Phased Retirement Program
The Phased Retirement Program (PRP) is intended to facilitate retirement decisions by allowing eligible faculty the option to continue participation in academic life and mentoring of students while preparing for the future. PRP was first introduced in 1988 to allow eligible tenured faculty to receive retirement benefits and work part-time for NC State on a three-year academic contract. Tenured faculty who qualify will receive a letter from the Provost extending an opportunity to participate in the Phased Retirement Program.
Full-time tenured faculty members with at least five (5) years of NC State University service who participate in the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System (TSERS) or Optional Retirement Program (ORP) are eligible to apply for PRP participation if they:
- are at least age 62 [for TSERS participants] or at least age 59 ½ [for ORP participants] upon entering the Phased Retirement Program; and
- are eligible to receive a benefit under the TSERS or ORP plans.
(A break in service is not required prior to entering PRP because the ages listed above meet “normal retirement age” requirements for the purposes of this program.)
Additional eligibility details can be found within Regulation 05.57.01, Phased Retirement Program for Tenured Faculty.
Notification for participation in the Phased Retirement Program is sent via email during the month of September.
The faculty member formally applies to the PRP by submitting an unsigned UNC Phased Retirement Program Application and Re-Employment Agreement (the “Agreement”) directly to the department head. Details for the department about the application process are explained in the Phased Retirement Program Department Guidelines. You negotiate individually with your academic department head to determine your specific Phased Retirement Program work plan duties (summer school duties are not included). Free feel to use the optional phased retirement workplan template.
Eligible faculty members may elect to begin receiving the benefits accrued under the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System (TSERS) or the Optional Retirement Program (ORP), but they are not required to do so. State Health Plan benefits [if eligible] are not provided unless in receipt of a monthly retirement benefit.
Faculty participating in the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System (TSERS) may begin the retirement process no sooner than 120 days prior to the effective date of retirement while participants of the ORP should begin at least 90 days prior to the retirement effective date. Even though retirement processing time frames are in place, planning generally begins at least a year in advance of the retirement date.
Faculty members who retire from TSERS or receive a monthly annuity benefit from the ORP carrier are eligible for retiree health benefits. Dependent coverage premiums are deducted from monthly TSERS payments. ORP participants will be direct-billed by the State Health Plan and may set up payment by bank draft. During the 3-year PRP period, most other benefit deductions continue through payroll deducted.
Those in Phased Retirement are limited to 50% of their faculty base salary paid out in the last 12 months prior to the start of phased retirement. This means no summer session pay, grants, distance ed classes, etc. after phased retirement begins. After phased retirement, there are currently no earnings limitations for ORP retirees; however, TSERS plan rules impose specific earnings limitations for retirees who return to service, including PRP participants. The allowable earnings limit is adjusted annually on January 1 by the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index, a national measure of increase in the cost of living from one year to the next.
Refer to the PRP Frequently Asked Questions for more information about how summer session earnings are affected by the earnings limitation.
Full retirement age (FRA) as defined by Social Security Administration (SSA) for eligibility for SSA benefits is determined by a retiree’s date of birth.
Please review the below chart regarding the transition of benefits upon concluding or exiting the phased retirement program.
|Benefits Plans||Information||Notes / Instructions|
|Retiree Health Insurance||Upon entering the phased retirement program, you enrolled in Retiree Health Insurance. |
Your retiree health coverage will continue upon your exit from phased retirement, no action is needed.
|Retirees may change health coverage during annual enrollment.
Retirees complete annual enrollment through the ORBIT Platform
|Medicare ||If you are not yet age 65, and turn 65 during phased retirement or after exiting, you must enroll in Part A and B of Medicare. Part A and B of Medicare become primary upon turning age 65 in retirement and the Retiree Health insurance will become secondary. ||Enroll in Medicare Part A and B directly with Social Security SSA.gov|
|Supplemental/Voluntary Retirement Plans|
403(b) - TIAA, Fidelity
457- TIAA, Fidelity, Prudential
|If you chose to continue contributions to a supplemental retirement plan while in phased retirement, they will stop on the June 30th payroll. |
Once fully retired, a minimum distribution is required at age 73 for these plans.
For options with these plans, contact the vendors directly:
|Voluntary retirement deductions will end when you exit phased retirement.
Check with your vendor for options.
Accident Plan, Dental, Vision, Cancer, Critical Illness, Flexible Spending Accounts
|If you chose to continue NCFlex benefits during phased retirement, they will end on June 30th upon your exit from phased retirement. |
You will have the option to continue your coverage through COBRA for up to 18 months by paying the full premiums directly to the vendors. The vendors will mail the COBRA offers to your home address.
Find Retirement Dental and Vision options at
|NCFlex benefits end when phased retirement ends.
You may chose to continue coverage through COBRA, or enroll in retiree dental/vision.
View continuation options for NC Flex plans, including COBRA contact information here: NC Flex Plan Continuation Options
If you continued your Flexible Spending Account during phased retirement, you may file for reimbursement of the total annual contribution amount for eligible expenses through June 30th. FSA may be continued on a post tax basis through December 31st, details will be mailed to you by P&A Admin.
|State Disability Programs|
(Short-Term and Long-Term DIP-Disability Income Plan)
|Coverage ended when you entered phased retirement.|
|Supplemental Disability Plans|
Liberty Mutual Long Term
Standard Long Term
|Coverage ended when you entered phased retirement.|
|MetLife Legal Plan||Coverage ends on June 30th upon your exit from phased retirement.||MetLife Legal Plans can be continued for a 12-month period following your employment ending. All 12 months of coverage must be paid for in one lump sum to MetLife Legal to continue the coverage.
Call 1-800-821-6400 for more information.
|UNC System Term Life Insurance (Securian)||If you chose to continue your UNC System Life insurance while on phased retirement, it will end June 30th when you exit phased retirement. |
Securian will contact you directly regarding continuation options.
If you are not enrolled at the time of you phased retirement exit, you do have the option of electing coverage upon full retirement.
If you chose to enroll in Retiree UNC System Life Insurance at the time you entered phased retirement, no action is needed and your plan will continue.
|Voluntary Retiree Life Summary|
|Traveler’s Insurance (home, auto)||Traveler’s deductions end on June 30th upon your exit from phased retirement.||Call 919-847-4909 for information on continuing coverage.|
|Parking||A parking deduction will continue until you return your virtual permit". An “R” sticker is also available for retirees who wish to continue parking on campus.||Visit Transportation’s Contact Us page and under the “Have a Question or Comment” section choose “Returning Virtual Permits: Chris Dobek”. Fill out the information and include the day you would like for your virtual permit to be returned. These can be future dated.|
For additional information contact Gareth Washington (919-515-4318) in the HR Benefits Office.