Early Retirement Incentive

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why is Brandeis offering a staff voluntary early retirement incentive program now?

A: This is part of a larger process of aligning Brandeis University’s organizational structures and business practices with the best in the higher education community.  We aim to design a voluntary program that will both offer generous incentives to qualifying employees who may wish to retire and help the University make progress in reducing overall compensation costs.

Q: Why is this option being offered to staff and not to faculty?

A: Maintaining our student/faculty ratio is critical to the success of the university.  However, we do welcome inquiries about retirement from faculty members on an individual basis.

Q: Is this plan or the deadline negotiable?

A: This timeline is designed to provide an appropriate planning opportunity to both employees and managers and must be applied consistently to ensure that everyone is treated fairly.

Q: Why are only 12 months of severance being offered to eligible staff, some of whom have been at Brandeis for many decades?

A:  In designing this voluntary program, Brandeis looked at programs that have been offered at other universities and determined that 12 months of severance is a generous program that is aligned with those that have been offered at peer institutions.

Q: Will employees who choose this voluntary program be eligible for health insurance during the severance period?

A:  Human Resources will work with each eligible employee to determine their options for ongoing health insurance.  The $15,000 transition allowance is intended to provide eligible employees with maximum flexibility.

Q: Will this program be offered in the future?

A: Brandeis University is offering a generous voluntary early retirement program in the hope that it will make progress toward addressing the institution’s current budget deficit.  The University cannot commit to offering a similar program in the future.

Q: If I am eligible for the program, do I have to take it?

A: No, this is strictly voluntary. 

Q: Does my manager/supervisor have to approve my participation in this program?

A: No, any eligible employee may choose to accept the incentive.

Q: Will there be any forums to learn more about the impact of choosing to retire?

A: Yes, we are currently setting up group forums with representatives from both TIAA-CREF and Fidelity, as well as bringing in a consultant who will consult with employees on an individual basis to look at each person’s situation in regards to social security, Medicare, and other programs for which employees may be eligible.

Q: How is the severance going to be paid…over time or in a lump sum?

A: The severance will be paid over a 12 month period.

Q: Is there a specific time I need to retire?

A: Any time between the present and May 31, 2014.

Q: Will I be able to retain my email after retirement?

A: No. Access to email will be terminated 2 weeks from retirement date. However, you may post an auto-reply directing people to your personal email address.

Q: Will I be able to file for unemployment?

A: The state makes the determination on unemployment. The University will report reason for departure as retirement which normally negates unemployment compensation.