Retirement Planning

The USC Employee Gateway provides a comprehensive list of links about retirement planning: starting from the point of hire to post-separation from the university.


1. Make retirement part of your career planning.
When speaking with your chair and dean about your professional plans – and sharing with your family about the future – it is good to bring up retirement, whether or not you think you will choose it sooner or later. Having an idea or plan is useful.

2. “You are the chair of your own retirement.”
Plan to make the most of your retirement years. The Center for Work and Family Life and the Emeriti Center can be places to talk about retirement  lifestyle and goals.

3. Take advantage of financial planning.
USC retirement vendors along with your personal financial advisers, offer advice on how to prepare a retirement portfolio. The USC retirement fund sponsors can prepare a personal plan to create cash flow projections. This will assist in post-retirement income planning. Visit their websites for self-help guidance or schedule a personal appointment with a retirement planning counselor on campus.

Fidelity | TIAA-CREF Vanguard

4. Find out about post-retirement health insurance and bridges to age 65.
One major cost in retirement is healthcare. This is especially true when you, a spouse or dependent are not Medicare eligible. For questions regarding healthcare, COBRA, CalCOBRA, Covered California and coverage for dependents, please contact Keri Marroquin, Benefits Administration Retirement Navigator at (213) 821-4571 or email

5. Consider phased retirement.
For some faculty retirement raises questions and fear of the unknown. A phased retirement allows faculty a gradual reduction in work hours and to adjust to unstructured time. A provost of another university was quoted as saying he was surprised by how many faculty members quit earlier than expected after having started a phased retirement period: once they tried having more time off from work, they liked it. Make a confidential appointment with Debbie Jones, Faculty Retirement Navigator, to discuss phased retirement options, and your retirement timeline. Call (213) 740-7641 or email

6. Remember that you can keep ties with USC.
Often faculty members worry about isolation and many want to keep intellectual and personal connections to the university. The Emeriti Center is the hub of retirement for faculty post-retirement. The Emeriti College is the academic arm of the retiree community. Faculty members plan, present, and attend courses and presentations organized by the Emeriti College, both at the university and in their communities. For leadership, educational, service, and social opportunities available to retired faculty, contact Janette Brown, Assistant Vice Provost, Emeriti Center, by telephone at (213) 740-7121 or e-mail Note that a calendar of activities and events is available at

The Retired Faculty Association, which is housed within the Emeriti Center, also meets for academic, service, and social interactions. Contact for more information and a calendar of events.

7. Emeritus/a Status
The honorary designation of Emerita or Emeritus status is conferred by the President upon the recommendation of the faculty member’s department or equivalent academic unit and dean. The designation may be awarded to tenured or to full-time non-tenure-track faculty on or after retirement, or be preapproved in contemplation of retirement to be effective upon retirement. Further details can be found in Section 10-A of the Faculty Handbook. Note that remote electronic access to library services are a privilege granted to designated Emeritus/a faculty.

8. Gold Card Privileges
Gold card privileges are for eligible retired faculty, as negotiated by the USC Emeriti Center. Privileges currently include:

  • Parking – complimentary parking on the University Park Campus and some Health Science Campus structures
  • Libraries – in-person access to library collections
  • USC Bookstores: 10% discount on general books and gifts

Gold cards are available upon retirement to both faculty members and their spouse or partners.

Last updated October 2022