Retirement Eligibility and Emeritus Status

1. Retirement Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for retirement benefits, employees must meet one of the following conditions, based on their most recent date of hire, date of rehire, and/or the date they became newly eligible for benefits.

  1. Hired as a benefits-eligible employee on or before December 31, 2002, and are age 55 or older and have at least 10 years of benefits-eligible service
  2. Hired or rehired or became newly eligible for benefits, on or after January 1, 2003, and are age 55 or older and have at least 10 years of benefits-eligible service and meet the “Rule of 75” where age plus service equals 75.
  3. Hired or rehired or become newly eligible for benefits on or after January 1, 2019. In addition to meeting rule #2 above, eligibility to retire is governed by the break-in-service rules that govern the Princeton University Retirement Plan (PURP). If there is a break in benefits-eligible service of more than five years, prior service does not count. 

2. University Policy Concerning Voluntary Termination and Retirement

It is the University’s policy to treat all voluntary terminations of employment where the faculty member meets the criteria for retirement as a retirement even in cases where the faculty member may be taking up a position elsewhere from Princeton. This treatment ensures that retirement-eligible faculty members will retain benefits associated with retirement even if they will be taking up another position.

3. Emeritus Status

Upon retirement, it is customary for the University, through its Board of Trustees, to approve the transfer of tenured professors in the ranks of Professor or Associate Professor to emeritus status. The University reserves the right to deny transfer to emeritus status.

When Faculty transfer to emeritus status and retain a professional connection with Princeton, they are expected to conduct their future research and University-related activities with the same ethical standards currently expected from all Princeton Faculty. The University reserves the right to rescind emeritus status for conduct inconsistent with these standards.

4. Benefits Generally Available to Emeritus Faculty

Upon their request, emeritus faculty members may receive such University publications as the Princeton University Bulletin and the Princeton Alumni Weekly, as well as agendas and minutes of University Faculty Meetings. They may attend meetings of the University and departmental faculty upon invitation, but do not have votes at these meetings. Emeritus faculty members continue to receive University identification cards and to have use of the library, the athletic facilities and dining facilities on the same basis as active faculty members.

Faculty will automatically retain their University computing privileges when they are granted emeritus status. In particular, there will be no change to their existing [email protected] email address upon becoming an emeritus faculty member.

Emeritus faculty members may be assigned office space as available and as needed, although they have lower priority than active members of the faculty and staff. Other facilities may be made available to them if the facilities are not needed by active faculty members and if it is possible to provide these facilities within the constraints of departmental budgets.

Emeritus faculty members do not have regular duties on a continuing basis. Retired Princeton faculty members may be appointed to teach on a part-time course-by-course basis, upon recommendation by the Chair and with the approval of the Board of Trustees for each appointment. These appointments are limited to one course per year for up to three years. Emeritus faculty members may carry to completion the supervision of those doctoral students whom they were advising before retirement, but are not expected to take on new graduate students after retirement.

Emeritus faculty members may have additional appointments as Senior Scholars if they are principal investigators on sponsored research projects. These appointments are expected to be at a small fraction of full-time duty and to involve only nominal compensation through the research grant or contract. Emeritus faculty members may accept postdoctoral fellows and other research staff to work with them. Laboratory space will continue to be made available for them so long as their research continues to be supported by outside grants and so long as their laboratory space is not needed for active faculty or staff members. Adequate notice will be given to emeritus faculty members if it necessary to reassign their laboratory space to active faculty members.