Throughout the past several months, WVU has received numerous inquiries from faculty and staff regarding their retirement eligibility, retirement benefits and phased retirement options.
Based on the volume of retirement inquiries received, Talent and Culture partnered with the Office of the Provost to take a close look at the University’s current retirement programs, trainings and support offerings to ensure they are comprehensive and consider the needs of all employees.
These efforts included gathering input from faculty and staff through a WVU Retirement Survey, which was conducted in late October 2020. And based on employee feedback captured through the survey, WVU developed an Incentivized Phased Separation program.
Incentivized Phased Separation is a voluntary program that provides eligible faculty and staff a gradual transition from employment by offering reduced work and reduced pay for a designated period of time. Upon exit, the employee would receive an incentive payment for participating in the program.
Beginning later today, faculty and staff who meet eligibility requirements will receive an invitation via email to express their interest in the program. Employees will have until Friday, Feb. 26, at 5 p.m. to respond.
In general, the program is open to all faculty and staff across the WVU System who meet eligibility requirements*, which include:
The employee currently holds a regular, benefits-eligible position at the University.
The employee has 15 or more years of benefits-eligible service (as of Feb. 26, 2021).
The employee must remain benefits-eligible during the phasing period.
Note: While many employees may elect to officially retire in conjunction with participation in the Incentivized Phased Separation program and take advantage of retiree benefits, the employee’s eligibility to retire upon exit is not required.
Eligible faculty and staff will be provided three separation incentive options through the program:
Faculty and staff who sign an agreement with an exit date on or before Dec. 31, 2021, will receive a monetary payment upon exit equal to 100% of the annualized value of their salary reduction during the phasing period.
Faculty and staff who sign an agreement with an exit date after Dec. 31, 2021, but on or before June 30, 2022, will receive a monetary payment upon exit equal to 75% of the annualized value of their salary reduction during the phasing period.
Faculty and staff who sign an agreement with an exit date after June 30, 2022, but on or before Dec. 31, 2022, will receive a monetary payment upon exit equal to 50% of the annualized value of their salary reduction during the phasing period.
The HR partners will share each expression of interest with the employee’s dean or division leader. If the dean or division leader determines a phased separation is operationally and financially feasible, a collaborative process will begin with the chair/supervisor and the employee to determine the specific details of the transition. Additional approvals by senior administrators may be required in certain cases.
The Benefits Strategy team will be holding a series of virtual information sessions for employees who are eligible to participate in the Incentivized Phased Separation program. These sessions will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 19, Wednesday, Jan. 20, and Thursday, Jan. 21. Details on the information sessions will be shared with eligible employees via email.
If you would like to speak with someone about the program, contact the WVU Separation Incentives team at WVUSeparationIncentives@mail.wvu.edu or 304-293-4399. You also may contact your HR partner.
* Note: The Incentivized Phased Separation program is not open to WVU State employees who participate in the State Teachers Retirement System, WVU Research Corp. or WVU Innovation Corporation employees; however, the program is open to WVU Research Office State employees who meet eligibility requirements. Further, employees with established employment end dates will not be eligible to participate in the program. Established employment end dates are dates now or in the future that have been documented in writing on or before Dec. 31, 2020. Examples include (but are not limited to) employees who have submitted written documentation of their plans to resign or retire on a specific date or employees who have received official notice from the University regarding plans to end their employment on a specific date.