Phased Transition Program
The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is introducing a new Phased Transition Program (PTP) designed to help interested and eligible professorial faculty members plan for and initiate a phased transition toward retirement.
Under this program, eligible faculty members who elect the PTP will retain full medical benefits during a one to three year phase down window to a minimum level of 30% effort. Enrollment is voluntary and requires a written agreement between the faculty member and their department. At this point the program is being introduced as a pilot initiative with the expectation that, if successful, it will be integrated into Policy & Procedure Memorandum Faculty-1: Appointments, Promotions and Professional Activities of the Faculty.
The PTP is available to full Professors of the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health who are age 62 or older and have at least ten years of full-time continuous service or have 30 or more years of continuous full-time service regardless of age, and are in good standing. “Good standing” means that a faculty member is not currently under disciplinary review under any applicable University or School policy.
Faculty electing to participate in the PTP enter into a formal agreement with their department chair which details the terms of their plan, including the level of effort and salary support commensurate with the associated duties and commitments in each year of phased retirement. That is, faculty members and department chairs must agree upon details of the level of effort and activities in the department (research, teaching, advising, service, etc.) that are consistent with the level of effort and salary per year. This is the case for all years of the agreement and extends through the lower limit of effort support (i.e., 30%). This document must be signed by both the department chair and faculty member. The duration of the phased retirement plan can be shortened but not extended, except in extenuating circumstances which may be brought to the Advisory Board at the chair’s discretion.
PTP participants will retain medical benefits that are commensurate with 100% effort. That is, participants will continue to receive full contributions by the University to elected medical, dental and life insurance benefits during the entire phased retirement period as long as effort remains at or above 30%. The University’s contributions to the retirement 403(b) plan will be proportionally based on the faculty member’s actual reduced salary, consistent with university guidelines. Coverage will continue until the date set for retirement at the end of the PTP.
Upon retirement, faculty will be provided with a lump sum that will cover one year of medical and dental benefits. The dollar amount of this sum will be based on the monthly premiums for retirees, aged 65 or older, for BCBS medical and dental premiums for an individual plus spouse. Premium rates will be based on year of retirement and will be taxable to the retiree; current rates can be viewed here: https://benefits.jhu.edu/documents/RetireeMedical2018FacStaff.pdf
During phased retirement, participants retain all of the roles and responsibilities available to them as professors. These are described in Policy & Procedure Memorandum: Academic Programs-1, General School-wide Academic Policies & Procedures, page 2. However, it is helpful to identify transition or succession plans for activities that may extend beyond the agreed-upon phased retirement window (e.g., supervision of doctoral students; grant participation) in the PTP agreement document. Departments should, to the extent possible, retain original office space and/or laboratory space for faculty members who participate in the PTP through the phased retirement window, although given the current exigencies for space in the School, this cannot be guaranteed. This should be negotiated in the PTP agreement.
PTP participants will be eligible for membership in the Academy at Johns Hopkins and its associated benefits and opportunities. The School will provide additional networking opportunities and resources to assist faculty in making this transition.
Relation to other JHU Benefits
Entering into this program does not affect, either positively or negatively, the standard benefits Johns Hopkins University makes available to all retirees. The PTP is part of a broader School initiative to assist faculty members in transitioning to retirement and includes facilitating information gathering for better understanding of the University’s retirement benefits. However, faculty members who are considering entering this program are urged to meet with a representative of the Johns Hopkins University Benefits office who can prepare a report of current retirement benefits tailored to their situation. Participation in the PTP does not alter provisions that allow retired and/or emeritus faculty members to return to contractual or limited employment with the School.