Conversion to a Fixed-term Pre-Retirement Contract - Managerial Policy

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Conversion to a Fixed-term Pre-Retirement Contract - Managerial Policy


Approval authority
Vice-Chancellor and President
Responsible officer
Vice-Chancellor and President
Designated officer
Director, Human Resources
First approved
19 November 2014
Last amended
5 January 2016
Effective start date
5 January 2015
Review date
19 November 2019
Related documents
Conversion to a Fixed-term Pre-Retirement Contract - Procedures
Related legislation / standards
USC Enterprise Agreement

1. Purpose of policy

The purpose of this policy is to make clear the terms under which eligible University staff can apply to enter into a fixed-term pre-retirement employment contract with the University.

2. Policy scope and application

This policy applies to full-time and fractional staff of the University.

3. Definitions

A fixed-term appointment is an appointment which has a specific commencement date and a specific end date.

An ongoing appointment is employment for an indefinite period and is other than a fixed-term or casual appointment.

A pre-retirement contract is a fixed-term contract of employment entered into by the University with a staff member who has indicated a willingness to commit to a retirement date. A pre-retirement contract supersedes any pre-existing contract/s of employment. The term of a pre-retirement contract is normally between one and three years.

Preservation age is the age at which a person can access their superannuation upon permanent retirement from the workforce. A person’s preservation age is determined by the year the person was born.

A salary loading means an amount paid in addition to base salary. For the purposes of a pre-retirement contract with the University of the Sunshine Coast, a salary loading of 10 percent is payable.

4. Policy Statement

4.1 Purposes of Pre-retirement Contracts

4.1.1 Pre-retirement contracts are intended to assist both the University and the staff member to plan more effectively.

4.1.2 A pre-retirement contract can benefit a staff member by:

a) providing access to an incentive which augments remuneration during the term of the contract and can increase the staff member’s superannuation benefits beyond the term of the contract (subject to any regulations of the relevant superannuation scheme);

b) encouraging them to plan more definitively and effectively for their future;

c) facilitating a smooth and systematic transition to retirement;

d) enabling staff to accommodate their differing circumstances as they near the end of their careers with the University; and

d) guaranteeing employment for the term of the contract.

4.1.3 Allowing eligible staff to enter pre-retirement contracts can benefit the University by:

a) enabling more effective workforce planning;

b) enabling changing workforce needs to be addressed more effectively;

c) improving career development opportunities for other staff; and

d) enabling re-appointment to or re-structuring of the vacated position.

4.2 Eligibility

4.2.1 To be eligible to apply for conversion to a fixed-term pre-retirement contract, a staff member:

a) has reached their preservation age or will reach their preservation age during the term of the pre-retirement contract; and

b) has an ongoing appointment; and

c) has served at least 5 continuous years at the University.

4.2.2 The staff member is responsible for seeking independent financial and superannuation advice before entering into a pre-retirement contract.

4.3 Principles for Pre-retirement Contracts

4.3.1 Pre-retirement contracts are:

a) voluntary and initiated by the staff member;

b) not subject to severance pay;

c) not an entitlement and are managed on a case-by-case basis;

d) provide a superannuable loading of 10 percent on the staff member’s substantive salary, that is, not the salary that applies to an acting position, secondment or other higher level of payment;

e) funded within the Cost Centre budget;

f) available for a fixed term up to a maximum of three years.

4.3.2 Staff on pre-retirement contracts:

a) are subject to University performance management policies and procedures;

b) cannot have more than one employment contract at a time;

c) participate in annual Performance Planning and Review (PPR) discussions and for academic staff, are subject to the implementation of normal workload allocations;

d) are eligible to participate in professional development activities, except Performance Development Program (PDP) and Study Assistance, and for academic staff are eligible to apply for promotion;

e) can access annual and long service leave with the approval of their supervisor.

4.3.3 With the approval of their supervisor, a staff member on a pre-retirement contract can reduce their time fraction for the term, or part of the term, of their contract.

a) When the time fraction is reduced, a full-time staff member can choose to continue to contribute to superannuation at the full-time loaded rate (where available under the relevant superannuation scheme), in which case the University will also pay the employer contribution at the full-time loaded rate. A fractional staff member who further reduces their time fraction during the fixed-term appointment can choose to continue to contribute to superannuation at the rate of the time fraction immediately prior to conversion to the fixed-term contract.

4.3.4 Annual Leave and Long Service Leave (if applicable) can be:

a) paid out at the conclusion of the ongoing appointment at the unloaded rate and new balances commence for the period of the fixed-term pre-retirement contract for which leave taken and the balance paid out at the conclusion of the pre-retirement contract will be paid at the loaded rate; or

b) carried over to and be taken during the pre-retirement contract and the balance paid out at the conclusion of the pre-retirement contract at the loaded rate.

c) The maximum leave entitlements that will be paid out at the end of the fixed-term pre-retirement contract are normally 20 days’ recreation leave and 65 days’ Long Service Leave.

4.3.5 Pre-retirement contracts are final and it is expected the staff member will retire permanently at the end of the contract. Re-employment at the University is not normally an option.

a) However, any former staff member who has completed a pre-retirement contract can only be re-employed on a casual basis, including sessional, and is not to be re-employed without the express prior approval of the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor for an academic appointment and the Chief Operating Officer for a professional appointment.

4.3.6 A pre-retirement contract ends by:

a) the effluxion of time; or

b) the staff member resigning; or

c) the University terminating employment through termination processes in accordance with the University’s Enterprise Agreement.

5. Authorities/Responsibilities

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Activity University Officer
Receive and approve or not approve applications for pre-retirement contracts Cost Centre Manager
Confirm in writing the termination of an ongoing appointment and the terms and conditions of the fixed-term pre-retirement contract of employment Director, Human Resources
Monitor and report on applications for and approvals of pre-retirement contracts annually Director, Human Resources


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