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General Description and Guidelines

The Phased Retirement Program (PRP) honors long and dedicated service to Howard by providing eligible faculty a voluntary, one-time program which allows a phased reduction in service over a period of up to five years.'  This offering provides pre-agreed rates of compensation based on current pay, takes into account faculty preferences of work duties during the phase out period and provides financial incentives.

We know (from the PRP faculty survey and individual faculty statements) that many Howard faculty will retire within the next six years.  The PRP responds to and supports individual faculty decisions to retire within this period.  The PRP also accommodates individual preferences, including working part time prior to full retirement, and offers financial incentives.  Additionally, the PRP provides the University the needed predictability about faculty availability so it can adequately plan course scheduling, hiring and faculty deployment for its many and varied academic programs during a period within which a significant number of Howard faculty will retire.



Important Dates

  • Sunday, July 1, 2012
    First phased reductions and full retirements under the PRP begin

    If you have not returned your signed Faculty Phased Retirement Agreement (FPRA) to OHR (or your Dean), you need to do so by the 45 day review deadline noted on your FPRA receipt. Please refer to your FPRA receipt for your specific deadline date (or call the PRP hotline at 6-1259 and they can provide that date). Once signed and returned (obtain receipt), the applicant has seven days to submit written revocation of the agreement.)

  • Wednesday, February 29, 2012
    Each participant’s mutual understanding with Deans must be finalized

    NOTE: Faculty who reach a mutual understanding with the Dean will be presented a Faculty Phased Retirement Agreement offer signed by the Dean and Deputy Provost.

  • Wednesday, November 30, 2011
    Last day to submit Application to Participate in the Phased Retirement Program

One-Time Program

The PRP is a one-time program.  Faculty should not expect that any program similar to the PRP will be offered in the future.  For this reason, faculty who are interested in participating, or are considering participation, should carefully adhere to all program deadlines. 

Voluntary Participation

Participation in the PRP is voluntary.  The University encourages all eligible faculty to review the Program in light of their personal and professional interests and plans.  However, the University neither encourages nor discourages participation. 

To assist in careful and informed consideration of the decision to participate, the University is providing all eligible faculty with retirement and financial planning assistance through certified independent firms, or alternatively a subsidy of up to $400 for faculty who wish to consult their own financial planner.  This retirement/financial planning assistance is available to all faculty eligible for the PRP whether or not they intend to participate. 


Application to Participate

Any faculty member who submits an Application to Participate in the Phased Retirement Program initiates a period extending until Wednesday, February 29, 2012, during which time the faculty member will meet with her/his Dean and department chair.


The purpose of these meetings is to discuss: the faculty member’s request for the number of years of further service prior to full retirement, the proportion of a full-time workload to be undertaken each year, and the preferred duties or assignments. 

These discussions continue until a mutually satisfactory agreement is reached.  This is the basis of a written agreement to be signed by the faculty member and the Provost or the SVP for Health Sciences. If an agreement is not reached and the faculty member wishes to retire, the faculty member may retire outside the PRP. 


An appeal mechanism is provided.  All PRP participants will resign their tenure, Career Status or Master instructor positions as of June 30, 2012 and become contract employees for the duration of their PRP phase out period. 

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The PRP is a flexible program that accommodates varying levels of readiness to retire and a range of faculty personal and professional preferences.  

  • Under the PRP, a faculty member may fully retire as of June 30, 2012, or, at the other end of the spectrum, work full-time for five more years (i.e., their phase out period would extend until June 30, 2017). 

The faculty member specifies their preferred proportion of full time work for each year of their requested phase out period -- 100, 75, 50 or 25 percent – such that the percentage stays the same or decreases year by year. 

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Financial Incentives

Financial incentives are part of the PRP:

  • First, there is a retirement incentive payment based on the length of credited service, i.e., faculty with 26 years of service will receive the maximum award of an extra year’s salary. 
  • Secondly, as noted above, faculty are paid based on their previous rate of pay for work done during the phase out period. 
  • Thirdly, PRP participants who are 62 or older, or as they reach 62, may elect to collect payments from the Howard University Defined Benefit Plan concurrently with being paid for on-going contractual employment with Howard. 

Salary Calculation

Since some faculty salaries vary year-to-year based on clinical duties, work on grants and summer teaching, the fixed payment for participation in the PRP will be calculated using the faculty member’s highest salary during any of the three preceding years:  July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012; July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011; and July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010. 

Each faculty member’s salary for on-going work during the phase out period will be based on their salary prior to entering the PRP.  This will increase by 3% per year based on satisfactory performance, excepting any year in which there is no salary pool for increasing faculty salaries outside the PRP.  Base pay will be prorated to the faculty member’s contracted time base for each year.

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Eligibility Disclosure

Participation in the PRP is neither automatic nor guaranteed (though its goal is to include all faculty who wish to participate). 

With approximately 450 faculty and faculty in administrative positions eligible to apply to participate in the PRP, the University reserves the right to deny participation, subject to written guidelines that apply to all programs, if a faculty member's participation would prevent the continued successful operation of a University academic program. 

These and other aspects of the PRP (including individualized information about participation) will be provided in a communication sent shortly from the Director of Human Resources Benefits. 

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In deciding whether to participate in the Faculty Phased Retirement Program, we understand that you may have reoccurring questions. In that case please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) link below.


Contact Us

Should you have any questions regarding the Phased Retirement Program, direct your inquires to:

Benefits & Pension Administration