Frequently Asked Questions


Will I have continued access to my email account?

Yes, email accounts are a privilege granted to retiring faculty in good standing with their schools.

What is recall to service?

Retired faculty members are eligible to be invited to serve on a year-to-year or other fixed term basis (without tenure) for whatever services, compensation, and percentage of effort are agreed upon by the faculty member and his or her dean with the Provost’s approval. Unless the Provost gives special permission, the percentage of effort must be less than 50%. See section 10-C of the Faculty Handbook for more information.

May I continue my research activities in retirement?

Yes, so long as the arrangement is agreed to by the appropriate academic dean and faculty member and approved by the Provost. Talk to your dean about what is possible. Faculty members can continue to be principal investigators on grants and contracts and submit new proposals. Unless the Provost gives special permission, the percentage of effort must be less than 50%. See section 10-C of the Faculty Handbook for more information.

May I continue advising/directing graduate students in retirement?

Yes, so long as the arrangement is agreed to by the appropriate academic dean and faculty member and approved by the Provost. Talk to your dean about what is possible. Faculty members can continue to serve on thesis committees and advise graduate students. Unless the Provost gives special permission, the percentage of effort must be less than 50%. See section 10-C of the Faculty Handbook for more information.

May I participate in my department or the university in retirement?

Yes. Talk to your dean about what is possible. Retired faculty members serve on various university-wide committees. If interested in serving on a committee, please notify your dean and the USC Emeriti Center of your interest. The USC Emeriti Center also has a number of opportunities for retired faculty through the Retired Faculty Association, Emeriti College, Trojan ENCORE program, the Emeriti Center itself, and other programs. More information can be found at http://emeriti.usc.edu. Interested faculty are encouraged to contact Janette Brown, Assistant Vice Provost, Emeriti Center, (213) 740-7121 or jcbrown@usc.edu.

May I have access to my email in retirement?

Yes, e-mail accounts are a privilege granted to retiring faculty in good standing with their schools.

If I reach age 70 ½ during phased retirement, am I required to have Required Minimum Distributions from my USC Retirement Savings Program?

No.  As long as you are employed by the university – as a full or part time faculty member or during phased retirement, Required Minimum Distributions at age 70 ½ are not required from USC Retirement Savings Plans.  You are, however, required to take minimum distributions from other employer plans and IRAs at 70 ½ regardless of your employment status.

 May I have access to my retirement funds during phased retirement?

Yes, during phased retirement, the USC Retirement Savings Program permits faculty who are 59 1/2 or older to withdraw from retirement accounts as follows:

  • For tenured faculty, in-service withdrawals are available from funds in the supplemental source of the 403(b) accounts. Withdrawals are available from all other Retirement Savings Program accounts if the tenured faculty member has an executed phased retirement agreement on file with the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs. Please note that there are restrictions on the access to funds in the TIAA Traditional investments while employed. To avoid delays, the USC Office of Benefits Administration will need a copy of the executed phased retirement agreement with the withdrawal paperwork.
  • For non-tenure track faculty, in-service withdrawals are available from all Retirement Savings Program accounts. Please note that there are restrictions on the access to funds in the TIAA Traditional investments while employed.

Withdrawals are subject to the rules of the applicable annuity contracts and custodial accounts—for example, lump sum cash-outs of the TIAA Traditional funds are not available as an in-service withdrawal. Lump sum distributions from the TIAA Traditional funds are available only within 120 days after termination of employment. Assets in the USC 457(f) Plan, USC 457(b) Plan for Eligible Faculty and Administrative Staff and the Hartford Deferred Compensation Plan are not available until full retirement from USC. The distribution elections made at time of enrollment in the 457(f) and the Hartford plans are irrevocable.

For more information about your USC Retirement Savings Program accounts, please contact Keri Marroquin, USC Office of Benefits Administration Retirement Navigator, by calling (213) 821-4572 or email kerimarr@usc.edu.

Last updated August 13, 2017