Phased Retirement Law and Legal Definition

Phased retirement is a work schedule arrangement allowing employees to gradually reduce their full-time hours over a period of one or more years. Phased retirement plans are most commonly offered to tenured professionals at universities. Such plans are voluntary and subject to approval by the employer.

For example, for those on phased retirement at universities, tenure is surrendered at the point of full, formal retirement. Full, formal retirement occurs at the end of the phased retirement agreement. The phased retirement contract anticipates this and defines the date when that will happen. How phased retirement plans affect health insurance and other employment benefits varies and is defined by the employer.