Faculty Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program

General Provisions and Framework

  • The university’s program provides an incentive for retirement of faculty from full-time employment with the university.
  • The program is entirely voluntary. No faculty member is required to apply for participation, and no faculty member is guaranteed that an application for participation will be granted by the university. Voluntary retirement incentive program (VRIP) agreements (hereafter “Voluntary Separation Agreement and General Release and Waiver of Claims” or “Agreement”) shall be offered to those who meet the eligibility criteria and apply, subject to program limitations outlined below.  
  • Voluntary Separation Agreements and General Release and Waiver of Claims under this program may be entered into only with tenured faculty (including both instructional and administrative or professional faculty who have tenure).
  • Application approval will be limited to no more than two per department, with a maximum of 50 campus-wide (accepted on a first-come basis).  
  • In general, the university defines “annual salary” as the individual’s base academic year salary paid directly by the university over the most recent nine- to twelve-month period without consideration of internal bonuses, administrative supplements, summer pay or external sources of funding or revenue. 
  • The dean must ensure that the program is announced to all eligible faculty members. 
  • The university reserves the right to determine whether to accept, modify, or terminate an employee’s application under this program, when, in the university’s sole discretion, such actions are deemed appropriate to meet the university’s academic, programmatic, or economic business needs, or when the applying employee becomes incapable of carrying out his or her responsibilities and duties under the application or program.
  • Eligible faculty members who wish to participate in the VRIP and whose application is accepted by the university, must sign and return to the university a Voluntary Separation Agreement and General Release and Waiver of Claims no later than 45 days after their Retirement Date. To receive the Program benefits, participants must not exercise their right of revocation contained within that agreement.  Failure to execute the Voluntary Separation Agreement and General Release and Waiver of Claims will result in benefits being withheld.  
  • This program is intended to qualify as a severance pay plan under Code Section 457(e)(11) and a “window Program” under Code Section 409A so as to not constitute deferred compensation under Code Sections 409A, 457(b), and 457(f). In no event may the university or a participating faculty member accelerate or delay payment or the Retirement Date in a manner inconsistent with this intent. The program will be interpreted and administered in a manner consistent with this intent. Amounts payable under this program upon retirement, termination, or any similar term will be payable only when the Eligible Employee incurs a “separation from service” as defined under Code Section 409A. 
  • VRIP must comply with other applicable state and federal law and regulations.

Implementation and Approval Process

  • Completed applications should be submitted simultaneously to the Office of the Provost using the following email address: facultyretirement@case.edu with a copy to the dean. The dean of the appropriate school or his/her designee must review each retirement application prior to forwarding a copy to Human Resources. This is necessary so that an assessment of the percentage of external support for applicants can be made at the school level.
  • Following notification of approval, and prior to the Retirement Date, human resources, in consultation with the Office of General Counsel, will provide a Voluntary Separation Agreement and General Release and Waiver of Claims for each approved applicant and forward it to the dean so that appropriate signatures can be obtained.

Components of the Plan

Retirement Incentive Payment

The incentive will consist of two components, each payable as a lump sum: (i) an amount equivalent to the participant’s annual salary; and (ii) an amount equivalent to 24 months of the current university retiree Medicare supplement plan premium for single coverage. For example, an eligible faculty member with an annual salary of $100,000 - and given the current retiree medical premium for single coverage of $579/month - would receive a total retirement incentive payment of $113,896 under this program. 

Eligibility Criteria

  • Tenured faculty, with a minimum of ten (10) years of service, whose age plus years of service as of June 30, 2022, equals 75 or more.
  • To be eligible, as of January 4, 2022, a faculty member must not have previously committed to a retirement date in writing.
  • Faculty whose salary is more than 25% supported by sponsored funds are not eligible.
  • The eligible faculty member may be working at full-time effort or part-time effort of 50% or more.  However, the retirement incentive calculation shall be based upon the salary received by the faculty member prior to application for VRIP and commensurate with the faculty member’s effort level.

Program Cost and Limitations

  • Participants shall continue to have access to the university dining facilities, the university gymnasium and libraries, and the availability of discount tickets for university activities, consistent with such privileges that may be offered to full-time faculty. 
  • Participants shall be eligible to participate in any tuition waiver program that the university may offer for retired Faculty members and their spouses and dependent children, consistent with the requirements and limitations of a tuition waiver program.  However, the university is not obligated to maintain such a tuition waiver program.  
  • Participants shall not accrue vacation or sick leave and shall not be eligible to receive employer retirement contributions after the Retirement Date.  This means the retirement incentive payments will not result in any 403(b) retirement plan (CWRU Retirement Plan A) contribution by the employee or any contribution by CWRU.  
  • Participants may accept, upon approval of the dean, a non-benefit eligible part-time assignment after retirement provided the faculty member has a minimum of thirty (30)-day break-in-service between the Retirement Date and the start of any part-time work. The term of this assignment will not exceed six months unless approved by the dean.  
  • Participants’ actual Retirement Date shall be July 1, 2022 unless specified differently in the Voluntary Separation Agreement and General Release and Waiver of Claims. 

Timeline 

  • Provost and Deans will present the program to eligible participants in December 2021.
  • Applications will be accepted beginning at 8 a.m. EST January 4, 2022 through 5:00 p.m. EST on February 28, 2022, or until participation limits have been reached, whichever occurs first.  
  • An application to the VRIP may be revoked by the faculty member prior to the end of the application window period. Requests to rescind an application must be made in writing and delivered to the Office of the Provost using the following email address:  facultyretirement@case.edu by 5:00 p.m. EST on February 28, 2022.
  • A Voluntary Separation Agreement and General Release and Waiver of Claims will be provided to approved participants on or before the Retirement Date.  Such agreements must be executed and returned to the university in order for VRIP benefits to be paid out in accordance with the terms of the agreements and this program.
  • This Program will terminate when all payments described herein have been provided.

Representations Contrary to the VRIP

No officer, employee, representative, or agent of CWRU has the express or implied authority to alter, vary, or modify the terms of the VRIP. No verbal or written representations contrary to the terms of the VRIP shall be binding upon the university.

Recommendation to Obtain Legal Advice

Eligible faculty members are advised to contact an attorney, at their own expense, to discuss the VRIP before submitting an application and to review the Voluntary Separation Agreement and General Release of Claims before executing the agreement.