Memorial University’s Voluntary Retirement Program (VRP) has come to a close with successful results.
The program, which was announced in May 2018, provided approved academic and non-academic staff members with a lump sum payment of one month of salary per year of service up to a maximum of 12 months of payment if they retired on or before Dec. 31, 2018.
Program success and savings
According to Dr. Noreen Golfman, provost and vice-president (academic), there was significant interest in the program.
“We had 171 people eligible for the VRP of which 86 applied. This represents a 50 per cent application rate. After reviewing applications, we had 50 academic and 19 non-academic staff members accept the VRP and retire,” said Dr. Golfman.
In developing and designing the program, Memorial was hopeful for an uptake of approximately 40 per cent.
“The program resulted in approximately $10.8 million in savings for the first year of which approximately $4.8 million will be directed towards the hiring of new faculty,” Dr. Golfman said. “These significant results will enable Memorial to better manage our longer-term financial challenges while enabling an investment in the academy.”
The program was offered in four phases to operationally funded, permanent academic and non-academic staff enrolled in Memorial’s pension plan (or an alternate retirement plan recognized by Memorial).
The four phases were based on age and service criteria. Acceptance for the phases was as follows:
- Phase One: Age 71 with no service minimum – 14 applicants accepted
- Phase Two: Age 65-71 with minimum 30-plus years of pensionable service – 25 applicants accepted
- Phase Three: Age 60-65 with minimum 35-plus years of pensionable service – 14 applicants accepted
- Phase Four: age 60-65 with minimum 30-plus years of pensionable service – 16 applicants accepted
In addition to the above criteria, consideration was given to non-academic staff whose positions could be eliminated or filled in an alternate way that would result in substantive savings and contribute to the overall position reduction for the university.
The VRP was a one-time program that has now concluded. The university thanks applicants for their long-term service and interest in this program.