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ERIC Number: ED528862
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 37
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Survey of Changes in Faculty Retirement Policies 2007
Conley, Valerie Martin
American Association of University Professors
The Committee on Retirement of the American Association of University Professors initiated its first retirement policies survey in 2000 to address a lack of reliable and systematically collected information on retirement policies and practices across U.S. institutions of higher education. At the end of the 1990s, there was a sense that institutions had been modifying policies and practices to gain more control over the timing of individual retirement decisions since mandatory retirement for tenured faculty members had ended in 1994. To gauge whether or not--and if so how--institutions were actually changing retirement policies, the 2000 survey elicited information about regular retirement programs for tenured faculty members, the prevalence and characteristics of retirement-incentive and phased-retirement programs, polices applicable to retired faculty, and perceptions regarding the end of mandatory retirement. In 2005-06, the Committee on Retirement updated the survey instrument and redistributed it with an eye toward exploring how institutions might have changed their policies to deal with escalating health-care costs and the aging of so many faculty members nationwide. Specifically, the survey asked institutions to report the number of faculty members enrolled in each type of institutional retirement plan, details about the plans and any retirement incentives offered, and information about the availability and cost of medical insurance and long-term health-care options for retiring faculty members and their spouses and dependents. The committee hopes the survey will help faculty members who are planning their own retirements, faculty groups who want to improve policies on their campuses, and institutions seeking to develop more effective retirement programs. This report summarizes the survey findings. The findings of this survey show that the context and environment in which decisions about faculty retirement are being made is marked by both consistency and variation. Consistency is evident in the attempts by institutions to manage the number of faculty members retiring by offering retirement incentives and phased-retirement programs. But variation in institutional policies and practices regarding retirement suggests that where an individual faculty member retires from matters. Among the major findings of the study are: (1) Although the shift from defined-benefit to defined-contribution retirement programs continues, the default plan, if there is one, is defined benefit; (2) The number of institutions that reported having implemented phased-retirement programs was larger between 2000 and 2006 than between 1994 and 1999; and (3) High percentages of responding institutions reported that recruitment and retention of faculty were important (over 90 and 80 percent, respectively), but only 20 percent reported being concerned about retiring older faculty. Survey Instrument is appended. (Contains 4 tables, 14 figures and 2 notes.) [Funding for this paper was provided by the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF) and the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute.]
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Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Association of University Professors
Identifiers - Location: United States