Phased Retirement Alternatives

Since 1979, the University has offered a phased retirement program, Voluntary Partial Retirement.  The VPR framework sets the stage for an individual to begin spending additional time away from campus before transitioning to full retirement.  Adjusting to a different income stream while maintaining a full complement of benefits is an advantage for those who participate.

VPR schedules are flexible. 

  • Sometimes academic assignments are scheduled so that all workload falls into one semester allowing the VPR participant to be away from campus the other semester. 
  • Other individuals find a year-round half-time arrangement is possible when workload is reduced.
  • Occasionally a seasoned professional moves to a special project for the duration of their VPR arrangement.

Purdue also benefits when VPR participants are able to transfer knowledge and skills to others, serving as a mentor to colleagues assuming new responsibilities. 


To participate in VPR, a faculty or administrative/professional staff member must qualify as an official retiree.  The criteria for this designation meets both criteria:

Age: 55 Years old or more
Years of Service 10 or more years of service in a benefits eligible position.
Note:  Upon returning from a sabbatical leave, the required year of service must be completed prior to commencing a VPR arrangement.


During the period of reduced employment, the University will:

  • Continue making its regular contribution to the 403(b) Base Retirement Plan based on the staff member’s full-time basic annual budgeted salary. The staff member will continue 4% contribution to 401(a) Mandatory plan based on actual pay during the pay period.
  • Health Care, life insurance and long-term disability benefits will be based on full-time salary.
  • Vacation and sick leave will be accrued at the reduced employment level; any excess vacation pay out processed when the VPR arrangement commences

Application Process

Begin the process by speaking with your supervisor and/or department head.  Exploring whether a reduced schedule would be possible is the first step.  If there is general agreement about the change in your workload, then a visit to your business office to help process paperwork will get the approval process underway.  Here are some tools to assist you in establishing your own VPR arrangement:

Provisions of VPR

  • Reduced rate of employment is generally 50 percent
  • Full retirement identified as part of a written agreement
  • Duration of the retirement accord cannot be lengthened nor the percentage of time employed increased (both may decrease with mutual consent)
  • Agreement may span up to fiveyears

An Alternative: The Advanced Retirement Declaration

Faculty and staff nearing the end of their careers may need additional resources to prepare financially for their retirement years. Normally faculty and administrative/professional staff must separate from service before any retirement funds may be distributed.  With the “official retiree” age/years of service criteria met, an individual may receive cash withdrawals or annuity payments from their retirement accumulations while employed full time under the provisions of the Advanced Retirement Declaration. The individual must specify a retirement date within two years of the commencement of withdrawal or payments from retirement accumulations. The payout options from the defined contribution retirement system will be the same as available to regular retirees.

Sample Letter

Contact Us

For questions on the following, contact:

Retirement contributions: 765-494-1686

Retirement distributions from Fidelity: 800-343-0860

Retirement distributions from TIAA: 800-842-2776

Help with retiree medical coverage: 765 494-1694

Benefit deductions (including medical) while you are away without pay:  765-494-1686

General benefits: 49-42222 or

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

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