Retirement Rights and Privileges of Retired Faculty

Rights and Privileges of Retired Faculty
(Other than Health Care)

No faculty member gains new rights or privileges in the University upon retirement, but many of those rights and privileges that you enjoyed prior to retirement continue to be extended. This is a summary of some of the more commonly used among them.

1.            Office and Work Facilities

When you are actively engaged in productive scholarship, the University will try to furnish you office space with a telephone and PennNet outlet, as well as clerical assistance from the departmental pool. Such aid can be granted only if it is available; priority must necessarily be given to continuing full-time faculty. Similar considerations apply to laboratory space if you are in the experimental sciences. It is very strongly recommended that these provisions be clearly enumerated in a binding written agreement with your department chair and/or dean  prior to retirement.

2.            Grant Applications

You may file research or travel grant applications.  The consent of the relevant department chair or dean must be obtained prior to submission to the Vice Provost for Research.  Such applications will be transmitted further only if necessary office and laboratory space are available.  If there is a shortage of such space, first priority must go to continuing full-time faculty.In this context it should be noted that use of an Emeritus title is optional, since some faculty believe that it disadvantages them with grant review panels.

3.            Teaching and Mentoring

Continued teaching in areas of special expertise and mentoring junior colleagues are mutually beneficial avenues of continued engagement and are strongly encouraged by the University. Extensive teaching or educational organization that contributes to the fulfillment of departmental obligations should be compensated at an agreed level and accompanied by provision of necessary office space and clerical support.As an emeritus faculty member you cease to be eligible for the teaching awards reserved for standing faculty, such as the Lindback Award, but become eligible for those restricted to other than standing faculty, such as the Provost’s Award.

4.            Parking

You may continue to park in University facilities at the regular rates, or at a reduced frequency for half the regular rates. Parking fees will in general be paid with post-tax dollars, unless you continue to have taxable earned income from the University.

5.            Educational Benefits

Faculty tuition scholarship benefits are continued if you are eligible for such benefits at the time of your retirement. They are available for any school in the University to which the individual has been admitted. They cover essentially all tuition costs for a maximum of six course units for credit per academic year for you and one half of the costs for your spouse/domestic partner. Tuition benefits for your dependent children are continued unchanged on retirement, and indeed even after your demise.
It should be noted that some of the above benefits are regarded as taxable income and are reported to the taxation authorities as such. Generally most undergraduate tuition benefits are not taxable, but some or all of graduate tuition benefits are, see the links from for more details.

The Senior Auditing Program in the College of Liberal and Professional Studies (née General Studies) allows senior citizens, whether or not affiliated with the University, to enroll in most undergraduate lecture courses in the School of Arts and Sciences for $500 per semester per course, for auditing only. Several other local Universities offer similar programs.  Of course if you wish to sit in on the course of an acquaintance you may do so, with the suggested courtesy of requesting prior permission.

6.            PennCard Identification

Access to most cultural and recreational facilities in the University, as well as to some buildings, requires a PennCard. You are entitled to such identification. In practice active emeritus faculty have found that they can continue to renew their regular PennCard without question.  However the PennCard Web site states that emeritus faculty should obtain an emeritus PennCard. In order to do so you should take a Certification of Emeritus Status from Human Resources to the PennCard Center, which will issue the new card without charge. Circumstances that may cause this to be necessary include: 1) the regular PennCard has been allowed to expire before renewal, or 2) the personnel/business administrator has marked you “Terminated” (as for retired staff) rather than “Transferred to Emeritus Status.”  If you have mistakenly been marked “Terminated” you should address this matter immediately, since it may affect your access to other benefits and privileges.

7.            Libraries and Museum

The library use privileges enjoyed by standing faculty are continued for emeritus faculty members. You may apply for faculty studies in Van Pelt Library if such facilities are required.  Access to the University Museum continues to be free for emeritus faculty.

8.            Participation in Governance

Retired faculty members are said to have the right to attend meetings of their school faculties and may participate in the work of committees of those faculties if invited. In practice the notification of emeritus faculty of the times and places of such meetings varies between schools. In schools where this is not routine you may need to inform the appropriate staff person that you should be included in distribution lists for mailings.Departments are free to decide which classes of faculty are invited to their meetings. The treatment of emeritus faculty in this respect varies widely across the University. The right to attend Faculty Senate meetings, without voting rights, is extended to emeritus faculty by the by-laws of the Senate.

9.            Correspondence

You may receive mail at the University and may use the University as a mailing address.  You will be listed in the University's online directory if you so desire.

10.         Email

You may continue to use your University e-mail account.  It is suggested that you inform your school’s IT support group if you wish to retain this account at the time of your retirement.  If you set a forwarding address to an extramural supplier you should remember to log in to your University account regularly – at least every six months in most cases – to avoid it being marked dormant.

11.         Publications

All standing and emeritus faculty are regarded as alumni and so are entitled to the Gazette. Remember to inform the Gazette of your preferred mailing address.Almanac and The Daily Pennsylvanian are available to those who come to campus. If you would like to receive Almanac by mail approximately one week after publication you should inform the Almanac office. This service is currently free. Both publications are now available on the Web at the time of printing.

12.         Cultural and Recreational

Access to recreational and cultural activities is the same for emeritus as for standing faculty. Discounted tickets are available for performances at the Annenberg Center. Access to most athletic facilities is free; the fees for indoor tennis and the fitness centers are the same for emeritus as for standing faculty. Admission to most athletic events, including general admission to football games, but excluding basketball games and weekend days of the Penn Relays, is free.

13.         Social

The University Club at Penn, formerly the Faculty Club, now extends the right of continued membership at a reduced rate to emeritus faculty.  All emeritus faculty and standing faculty over the age of 55 are members of PASEF, the Penn Association of Senior and Emeritus Faculty, unless they opt out. PASEF organizes social and cultural events for its members and maintains information on volunteer activities looking for participants. It also organized the creation of this document.