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Transitioning to Retirement Guideline

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Section 1 - Purpose and Objectives

(1) This Guideline provides an overview of the options available to staff members to consider when transitioning to retirement, and the mechanisms available to maintain links with the University upon retirement.

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Section 2 - Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Term Definition
EAP Employee Assistance Program
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Section 3 - Guideline Scope/Coverage

(2) This Guideline is to assist professional and academic staff members transitioning to retirement.

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Section 4 - Guideline Statement

(3) Making the transition to retirement can be a time of uncertainty and great change for many people. It is recognised that maintaining links with the University post-retirement is very important to some staff members and may be an important factor when considering retirement.

(4) The University of Queensland provides a range of mechanisms to support staff members transitioning to retirement, in addition to providing a number of avenues for continued association with the University upon retirement, as outlined in this Guideline.

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Section 5 - Transitioning to Retirement

Pre-retirement Contracts

(5) The University’s Staff Movement Procedure provides further information regarding pre-retirement contracts which may assist staff members transitioning to retirement.

(6) Under a pre-retirement contract, a staff member relinquishes their continuing appointment for a fixed-term appointment. Pre-retirement contracts are voluntary and may be negotiated between the University and the staff member. Pre-retirement contracts contain negotiated terms which may include a pre-retirement salary loading, variation in duties, and/or flexibility in working hours. Please refer to the Staff Movement Procedure for further information.

Flexible Working Arrangements

(7) A staff member who is considering a transition to retirement may request to vary their current work arrangements through a flexible working arrangement.

(8) A flexible working arrangement may include, for example, a variation to your current service fraction or a change in start and finishing times.

(9) For more information on flexible working arrangements, please refer to the Flexible Work Policy.


(10) Superannuation is a key consideration for staff members considering retirement. Superannuation entitlements vary in accordance with an individual’s circumstances, and the University recommends seeking independent advice on the available options and implications for accessing superannuation entitlements.

Seminars and Information

(11) UniSuper and other superannuation providers offer a variety of free seminars at The University of Queensland, at other venues and online throughout the year. These seminars are designed to encourage staff members to actively plan for retirement and cover issues such as salary packaging, superannuation options, and retirement strategies. For more information, please visit the UniSuper website or your superannuation provider's website.

(12) A UniSuper adviser is also available upon request to meet with UniSuper members at the St Lucia campus free of charge. Please contact UniSuper Advice to arrange an appointment.

Australian Government Initiatives and Services

(13) Staff members may be interested in the government’s Transition to Retirement rules, which allow the withdrawal of some or all of your superannuation into a retirement income stream. Further information can be obtained via the Australian Taxation Office website or through your superannuation scheme.

(14) Additional information and other services that may assist staff members transitioning to retirement can be found on the Australian Government 'Transition to Retirement' website

Employee Assistance Program

(15) The University of Queensland’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers confidential coaching and counselling on personal and work related matters, which may include transitioning to retirement. The EAP is available to all UQ staff members and their immediate family, and can be contacted on 1300 360 364 and through their online services. For more information and login details, refer to the UQ EAP internet page

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Section 6 - Maintaining University Links

(16) There are a variety of options available for continued association with the University upon retirement, including unpaid appointments and the use of office/laboratory space and administrative support.

Unpaid Appointments

(17) The University of Queensland acknowledges that retiring academic and professional staff members may want to maintain an official connection with the University through an unpaid appointment.

(18) Unpaid appointments provide an official affiliation and identification with the University, with additional benefits such as access to library resources and other University facilities for the duration of the appointment. For more information on the various unpaid appointments offered at UQ, please see the following UQ Title Holder policies and procedures: 

  1. Honorary and Adjunct Title Holders Policy and Procedure
  2. Emeritus Professor Policy and Procedure
  3. Academic Titles for Health Professionals Policy and Procedure
  4. Visiting Academic Policy and Procedure
  5. Industry Fellow Policy and Procedure

Office/Laboratory Space and Administrative Support

(19) Retired staff members may be provided with access to office space and/or laboratory space within an organisational unit to undertake research or carry out work related to their field of expertise. The allocation of office space and/or laboratories should be discussed with the relevant Executive Dean, Institute Director or equivalent, and will be subject to availability and operational requirements.

(20) Administrative support may also be provided to retired staff members to assist with research grant applications. Requests for administrative support should be discussed with the relevant Executive Dean, Institute Director or equivalent and are subject to approval.