Policy

Career Planning for Retirement - Policy

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1. Purpose and Objectives

This Policy outlines the availability of pre-retirement contracts and educational seminars to assist employees transitioning to retirement.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Enterprise AgreementThe University of Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2014 - 2017

3. Policy Scope/Coverage

This policy applies to all continuing staff.

4. Policy Statement

The University recognises the importance of planning for retirement to allow staff to make a smooth and informed transition into retirement, while also assisting the University to undertake workforce planning, including succession planning.

The University is committed to providing a range of mechanisms to support staff considering retirement including through the provision, by agreement, of a pre-retirement contract and educational seminars.

5. Pre-Retirement Contracts

Where it is mutually beneficial to an employee and the University, a pre-retirement contract may be negotiated. Discussions regarding pre-retirement contracts should be approached with sensitivity and confidentiality by the University. Discussions in the preliminary stage should remain confidential.

A pre-retirement contract will generally not exceed 3 years in duration, but may be up to 5 years in duration. Pre-retirement contracts may contain negotiable terms including but not limited to:

  • a pre-retirement salary loading;
  • a variation in duties performed by the employee; and/or
  • flexibility in working hours.

Pre-retirement contracts are entirely voluntary and require the employee to relinquish their continuing appointment.

Employees will not be re-employed at the completion of a pre-retirement contract unless exceptional circumstances apply.

6. Pre-Retirement Seminars

The University will make available pre-retirement seminars on a range of issues to assist employees who are contemplating retirement.

Custodians
Director, Human Resources
Mr Bill Kernahan (Acting)

Procedures

Career Planning for Retirement - Procedures

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1. Purpose and Objectives

This procedure outlines the approval process for pre-retirement contracts and provides an overview of educational seminars available to staff.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Authorised Officer – the officer authorised to exercise the relevant HR power or function in accordance with the HR Authorisation Schedule

Enterprise Agreement - The University of Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2014 - 2017

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

This procedure applies to all continuing staff.

4. Procedures Statement

The University recognises the importance of planning for retirement to allow staff to make a smooth and informed transition into retirement, while also assisting the University to undertake workforce planning, including succession planning.

The University is committed to providing a range of mechanisms to support staff considering retirement including through the provision of pre-retirement contracts and educational seminars.

The University will not enforce a compulsory retirement age for any staff member covered by the Enterprise Agreement.

5. Pre-Retirement Contracts

Where it is mutually beneficial to an employee and the University, a pre-retirement contract may be negotiated. Discussions regarding pre-retirement contracts should be approached with sensitivity and confidentiality by the University. Discussions in the preliminary stage should remain confidential.

Pre-retirement contracts are entirely voluntary and require the employee to relinquish their continuing appointment. Pre-retirement contracts are negotiated on a case by case basis.

5.1 Negotiated terms

The pre-retirement contract will generally be between 12 months and 3 years in duration, but may be no longer than 5 years in duration, and may contain negotiable terms including but not limited to:

5.1.1 A pre-retirement salary loading

A pre-retirement salary loading is a salary payment additional to base salary, and is normally expressed as a percentage of base salary. It is generally expected that a pre-retirement salary loading will be non-superannuable.

The loading amount is as negotiated between the staff member and the University. Generally, the amount of the loading would vary dependent on the length of the pre-retirement contract. For example, a pre-retirement contract of 3 years duration would generally attract a lower pre-retirement salary loading than a pre-retirement contract of 12 months duration.

5.1.2 Variation in duties performed by the staff member

A variation in duties performed by the staff member  may include for example refocusing of activities (e.g. research focus, or teaching focus, or decreased responsibility) or specified project work. Any variation in duties will form part of the terms of the pre-retirement contract.

5.1.3 Flexibility in work hours

Flexibility in work hours may be negotiated, which may include part-time hours; a phased reduction in working hours; a compressed working week; working from home or patterned leave in accordance with the relevant Policy or Procedure.

5.2 Leave

It is expected that staff members will reduce their recreation leave balances prior to, or during, the life of the pre-retirement contract, where possible. A leave taking plan may be negotiated and agreed as part of a pre-retirement contract.

5.3 Performance management

The University’s performance appraisal process continues to apply to the staff members’ performance during the life of the pre-retirement contract.

5.4 Re-employment

It is expected that staff members who enter into a pre-retirement contract do so with the expectation that they will be retiring from the University at the completion of the contract.

Re-employment in any capacity following the expiration of a pre-retirement contract will only occur where unforeseen and exceptional circumstances can be demonstrated. Consultation should occur with the Director, Human Resources prior to the expiration of a pre-retirement contract, if consideration is being given to a second employment contract.

5.5 Negotiation and approval of pre-retirement contracts

A pre-retirement contract may be negotiated between the University and a staff member. This discussion may occur at the initiation of the staff member or the University. It is recommended advice is sought from Human Resources prior to discussions regarding a pre-retirement contract.

5.5.1 Staff member responsibilities

  • In the event a staff member is interested in pursuing a pre-retirement contract the possible terms of the contract should be discussed with the Supervisor and/or relevant Manager.
  • It is strongly recommended staff seek independent financial advice when considering entering into a pre-retirement contract.

5.5.2 Supervisor and/or relevant manager responsibilities

  • Discuss with the staff member the possible terms of a pre-retirement contract;
  • When considering applications for pre-retirement contracts, consideration should be given to:
    • Operational requirements;
    • Workforce planning implications;
    • Impact on business and staffing plans;
    • The individual staff members’ circumstances including:
      • Contribution to teaching and research (as applicable);and
      • Contribution to the University/organisational unit/discipline/profession (as applicable)

The Supervisor and/or relevant manager should make a recommendation to the Authorised Officer for consideration.

5.5.3 Authorised Officer responsibilities

The Authorised Officer will consider the proposal and the recommendation by the Supervisor and/or relevant Manager.

Additional approval may be required for pre-retirement salary loadings dependent on the loading amount in accordance with the HR Authorisation Schedule.

Finalised applications for pre-retirement contracts should be forwarded to Human Resources for action.

6. Education and Information

The University makes available a series of pre-retirement seminars and webinars and staff are encouraged to participate as part of the retirement decision making process. The seminars cover areas such as:

  • Finance
  • Superannuation and Retirement
  • Lifestyle
  • Health

For further information please contact your Human Resource staff.

7. Employees to Seek Independent Advice

Before committing to a course of action, staff are strongly advised to seek independent external financial, legal or other advice pertinent to their individual circumstances and options. The University deals with staff with the expectation that they will base their decisions on independent advice. The University cannot provide staff with financial or related advice, and so disclaims responsibility or liability for the consequences of staff acting in reliance on information provided generally, for example in pre-retirement seminars, or on advice from the University and its staff.

Custodians
Director, Human Resources
Mr Bill Kernahan (Acting)
Custodians
Director, Human Resources
Mr Bill Kernahan (Acting)