Faculty Retirement Plans

Custom-designed retirement plans reflect the many avenues available to faculty during the transition to retirement.

Everyone’s vision for retirement is different. This is especially true among faculty, whose contributions to their fields and departments often extend beyond their core years of service. Princeton offers generous faculty retirement plans–including a standalone option and plans that can overlap or be combined. As you assess your options, we are available to meet with you to discuss the plans, your eligibility, and any individual concerns.

General Retirement Plan (Standalone)

General plans are just that: Retire at the end of the term agreed upon with your Chair and the Office of the Dean of the Faculty. Details are noted in a signed retirement agreement.

Advance Notice Bonus

Early notice of your intent to retire is incredibly helpful for departmental and University planning. The University will provide a bonus if you give sufficient irrevocable notice. 


Commit before July 1 of any year to retire from the University on July 1 of the following year.


On the date of your retirement, you will receive a cash grant (which is additional taxable income) equal to the amount that the University contributes to your TIAA-CREF or Vanguard retirement account during your final year of service. These grants are not available to faculty members who participate in any phased retirement plan.

Phased Retirement Plans (Combinable with Incentive Plans)

Phased plans involve a period of reduced service prior to retirement. The goal is to permit you to finish supervising graduate theses (without taking on new ones) and to begin withdrawing from administrative and committee obligations, while teaching on a reduced schedule. 

Three-Year Phased Retirement Plan

Duty & Residence

Half-time service for up to three years, with a formal agreement to retire at the end of that period. 

Half-time duty may take the form of: 

  • Full-time duty during one semester and no duty (presence on campus not required) the other semester. During the semester in which on-campus presence is not required, you are free to pursue teaching and other activities elsewhere.
  • Half-time duty (presence on campus required) for the full year 

Teaching duties are normally not reduced below a half-time basis.


Half of your full-time-equivalent (FTE) salary. 

Departments will be charged 0.50 FTE on the teaching budget for those faculty members who participate in this program.

Two-Year Phased Retirement Plan

The two-year option provides a higher base salary during the period of part-time duty.

Duty & Residence

Half-time service for up to two years, with a formal agreement to retire at the end of that period. 

You are expected to be in residence for the full academic year during each of the two years, and not on paid or unpaid leave of absence. Although formal teaching might take place in one term, you may be expected to supervise independent work or engage in other departmental activities. 


Two-thirds of your full-time-equivalent (FTE) salary. 

Departments will be charged 0.67 FTE on their teaching budgets for faculty members who participate in this program.

Sabbaticals & Phased Retirement

Participants in the Three-Year Phased Retirement plan are eligible for sabbatical leaves per the standard leave policy. While on half-time duty, faculty members may continue to accrue semesters of service at a correspondingly reduced rate, and one or two semester(s) of accrued leave may be taken in lieu of teaching semesters. If you think you may be eligible for leave during phased retirement, please discuss your plans with the Office of the Dean of the Faculty and your Chair.

Salaries, Benefits & Approvals

FTE salaries are set to reflect the larger of: 1) the salary determined via the annual review process, based on your salary at the beginning of the period and without penalty for reduced duty time; or 2) the average salary of all University professors of the same rank.

The University will continue to contribute to your retirement account in accordance with plan rules. All other benefits, such as life, short- and long-term disability, and medical, follow applicable HR policies and plan descriptions. You remain eligible for employee health benefits and dependent care expense accounts.

Half-time duty must be approved by the Chair of the Department and our Office.

Incentive Retirement Plans (Combinable with Phased Plans)

As a retirement-eligible faculty member with at least 10 years of service, the Incentive Plan offers a maximum incentive of 1.5 times salary, payable in the next pay period after you sign the retirement agreement. It is available from the time you turn 65 to your 70th birthday. There is a reduced incentive if you wish to transition to retirement with reduced duty or continue teaching until 70. Inactive faculty members on long-term disability are ineligible.

Incentives by Age

Incentives are available when you sign a retirement agreement and retire according to the following schedule. Payments are calculated based on your regular FTE salary or the University average for your rank, whichever is higher. 

Incentives with or without Half-Time Teaching

Age when signingIncentiveSemesters Eligible to Teach Half Time
651.5 x AY Salary6
661.25 x AY Salary6
671.0 x AY Salary4
68.75 x AY Salary4
69.5 x AY Salary2

Incentives with Full-Time Teaching until 70

Age when signingIncentiveTeaching
65 to the day before you turn 671.0 x AY SalaryFull-time until retire before the end of the AY in which you turn 70
Reduced Duty & Full-Time Teaching Options
Reduced DutyThe plan allows you to continue teaching on a half-time basis for half pay for up to 3 years (6 semesters). Half pay is set based on your salary or the University average for your rank, whichever is higher.
Full-Time Teaching until 70

If you wish to continue teaching until age 70, the plan includes an incentive of one-year salary if you sign the agreement before you turn 67. To receive the incentive, you commit to transferring to emeritus status at a mutually agreed retirement date before the end of the academic year in which you turn 70. 

During the period of full-time teaching, you will receive your regular FTE salary. The incentive payment is issued in the next pay period after you sign the retirement agreement.

Supplemental Research Grant

A supplemental $5,000 grant research grant is provided at the time of transfer to emeritus status to ease the transition.

Faculty Retirement Options Guide

Find all of the information outlined in this section of the site in this downloadable PDF guide.