General

What is the enhanced sick leave payout program?
The enhanced sick leave payout program will provide eligible faculty members with an increased sick leave payout if they either submit a letter of intent to retire on or before March 15, 2021, with an effective date of retirement on or before June 30, 2021, (the "First Window") or submit a letter of intent to retire between March 16, 2021 and September 30, 2021, with an effective retirement date between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022 (the "Second Window"). 

How much sick leave could I be paid if I retire under this program?

The payout amount under the enhanced sick leave payout program will be based on your years of service and your sick leave balance as of the last day of your employment.

  • For eligible faculty members who retire in the First Window (on/before June 30, 2021), the sick leave payout will be calculated in accordance with the schedule below:​

  • ​For eligible faculty members who retire in the Second Window (between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022), the sick leave payout will be calculated as follows:


I would like to participate in the First Window of the ESLP program, and retire before June 30, 2021 to receive the highest payout, but I was on sabbatical during the Fall 2020 semester.  Can I submit a retirement letter to retire in the First Window and be eligible for the highest payout under the ESLP?

No, under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, faculty members who have utilized a sabbatical leave are required to teach for at least one year immediately following the sabbatical.  Therefore, a faculty member who has been on sabbatical for any portion of the 2020/21 academic year is not permitted to retire under the ESLP program prior to June 30, 2021, unless they pay back their sabbatical.  

However, if a faculty member who was on sabbatical for any portion of the 2020/21 academic year fulfills their obligation to teach the entire 2021/22 academic year, they may retire under the ESLP after the end of the 2021/22 academic year in the Second Window (and on/before June 30, 2022) and be eligible for the applicable ESLP payout.

I am an eligible faculty member currently working in a position funded by an external grant, with grant activity continuing through summer 2021.  Are there any special rules that apply to me?

Yes, if you submit a retirement letter prior to March 15, 2021 in the First Window, you may specify a retirement effective date on or before August 13, 2021 (instead of June 30, 2021), and you will still be eligible for the highest level of ESLP payout.  This extended window of retirement is being provided to permit you with additional time to complete/transition your grant-funded work.


Eligibility

How can I confirm my eligibility? 
Contact your university Human Resources office to verify your eligibility.  Participation is limited to active, regular full-time faculty members and tenured, regular part-time faculty members who have met the eligibility criteria for majority paid annuitant healthcare at the time of retirement, as follows:

  • Meeting the required years of service on or before March 15, 2021
  • Meeting the required age (if applicable) on or before the effective date of retirement

 

Example 1: Your current hire date is Fall 2000 – for majority paid annuitant healthcare you will need to attain age 60, with at least 15 years of State System service.  As of March 15, 2021, you will have in excess of 20 years of service, so you have met the service requirement.  You will turn age 60 on June 15, 2021.  As long as you select a retirement date between June 15 and June 30, 2021, you are eligible to participate in the First Window of the ESLP, and will receive the highest level of increased payout.

Example 2:  Your current hire date is Fall 2000 – for majority paid annuitant healthcare you will need to attain age 60, with at least 15 years of State System service.  As of March 15, 2021, you will have in excess of 20 years of service, so you have met the service requirement.  But, you will not be turning age 60 until May 1, 2022.  As long as you select a retirement date between May 1 and June 30, 2022, you are eligible to participate in the Second Window of the ESLP, and will receive the increased payout applicable to those later retirees.

Example 3: Your current hire date is Fall 1997.  You are age 56.  You are hoping to attain eligibility for majority paid annuitant healthcare and retire with 25 years of service.  You will have 25 years of service after the completion of the 2021/22 academic year.  You are not eligible for the ESLP program, because you have not met the years of service requirement prior to March 15, 2021.

 

I am currently participating in the Phased Retirement Program.  Am I eligible?
Eligible faculty members currently on an approved phased retirement arrangement may accelerate their retirement and participate in the First Window of the enhanced sick leave payout program by sending a letter to their university president by March 15, 2021, indicating their intention to accelerate their retirement date and retire on or before June 30, 2021, or submit a retirement letter between March 16, 2021 and September 30, 2021, indicating an accelerated retirement date between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022, for the Second Window of the program.

 

Procedures

What must I do to received an enhanced sick leave payout​?
Eligible faculty members must either:

  • First Window of ESLP - Submit a letter of intent to retire to their University President on or before March 15, 2021, with an effective date of retirement on or before June 30, 2021 OR

  • Second Window of ESLP - Submit a letter of intent to retire to their University President between March 16, 2021, and September 30, 2021 with an effective date of retirement Between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022

 

If I submit my retirement letter, can I later change my mind? 
Once you submit your intent to retire letter as part of this program, and it is accepted, it cannot be rescinded.


Sick Leave Balance and Payout

How can I find out how much sick leave I have? 
You can view your current sick leave balance by logging into Employee Self Service.  Once logged in, click on the “Employee Self Service" tab, then “Leave & Time", then “Display Leave Balances". 

The available balances in the categories of “Sick Leave", “Sick Family Leave", and “Faculty Excess Sick Leave" all should be combined to determine the total sick leave balance to be included in the sick leave payout calculation.  In the illustration below, this faculty member's total sick leave balance would be 2,703.75 hours (2,051.25 hours + 37.5 hours + 615 hours), which converts to 360 days.​

The total hours are divided by 7.5 and rounded down to the whole number of days (any fraction of a day is dropped).

Regular full-time faculty earn 7.5 days (56.25 hours) of sick leave each semester.  

How will my sick leave payout be paid to me?
Your sick leave payout is paid in a lump sum on your final paycheck via direct deposit along with your final pay.  Sick leave payouts are taxed at a rate of 22% for federal income tax purposes. State and local taxes are deducted at the normal rates.   

Can I put my sick leave payout into a tax deferred account? 
Participants enrolled in the Deferred Compensation Plan may have federal income tax deferred on their sick leave payout by rolling it into their Deferred Compensation account.  Current IRS limits may impact the actual amount you can defer.  For details on the Deferred Compensation plan, including the contribution limits, see the Deferred Compensation Plan Features and Highlights.

Sick leave payouts cannot be rolled into a Tax-Sheltered Annuity – 403b Plan.