Planning for retirement

After many years of working, planning for retirement can be an exciting time, but also one filled with unknowns such as when to retire, how much money will I need for the future and the prospect of change from working to having time to do the things you love.

Some staff may want to ease into retirement by changing their working arrangements as they approach retirement. In addition to flexible work arrangements described in other pages of this work/family web resource (eg conversion to part-time; purchase of additional leave (48/52); flexible working hours; long service leave on full or half pay) there are two specific provisions relating to retirement: conversion to part-time with maintenance of full-time superannuation and voluntary early retirement.

Academic and general staff (higher education) (UniSuper members only)

Continuing full-time employees planning to retire within three years of the date which their application to retire is approved, may elect to convert your full-time fraction (1.0) to a part-time fraction of (0.5) or more, while retaining full superannuation entitlements.

When applying for this fraction reduction you need to nominate a specific termination date which falls no later than three years from the date of approval of the reduction of your time fraction. This end date will be locked in and no extension of employment will be available.

Interested and eligible staff may make application through their Head/Director and approval will rest with the University. If the application is successful the staff member will be required to enter into a fixed-term contract. This provision is not an entitlement; each case will be considered on its merits.

Voluntary early retirement

The University may invite staff with continuing appointments to apply for voluntary early retirement. Approved applicants will receive a lump sum payment of a minimum of two weeks salary for each year of service, with a maximum payment of 52 weeks salary. This benefit is added to other entitlements i.e. annual leave and long service leave on retirement.

Matters to contemplate

Once you have decided to retire you should consider the following aspects of retirement:

  • What age you will be able to access your superannuation
  • Possible effects of taxation with your particular superannuation scheme
  • What options are available for you to explore in relation to your own circumstances

You should seek advice from a financial advisor and your superannuation fund in relation to the best option for you.

You need to think about the impact changes to your work arrangements, as you approach retirement, will have on both your salary and your future superannuation pay out.

Note: Both UniSuper and VicSuper conduct a number of free seminars on campus each year. A number of seminars specifically relate to retirement. Staff contemplating retirement are encouraged to attend these seminars.

What age to retire at?

Timing your retirement to suit both your working role and your personal/family life is something you will need to consider and plan well in advance. If you plan to ease into retirement by working a reduced time fraction, for example, you will need to ascertain how this will be incorporated into your current role.

What you need to do when planning for your retirement

  • Fully understand your entitlements.
  • Discuss specific options with your financial advisor and your relevant superannuation fund.
  • See links below and/or discuss your situation and plans confidentially with the Director, People and Culture, +61 3 5327 9718 or
  • Negotiate arrangements with your supervisor.
  • In most cases you will need to apply in writing to your Executive Dean/Director/GM, DVC/PVC/COO or the Vice-Chancellor.

Other relevant pages

Conversion to part-time - All staff
Link to: Conversion to part-time

Purchase of additional leave - 48/52-Week Year - Academic and general staff
Link to: Purchase of Additional Leave - 48/52-Week Year

Flexible working hours - All staff
Link to: Flexible working hours

Long service leave - All staff
Link to: Long service leave

Enterprise agreement - Extracts

Links to detailed information on leave entitlements and conditions for different staff categories:

Conversion to part-time fixed-term contracts (UniSuper members only) - Academic and General staff
Federation University Australia Union Enterprise Agreement 2019–2021,
Academic and General Staff Employees
Link to: Clause 33 (pdf, 11kb)

Voluntary early retirement - Academic and General staff
Federation University Australia Union Enterprise Agreement 2019–2021,
Academic and General Staff Employees
Link to: Clause 34 (pdf, 11kb)

Please note the 'provisions/entitlements' above do not apply to casual or sessional staff members.