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2.1.10 Staff Retirement

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Approved by the Vice President for Human Resources.
Last Updated

Formerly Known As Policy Number: 22.9

This Guide Memo describes the retirement income plans, health care coverage, and other perquisites available to employees who retire from the University.


This policy applies to all faculty, academic staff, and regular employees as defined in Administrative Guide Memo 2.2.1: Definitions. For policies that apply to employees covered by collective bargaining agreements, refer to the applicable agreements between Stanford University and SEIU Higher Education Workers Local 2007 and Stanford University and the Stanford Deputy Sheriffs' Association. Agreements can be found at Labor Relations & Collective Bargaining

1. Retirement Plans

a. University Retirement Plans

Income from University retirement plans is available to all participants who are vested in these plans, whether or not they are Official University Retirees. For detailed information about eligibility, contributions, vesting, and benefits please see each plan's Summary Plan Description, available at the Benefits web site. The Summary Plan Description is the official University communication on these plans and contains a description of how each plan operates and participants' rights under the plan and federal law.

  • Staff Retirement Annuity Plan (SRAP) - This retirement plan is for certain employees covered by collective bargaining unit agreements. Additionally, due to certain historical Plan provision changes and participant elections, some exempt and nonexempt staff may either:(a) Be a current participant in SRAP, or(b) Have an accrued SRAP benefit from previous participation while in an active SRAP status.
  • Stanford Contributory Retirement Plan (SCRP) - This retirement plan is for faculty, academic staff and exempt and non-exempt employees. However, due to certain plan provision changes and participant elections, some employees elected to continue participation in SRAP rather than participate in SCRP. The Summary Plan Description is available on the Benefits web site in the Resource Library.

b. Voluntary Tax-Deferred Annuity Plan (TDA)

This retirement plan is available to all eligible employees immediately upon hire and is intended to supplement the retirement benefits from Social Security and either the SRAP or SCRP plans. For purposes of this plan, "employee" includes faculty and staff; post doctoral scholars; and temporary, casual and contingent employees. Employees make tax-deferred contributions to this supplemental plan and direct where to invest their contributions.

c. Social Security Retirement Benefits 

The Social Security program provides retirement benefits to individuals who have worked long enough in covered employment to become fully insured. Reduced benefits are payable to retirees starting at age 62 and before Social Security normal retirement age based on year of birth. Increased benefits result from deferring retirement beyond normal retirement age. After the start of benefits, amounts earned from gainful employment in excess of limits set by law may reduce Social Security payments. Employees and employers pay the costs of the Social Security program. Local offices of the Social Security Administration will provide additional information and assistance with applications for benefits.

2. Official University Retirees

a. Eligibility

Only current employees and former employees who have not been terminated for gross misconduct (and informed in writing that they are ineligible for rehire by the University) may qualify to become an Official University Retiree if age and service requirements are met.

1. Employees Hired Before January 1, 1992

Employees with a benefits-eligible hire date before January 1, 1992 can qualify as an Official University Retiree one of two ways:

  • Complete at least 10 years of benefits-eligible service and are at least age 55 at the time of retirement, or
  • Meet the "Rule of 75" [see (2) below].

2. Employees Hired On or After January 1, 1992

Employees with a benefits-eligible hire date on or after January 1, 1992 qualify as an Official University Retiree when all the following requirements are met:

  • At least 10 years of benefits-eligible service, and
  • Age and years of service total 75 or more.

This rule is called "The Rule of 75."

3. Gradual Retirement

A full-time staff member who qualifies for Official Retiree status but wishes to retire gradually by continuing to work part-time may make such arrangements when mutually acceptable to their department (including a department to which an employee is redeployed), in any increment of time, but no more than a total of two (2) years. Retirement benefits will continue to accrue on part-time employment when provided for in the applicable retirement plan.

4. Reemployment of Retirees

If a retiree returns to Stanford employment, their should call Stanford Benefits at (650) 736-2985 to discuss the effect, if any, on retiree health benefits.

b. Official University Retiree Benefit Program

  • Medical Benefits - Official Retirees may participate in a University-provided retiree medical plan. See the Retiree Health & Welfare Summary Plan Description, available at the Benefits web site for detailed information about eligibility, coverage, University contributions, costs and benefits. At age 65, retirees and spouses must apply for and maintain Medicare Parts A and B.
  • Dental Plans - Official Retirees may participate in the University-provided retiree dental plan. See the Retiree Health and Welfare Summary Plan Description for detailed information.
  • Perquisites - Official University Retirees may use University libraries and recreation/ athletic facilities and receive staff discounts for certain athletic events, as provided by the rules and policies of the department which provides the services or facilities. Official University Retirees remain eligible to participate in the Tuition Grant Program.

3. Guide to Supervisors

a. Arrangements for Retirement

  1. An employee is encouraged to attend a retirement meeting at least 2-3 months prior to their potential retirement date.
  2. Retirement is a form of voluntary termination of employment. See Guide Memos 2.1.9: Separation from Employment and 2.2.3: University Payroll.

b. Retirement Gifts

Departments may use University funds to purchase a retirement gift for the retiree. However, a gift of more than nominal value may be taxable to the recipient as additional income. For more information see Guide Memo 2.2.10: Gifts and Awards for University Employees.

c. Reemployment of Retirees

When individuals who have retired from the University are reemployed, the provisions of Guide Memo 2.1.2: Recruiting and Hiring of Regular Staff, and Guide Memo 2.2.3: University Payroll, are applicable.

Health Care: Retirees who are recalled to a benefits-eligible position working between 20-40 hours per week become eligible for the same benefits as an active employee and will need to enroll as such. If a recalled retiree fits these requirements, they should call Stanford Benefits at (650) 736-2985. When the recalled retiree terminates employment again, call Stanford Benefits at (650) 736-2985 to re-enroll in retiree medical benefits.

d. Recalled Retiree

If a retiree is receiving payments from SRAP, SCRP or TDA, those benefit payments continue if the retiree is recalled to a benefits-eligible position. In addition, the recalled retiree starts accruing additional retirement benefits based on salary.