Emeritus and Retirement

The University offers its faculty members the option of retiring completely or “phasing” into retirement by various combinations of partial appointments. Additional information for retirement can be found in SPG 201.83

Faculty member speaking at Medical School event

Ways for faculty to retire from the University of Michigan;

  1. Retirement Furlough for 1 year
  2. Phased Retirement Furlough over a period of years
  3. Retire with notice and stop working all together
  4. Phased Retirement over a period of years

Phased Retirement

Phased retirement refers to reduced appointments that assist an individual in preparing for retirement. A reduced appointment may be combined with a retirement furlough for eligible faculty and those who are not eligible for retirement furlough.

Faculty Retirement Furlough

A retirement furlough is taken as the last year preceding retirement or may be taken in installments over two or three years as part of a phased retirement program.  Retirement furloughs are for tenured faculty only.  Eligibility for a furlough applies to regular, professorial staff hired prior to January 1, 1984, age 62 or older, and who meet other eligibility requirements.  See SPG 201.81 for further details about retirement furlough.


Retiring faculty who have had a significant role in departmental activities may be considered for the formal Emeritus Faculty title. 

For the department, the advantages of maintaining a group of emeritus faculty are: continuing contact for mentoring, teaching, research, or other departmental activities; maintaining faculty contact for personal donations and help with development; and having emeritus faculty available for advice to students, residents, junior faculty as it may be appropriate.

The provision of office space, clerical assistance, or financial support to active emeritus faculty is sometimes provided by departments, but is dependent on the department's capabilities.  See SPG 201.80 for futher details about Emeritus/Emerita titles.

How To...

Phased Retirement

1.  Once a faculty member has decided to begin the retirement process, they should outline their plan to their Department Chair.  

  • The plan should outline a begin and end date (typically 1- 3 years) for their retirement plan. 
  • The plan should be outlined as to when they will be working, any effort reductions, their last day worked, and the official date of retirement. 
  • This letter should be signed by the faculty member.

2. This letter may be endorsed by the Chair or the Chair may choose to send an additional letter.

3. Once the letter has been endorsed by the Chair, it should be submitted to OFA for approval utilizing the Customer Service Portal.

Upon approval, by the Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development, the department will then prepare all PAR transactions associated with the phased retirement payment and effort.

For more information on the phased retirement process, please click here.

Faculty Retirement Furlough

1. Once a faculty member has decided to begin the retirement furlough process, they should outline their plan to their Department Chair. 

  • The plan should outline a begin and end date for their retirement plan. 
  • If it is a phased retirement furlough or phased retirement, the plan should be outlined as to when they will be working and when they will be off.
  • This letter should be signed by the faculty member and endorsed by the Chair.  

2. A separate chair's letter is required for the retirement furlough and phased retirement furlough. 

3. The endorsed letter from the faculty member and the separate Chair's letter should be submitted to OFA for approval utilizing the Customer Service Portal.

For more information on the faculty retirement furlough process, please click here.


1. A retiring UMMS faculty member may request emeritus/emerita status from their Department Chair.

  • Emeritus/a active status is needed for a retired faculty member to continue to do research, or teach (including at the VA), or see patients and must be requested when transitioning to an emeritus/a title.
  • NOTE: “Emeritus/a in Service” titles are used when appointing an Emeritus/a faculty member from a different unit within the University.

2. The Department Chair makes the determination if a faculty member is an appropriate candidate for emeritus/emerita status.

3. The retiring faculty member prepares a retirement memoir following the Retirement Memoir Guidelines and submits the memoir and their final CV (UMMS format) to their department chair.

4. Department Chair reviews/approves the memoir and prepares a letter to the UMMS Dean proposing the retiring faculty member for emeritus (or active emeritus) status. 

5. The Chair’s letter, together with the retiring faculty member’s CV and memoir are submitted to the Customer Service Portal.

For more information on the timelines of Emeritus/Emerita requests or the full process, please click here.  


During the retirement process, the University will provide abundant information on benefits, activities, use of University facilities, and more. However, you will not receive much information regarding participation in Medical School and Hospital activities after retirement.

Where can I find information on my retirement benefits?

The Benefits Administration Office has put together a list of questions and answers for those considering retirementDownload a PDF of resources, review the Medicare FAQ, or learn more from this video about planning for health care as a University of Michigan retiree. You can also attend events on the topic sponsored by Faculty Development by checking the Faculty Development Workshops page. 

If you have additional questions about your retirement benefits, you can call the SSC Contact Center at 5-2000 from the Ann Arbor campus, (734) 615-2000 locally, or (866) 647-7657 toll free, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

What is active emeritus status? 

Per the SPG, retired faculty may be recommended for the honorary title Emeritus by the chair, the dean, and by the vice president for research/provost and approved by the Regents.  Active emeritus contributes to the mission of the institution through their department. 

How is parking handled for emeritus faculty?

If an active emeritus is in need of a parking pass because they are still working at the university (for unpaid work) they would need a letter from their Chair/Division Chief/Department indicating a parking pass would be necessary.  They would then be able to purchase a blue pass from Parking Services at a discounted rate.

I am emeritus but I am still being paid a percentage of my FTE on my grant. Are my benefits "retirement" benefits?

You are retired, therefore would receive retirement benefits no matter your FTE status on a grant or grants.

Will I still be able to use my University of Michigan email account when I retire? 

As a retiree you will have the option to keep your @umich.edu (Google) email address.  An active emeritus may continue using the @med.umich.edu (Outlook) email address.  This is renewed annually by an authorized signer in your primary department      

Will I still have access to online journals when I retire?

Yes. All retired faculty and staff can borrow materials and request items from another institution through interlibrary loan. Get more information on library services for retired faculty →