Penn State offers retirement option as cost-saving plan in two units

University Park, Pa. -- Penn State is offering a voluntary retirement incentive to a select group of employees as part of its efforts to address significant budgetary challenges.

Faculty and staff in two units -- the College of Agricultural Sciences and Cooperative Extension and the Division of Outreach -- who meet specific requirements for the plan are eligible.

"The College of Agricultural Sciences and Cooperative Extension were facing daunting budget challenges even before the Governor announced his proposed $182 million cut in our appropriation," said Al Horvath, senior vice president for finance and business at Penn State. "This is one part of an overall strategy to reduce expenses in line with projected revenues that have been shrinking over the past several years."

The College of Agricultural Sciences and Cooperative Extension have several programs that fully depend upon local, state and federal funding to support their work. Similarly, a number of activities within the Division of Outreach have seen critical state and federal funding reduced or eliminated in recent years with additional cuts anticipated in the future.

As a result, Outreach leaders must continually look for cost savings and the Voluntary Retirement Plan will provide another step in addressing these challenges.

The Voluntary Retirement Plan being offered to eligible faculty and staff within these two units is a "positive action in response to financial uncertainties," said Horvath.
"We are looking at ways to mitigate the impact by attempting to capture salary savings from voluntary retirements. It's hoped that these efforts, combined with salary freezes and other initiatives, will allow these areas to remain viable and help reduce the need for more difficult actions."

Horvath said there is no specific dollar amount targeted for savings through this plan, and the final amount of savings will depend on the number of individuals who choose to participate. He added, "We encourage those eligible in the College of Ag Sciences and Outreach to consider this opportunity and see if it's a good fit for them."

To take advantage of the Voluntary Retirement Plan, employees in the two participating areas of the University must be at least 60 years old and have a minimum of 15 years of consecutive regular, full-time service or have at least 35 years of consecutive regular, full-time service with the University, regardless of age, as of June 30, 2011. Faculty who have already entered into the University's phased retirement program are not eligible to participate.

Eligible employees in both the College of Agricultural Sciences and Outreach are being notified of this opportunity through mail. Eligible faculty or staff from those two areas who have questions about the Voluntary Retirement Plan should contact the Employee Benefits Division at 814-865-1473.

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Last Updated April 14, 2011