June 9, 2016
With the end of the academic year approaching, I want to wish you a restorative and productive summer. Summer always reminds me of milestones and transitions in one's career. Certainly, one of the largest milestones that we come upon is retirement. With all of the discussions concerning the change in retirement benefits for new employees hired after July 1, 2016, I thought it might be useful to summarize the extensive array of retirement options that are available to those who have already devoted many years to UC San Diego. I hope you will continue your long, successful, and satisfying associations with UC San Diego. There are many ways for faculty to continue such associations after retirement.
During my six years as Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, I have seen many faculty take advantage of the financial benefits of our excellent retirement system to launch productive and personally rewarding post-retirement endeavors, including mentoring, teaching, serving as PI on research grants, chairing dissertation committees, and serving on Academic Senate committees at UC San Diego and Systemwide. Because of the recent increases in required contributions to the retirement system (the employee contribution is now at 8% of covered compensation), the incentives to consider opportunities for retirement have grown, especially for faculty with >30 years of service. For example, simulations run by the Office of the President have shown that depending on your age, coordination with Social Security, and current contributions to a 403(b), retiring faculty members with extensive service may be able to take home more per month, than they do as active faculty. I encourage you to run the numbers at the "Retirement Estimator" on the bottom right hand corner of https://atyourserviceonline.ucop.edu/ayso/.
Of course, financial considerations, alone, do not guide any faculty
member's decision about retirement. For those who want to explore the
social and personal dimensions as well, our Retirement Resource Center
hosts an extensive program to assist in retirement preparation. The
Center is conveniently located in the center of campus. Directions and
map are available at
I also am aware that space to work on campus is a major concern of faculty contemplating retirement, as well as a scarce resource for UC San Diego. Whenever possible, we provide adequate office and laboratory space for our retired faculty, as well as access to appropriate departmental services. This is a decision that is made at the department and Dean level based on the units projected needs.
When you begin to consider planning for retirement, you should be aware of the following programs that the University offers, including, in some cases, an individualized Pathway to Retirement Plan (described at #6 below).
1. UC San Diego Benefits Office: Our on-site benefits counselors are
ready to consult with you about the various retirement benefits
available through the University of California Retirement Plan (UCRP)
and about your specific situation. You may consult with one by calling
the UC San Diego Benefits Office at (858) 534-2816 or by consulting
directly with the Retirement Administration Service Center (RASC) at
UC's Office of the President
2. Fidelity Retirement Services: Fidelity Retirement Services is the
record-keeping and account services company for the UC Retirement
Savings Program [Defined Contribution, Tax-Deferred 403(b), and 457(b)
Deferred Compensation Plans]. Fidelity can provide account balances and
other information about your accounts. In addition, it has interactive
planning tools and other information to help you plan for your financial
needs in retirement: http://www.netbenefits.com. Faculty can meet with
a Fidelity Planning and Guidance Consultant on a face-to-face,
one-on-one basis on campus or at UC San Diego Medical Center Hillcrest.
To make an appointment, call 1-800-558-9182 or go to:
3. UC San Diego Emeriti Association: Over 500 of your colleagues have joined the Emeriti Association. The Association hosts a vibrant array of programs including monthly lectures, a book group, a stimulating publication (Emeriti Chronicles), and keeps track of benefits changes that are important to retired faculty. The Association also provides an immensely important and successful mentoring program to the Chancellors Scholars. Details about such programs are available at: http://emeriti.ucsd.edu/mentoring/index.html.
4. Disposing of books and papers: As faculty prepare for retirement and the likely resulting down-sizing, many are concerned to find a "home" for their books. The Geisel Library can assist in picking up books, acquiring them for UC San Diego library collections or disposing of them.
5. Reduced Rate Parking: Emeriti with over twenty years of service are eligible for a free A parking pass.
6. Pathways to Retirement Plan: For ladder rank faculty on the general campus, there is an opportunity to establish a specific date for separation up to two years in the future and a plan of research, teaching, and service prior to separation through a Pathways to Retirement Plan. Since the Pathways program began in 2009, 30 faculty have taken advantage of its terms. If you are ladder rank faculty on the general campus and interested in such a plan, you should tell your Chair, who may then choose to develop one in consultation with you, subject to review and approval by your Dean and, ultimately, my office. Components of such a plan prior to separation may include a modified teaching schedule for up to one year, deferral of an upcoming five-year review (which could otherwise entail augmented teaching or service responsibilities), and summer ninths for specific research or assignments performed. Components of such a plan subsequent to separation may include: office or laboratory space and research funds. If you are at least 60 years of age with at least 5 years of UCRP service credit, your Chair may also include consideration of a pre-retirement Recall Agreement, promising recall to teach or engage in research for up to three years after retirement.
7. Recall to Active Duty (RTAD): Regardless of Pathways to Retirement,
faculty may be recalled to active duty part-time to assist the
University's missions in education, research, and service. For
8. Faculty Retirement Liaison: Beginning in November 2015, UC San Diego initiated a faculty retirement liaison program. Over 80 faculty members have met individually with our liaison, Professor Emeritus Joel Dimsdale, to discuss their concerns about retirement planning. We encourage individual faculty to contact him with questions. We also encourage departments to invite him to faculty meetings to provide a general briefing about retirement benefits.
As a member of the UC San Diego faculty for more than thirty-five years, I continue to be impressed by the support the University provides for our professional and personal growth. The programs for individuals contemplating retirement are designed and implemented in that spirit.