This section provides an overview of many benefits available to faculty and staff. In the event of conflict between the overview provided in this handbook and the plan document or insurance plan, the plan document or insurance plan will govern. Complete descriptions are not possible in the handbook; employees should contact Human Resources for specific plan details. The Labor Agreement governs in the case of Union employees in all aspects of this section. Regular non-union employees who have a schedule involving a (.46) FTE or above, and Union employees who have a (.50) FTE or above are eligible to participate in the College’s benefit programs.

Carleton College will comply with all applicable laws such as ACA, FMLA, federal, state, and any applicable regulations.

Employment & Benefits

Retirement - regular and phased

Carleton offers the option of phased retirement in addition to regular retirement. Whereas in a regular retirement plan one goes directly from full-time employment to retirement, Carleton’s phased retirement provides the option of teaching part-time for a period of one to three years before retiring completely. Full details of the phased retirement plan are described below. 

Faculty members who are considering retirement should consult with the Provost early in their planning.  Faculty members are also encouraged to consult with a financial planner. The College will reimburse qualified employees up to $300 for costs incurred for financial planning advice provided by a certified financial planner, accountant, attorney or other planning professional. Additional information can be found on the Human Resources Web site.

Faculty members who are between the ages of 60 and 65 at the time of their retirement and who have at least 20 years of service at Carleton College are considered by our medical insurance carrier to be “early retirees” and may choose to continue on the College medical insurance plan until age 65. If they elect to continue their existing coverage, Carleton will pay 50% of the full premium for the faculty member and the faculty members’ spouse or domestic partner, if applicable. If the faculty member is over 65 and is carrying medical coverage for a spouse or domestic partner who is under 65, the spouse or domestic partner can elect to continue on their existing plan for up to three years (or until age 65), and Carleton will pay 50% of the premium.

Retired faculty members are encouraged to remain active in their departments and programs and throughout the College as a whole. Retired faculty members retain many privileges, such as library privileges, email account, and others. Information about these privileges can be found on the Office of the Provost website.

Phased Retirement Option

A voluntary Phased Retirement Option is currently offered to eligible faculty members. The option is designed to permit a systematic staffing change period for the College and a reduction in hours of work for faculty members, allowing additional time to plan for full retirement.

Availability. The Phased Retirement Option is available to all faculty members who meet the eligibility requirements. The College will, at least in five-year intervals, review the program and the benefits of such a program to determine if the needs of the institution are being fulfilled. The College reserves the right to discontinue the program if institutional needs are not being met. If the College elects to discontinue the program, the faculty will be notified at least two years in advance in order to provide sufficient time for them to plan.

Eligibility. Tenured and PEAR faculty members are eligible to participate voluntarily in the Phased Retirement Option after completing 20 years of service at Carleton College.  Faculty members electing this option must give the College and their departments advance notice of their intentions by January prior to the September in which they plan to begin the Phased Retirement Option. When entering into a Phased Retirement Agreement, faculty will indicate a firm date for their full retirement and will agree to resign tenure effective on that date. Upon reaching full retirement, a professor electing this option will be eligible for consideration for promotion to emeritus status.


Faculty members electing the Phased Retirement Option must complete phasing and reach full retirement by age 70.  Faculty members electing the Phased Retirement Option will teach part-time for up to three years.  The part-time teaching requirement for faculty members electing the Phased Retirement Option will be as follows:  Those electing to phase for a period of one year will teach 3 courses; those phasing over two years will teach 5 courses, typically distributed as 3 courses in one year and 2 in the next.  Faculty members phasing over three years will teach a total of 7 courses, typically distributed as 3 courses in the first year, and 2 in each of the two subsequent years.  The salary paid will equal 70% of the full-time equivalent salary during the first year of the phased period, and 50% of the full-time equivalent salary in each of the second and third years of the phased period. Specific teaching assignments during the phased period will require approval by the departments and programs involved. Sabbatical eligibility will cease at the commencement of the phased option. However, the Professional Development Account will continue.  Faculty members will not be required to fulfill committee service or advising duties during their phasing period; however, should a faculty member on phased retirement be in residence all three academic terms of a given academic year and wish to continue these duties, such responsibilities may be negotiated with the Provost. Expectations regarding advising of student comps, participation in junior or continuing faculty reviews, and hiring (for positions other than one’s own replacement) should be negotiated with the department/program and the Provost.  A retiring faculty member or a faculty member on phased retirement may play the role of consultant in the search for his or her successor.  However, he/she should not participate in meetings in which candidates are ranked or voting takes place.

Benefits Faculty members electing the Phased Retirement Option will retain all employee benefits provided by the College. Those related to salary (such as contributions to the Regular Retirement Plan provided by TIAA-CREF) will be based on actual salary paid.

Last Revised: August 19, 2014

Adopted by the Board of Trustees on November 18, 1999.
Revised and approved by the Board of Trustees on May 15, 2004.
One-year extension approved by the Board of Trustees on May 14, 2011.
Revised and approved by the Board of Trustees May 12, 2012.

For: Faculty

Last Reviewed: July 14, 2023

Maintained by: Office of the Provost