paper No. 10531
Issued in May 2004
NBER Program(s):   AG   LS

This paper examines how phased retirement plans in higher education create value for both the institution and individual faculty, based upon evidence from the Survey of Changes in Faculty Retirement Policies and an in-depth case study of the University of North Carolina system. Faculty benefit by receiving improved opportunities for part-time work and by having the ability to make a smoother transition to retirement. The policy is clearly of great value to the 25 to 35 percent of UNC faculty who opt for phased over full retirement. The biggest payoff to the university is an increase in the odds that low-performing faculty will start the retirement process earlier. Universities also anticipate increased flexibility in managing faculty employment and compensation; phased retirement is most likely to be observed on campuses where a high percentage of faculty has tenure.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w10531

Published: Clark, Robert L. and Jennifer Ma. Recruitment, Retention and Retirement in Higher Education: Building and Managing the Faculty of the Future. Cheltenham, U.K. and Northampton, MA: Elgar, 2005.

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