840  Retirement

Approved by President
Effective Date: June 5, 2017
Responsible Division: Business and Finance
Responsible Office:  Human Resource Services
Responsible Officer:  Assistant Vice President, Human Resource Services

I. Purpose

This policy sets the standards for a consistent process and treatment of employees regarding retirement at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU or University).

II. General Information

A.  Except as otherwise provided herein, all regular full-time employees of MTSU shall be members of a state-supported retirement system, subject to the eligibility provisions of T.C.A.§ 8-35-101 et seq.

B.  Regular part-time employees are eligible to become members of a state-supported retirement system, but such membership is not mandatory.

C.  Pursuant to T.C.A. § 8-35-403 et seq., any individual who is exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act and employed in a state-sponsored institution of higher education may elect either membership in the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS) or the Optional Retirement Program (ORP).

1.  Employees who are members of the TCRS are eligible to retire upon attainment of appropriate age and years of creditable service, or a combination thereof.

2.  Employees who are members of the ORP may retire at any time after separation from service, subject to IRS regulations.

D.  Any person who has served as the President of MTSU for a period of not less than ten (10) years and has attained the age of sixty (60) while being employed by MTSU, may, upon approval of the MTSU Board of Trustees, be retired as President Emeritus at MTSU.

1.  For Presidents hired after September 1, 2002, this will be an honorary title earned through service with no material benefit other than the honor associated with its granting.

2.  Only for Presidents hired prior to September 2002, an annual salary of twenty percent (20%) of his/her last year’s salary, exclusive of perquisites, may be paid monthly from MTSU appropriations subject to the terms and conditions of T.C.A. § 8-36-714.

E.  For either retirement system (TCRS or ORP), the annual limit to employer contributions made on behalf of employees hired after July 1, 1996 will be subject to applicable federal and state limits.There is no contribution limit for employees employed before July 1, 1996. Additionally, for employees enrolled in the ORP, there is also an annual aggregate contribution limit for contributions to the ORP and 401(k). This limit is defined on an annual basis.

F.  Temporary Employment. Any retired member of TCRS (except those receiving a disability retirement allowance) or ORP (except those who have never taken a withdrawal or distribution from his/her account) may return to service in a position covered by this system and continue to draw his/her retirement allowance under the following conditions:

1.  The retiree must have a break in service for a minimum of sixty (60) days, unless an exception has been applied for and approved.

2.  Retirees employed as faculty by an institution of higher education are limited to twenty-four (24) quarter hours or eighteen (18) semester credit hours.

3.  The entire compensation payable to the retiree for such work should not be more than sixty percent (60%) of the annual full-time salary received by the member in the year immediately prior to retirement. This limit on salary increases by five percent (5%) for each year since the member's retirement.

G.  When a retiree begins temporary employment, he/she will be required to complete the appropriate form.

1.  TCRS retirees must complete the Temporary Employment Report form, and MTSU shall submit the form to the TCRS. The TCRS must be notified by letter when the retiree's temporary employment reaches the one hundred twenty (120) day limit and/or when employment is terminated to avoid possible overpayment or suspension of the monthly benefit.

2.  ORP retirees must complete the Optional Retirement Program (ORP) Part-time Reemployment Certification/Waiver form for MTSU’s records.

3.  New forms for TCRS and ORP retirees must be completed for each twelve (12)-month period.

Forms: 

Temporary Employment Report

Optional Retirement Program (ORP) Part-time Reemployment Certification/Waiver

Revisions: none.

References: T.C.A. §§ 8-35-101 et seq.; 8-35-403 et seq.; 8-36-714.