More faculty putting off retirement

By Paul Mayne

Excerpt from: Western News Thursday, January 7, 2010

Full article at:

The elimination of mandatory retirement in 2006 will have a $12-million impact on The University of Western Ontario in 2010-11 as unexpectedly higher numbers of older professors take a pass on retiring at age 65.
Heading into 2010, 24 additional probationary and tenured faculty members who have reached the typical retirement age of 65 have chosen to continue teaching. This brings the total number to about 65.

Alan Weedon, Vice-Provost (Academic Planning, Policy and Faculty) says in 2006, when the rules were changed, the university believed about 50 per cent of faculty would work beyond age 65. “Our projections were incorrect,” says Weedon. “It looks like the majority of faculty are choosing to work beyond age 65. This is more than we had expected, so it is causing some pressure on the university’s operating budget since they were unplanned positions.”

With the total number of years they will continue to work not known, Weedon says costs could continue to rise. “In subsequent years it will increase if the number of people working beyond normal retirement date increases, and will also increase because of the annual salary settlements.” Some of the positions have already been bridged by new hires, based on an assumption workers were going to retire.

A new voluntary faculty retirement program was offered to about 220 faculty members in December, designed for faculty who meet certain eligibility requirements and offering a minimum incentive of $65,000. Those who participate must retire on June 30 or July 1.

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