Oberlin College Offers Cash for Early Retirement

Julian Ring and Madeline Stocker:

Over the next three weeks, 177 faculty and staff must decide whether or not they want to take the College up on its offer to retire early in exchange for a relatively hefty severance package.

The deal, which administrators are projecting will save the College between $1.5–3.5 million per year, is known as a voluntary severance incentive package and is the first step in the administration’s long-term plan to cut spending while slowing the rate of tuition increase.

The payout is relatively straightforward. If a qualifying faculty or staff member — one who is at least 52 years of age, has held their position for 10 years or more and for whom the combination of age and service is a minimum of 75 years — chooses to take the deal, the College will pay the retiree one year’s salary and waive health insurance premiums for the first year after retirement.

“The places I’m familiar with that have done it have found that it’s really been a win-win,” College President Marvin Krislov said. “It’s helped people retire in a way that preserves their dignity and gives them some extra money, and it helps the institution in that it allows for predictability.”

Related: “An emphasis on adult employment“.