Voluntary Early Retirement Program

The Voluntary Early Retirement Program attracted 94 employees and is now at capacity. For the most recent information, please read the September 2015 article in UM Today.

The following is background information only. 


The University is now offering an incentive for certain eligible staff to elect retirement earlier than they may otherwise have planned.  This program is completely voluntary, universal (available to all employees in a permanent/continuing position), and time-limited.  The Voluntary Early Retirement Program (VERP) is intended to realize savings in a period of fiscal restraint, as well as create opportunities for flexibility in adjusting the University's staffing complement.  For individual participants in the program, the University wishes to acknowledge the contributions of eligible faculty and staff who have devoted years of hard work in support of the University's academic mission.

A funding cap of $10 million has been set in order to offer this program across three seperate phases.  It is important to note that the VERP program will only run until the fixed pool of incentive funds have been reached.  Therefore, if all funds are exhausted, the program will not move forward into the second (or third) phase, and employees will not continue to be invited to participate.


Basic Benefit

Participants in the program have the ability to earn a one-time, lump-sum payment immediately following your effective retirement date, calculated by the following formula:

1 month salary per year of service to a maximum of 12 months or $100K
(whichever is lesser)

Salary is based on actual salary as of June 30, 2015, and years of service are based upon years of service on the same date.  For those employees who are part-time, their reduced salary will be used for the purposes of the calculation. For those on reduced or half-time appointment, their FTE salary will be used for the purpose of the calculation.

Payment of the incentive will be made immediately after the employee's effective retirement date, subject to the required source deductions.  The employee may elect to defer receipt of the payment (in whole or in part) into the 2016 calendar year.

Additional Benefits

In addition, all of the employee's entitlement banks will be paid out as part of the final paycheque, or the subsequent lump-sum payment.  For most employees this will include banked time, unused vacation time, and other similar entitlements. If acceptable to the employee's supervisor, vacation time may be used prior to the employee's retirement date, thereby moving up the employee's last day of work.

For academic staff, we will also pay out any unused leave credits (both Research Study Leave and Administrative Leave), calculated by the following formula:

1 month salary per unused leave credit to a maximum of 6 credits, or $50K
(whichever is lesser)

Some faculty members may wish to utilize some of their leave credits prior to the effective retirement date, by taking one final leave.  Deans have been given the discretion to waive the formal application process on a case-by-case basis, in order to allow such leaves as they deem beneficial for their unit.  These informal requests can only be granted with the agreement of the employee, the Dean, and the Provost's Office, along with the granting of a waiver by UMFA.

It is recognized that electing an early retirement is a particularly difficult decision for academic staff.  In many cases, they may seek opportunities to stay involved with the University, through research, teaching, or collegial governance.  Eligible employees are urged to speak with their Dean about what opportunities may be available, including sessional teaching, Senior Scholar appointments, and other methods for continued engagement.


Employees will be individually invited to participate in the program in phases, until a fixed maximum cap of incentive funds is expended.  If the cap is exceeded, the University may choose not to proceed with a subsequent phase.  Applications will be collected and processed at the end of each phase, with priority being given based on years of service.  The criteria for each phase were selected after a detailed analysis of the demographics of the University's employees, as well as the cost and impact of iniviting each group.   The planned phases are as follows:

VERP Eligibility Phases
Phase Age* Years Service*
Phase 1 69 & Up any
Phase 2 65 - 68 30 & up
Phase 3 60 - 64 35 & up
*Age and years of service are calculated as of June 30, 2015

The VERP is intended to be available to all employee groups (in permanent/continuing positions).  However, it is recognized that the University has many unique employment relationships with individuals, with different terms than applicable to larger employee groups.  If an employee has any question on how this program would apply to their  individual circumstance, please have them contact their HR Consultant. Exceptions will only be considered if there are still incentive funds available at the completion phase.

Support staff who have already announced their retirement date on or subsequent to December 23, 2014 (with the intent to retire falling between April 1, 2015-December 31, 2015), may be eligible for retroactive consideration.  For Academic staff, retroactive applications will be accepted for employees who;

-Selected a retirement date between April 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015, but announced their intention to retire prior to December 31, 2014

-Were granted a waiver of obligation to return from a leave ending between April 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015.


Important Dates & Deadlines

Employees will receive an individual invitation to participate in the program just prior to the phase for which they are eligible.  The invitation will include personalized information to help the employee make an informed decision, including the incentive the individual could expect under the program, as well as their potential pension entitlement.  Employees will have approximately one month to determine whether or not they wish to apply for an incentive, however, within each phase applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Employees must select a specific retirement date, and are urged to discuss potential dates with their Dean or Director in order to minimize disruption within their unit.  The effective date must be not later than the end of this calendar year.

The following dates have been selected as program deadlines: 

VERP Deadline Dates
 Phase Commence accepting applications Deadline for submitting applications Latest effective retirement date
Phase 1 April 1, 2015 May 15, 2015 December 31, 2015
Phase 2  May 19, 2015  June 12, 2015 December 31, 2015
Phase 3  June 15, 2015  July 17, 2015

December 31, 2015


Approval Process

Employees will be required to submit the appropriate forms once they have received an official invitation to apply.  The form should be signed off in the following order:

  • Employee
  • Immediate Supervisor (Department Head, Director, etc.)
  • Dean or Senior Director of unit (with a direct reporting relationship to a Vice-President)
  • Associate Vice-President (Human Resources)
  • Provost's Office (for academic staff only)

Applications will be collected and processed following the deadline for submission for each phase.  Approvals will only be granted until the incentive funds are exhausted.  Within each phase, priority will be given to applicants based on their years of service.  In the event of a "tie", employees will be prioritized by their birthdate.  Applicants should not finalize their retirement plans until they receive official notification that their application has been approved.

Frequently Asked Questions

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