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ABOR Phased Retirement Program for ORP Participants

Participation in phased retirement is entirely voluntary, is subject to negotiation with your dean/vice president, is established by a binding written legal agreement, and is subject to approval by the provost. The dean/vice president retains the authority to balance college/division business continuity needs with requests for phased retirement.

Frequently Asked Questions


To participate in the Phased Retirement Program, Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) participants must (1) be at least 62 years old, (2) be fully vested in the ORP, and (3) enter into a written Phased Retirement Agreement with the University.

The Written Agreement and Duration of the Phased Period

The Arizona Board of Regents and UA general counsels have developed a standard written Phased Retirement Program Agreement to be used in every case. The Agreement records the specific terms of each participant's phased retirement period, workload, FTE, salary, and retirement date. 

The maximum duration of a participant's phased retirement period is three (3) years. The participant may request a period less than three years.

Once the phased retirement period has begun, you may choose to accelerate retirement, but may not extend retirement past the date in the participant's written Agreement. Share any plans for accelerated retirement as early as possible with the applicable dean/vice president to accommodate college/division business continuity needs. This allows for unforeseen circumstances, such as a participant's illness, that may prevent a participant from fulfilling the negotiated phased retirement period.

Reduced Workload and Reduced Hours

A Phased Retirement Program participant's FTE, salary, and workload will be reduced at the beginning of the phased retirement period. The specific amount of reduction is subject to negotiation between the participant and the applicable dean/vice president.

Unless the participant requests otherwise in writing, the FTE will be no less than .50 (20 hours/week) allowing the participant to retain University and Arizona Department of Administration benefits eligibility.

Tenured Faculty and Individuals with Continuing Status

A tenured faculty member or professional with continuing status irrevocably relinquishes all status rights at the end of the phased retirement period. See the University Handbook for Appointed Personnel:

Year-to-Year Professionals

Year-to-year professionals continue to be subject to annual employment contract renewals during the phased retirement period. Participation in phased retirement by non-tenured/non-continuing personnel does not create a guarantee or implied agreement of continuous employment during the phased retirement period.

Access to ORP Accounts During the Phased Retirement Period

Participants may withdraw funds from vested ORP account(s) as desired during the phased retirement period.

Contributions to ORP Accounts During the Phased Retirement Period

Both employee and employer contributions to the ORP continue through the participant's retirement date in accordance with Arizona Revised Statutes 15-1628C and the ORP.