Voluntary Employee Retirement Incentive Approved

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During its meeting on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023, the Arkansas Tech University Board of Trustees approved a Voluntary Employee Retirement Incentive (VERI).

The VERI is offered to all full-time ATU employees who, on or before June 30, 2023: (1) are age 57 or older; (2) have at least seven years of continuous, full-time employment at ATU; and (3) have a combination of age plus years of service to ATU equal or greater to the sum of 70.

Participation in the VERI is strictly voluntary.

The general terms of the VERI include:

• Eligible employees who elect to participate will receive 25 percent of their base salary as it is on June 30, 2023, along with 1 percent of their base salary for each year of continuous service, up to a maximum of 50 percent of the employee’s base salary as of June 30, 2023.

• The total payout contribution will be capped at 50 percent of the employee’s annual base salary as of June 30, 2023.

• At the employee’s election, the total payout will be made to the employee, subject to any applicable income tax or withholdings, or through employer contributions into the employee’s retirement plan up to the maximum amount permissible (as determined by the terms of the VERI, the retirement plan and applicable federal laws) with any surplus payable to the employee. Contact information for a TIAA representative will be provided to employees who opt for a retirement plan contribution. Employees are encouraged to consult with appropriate counsel (accountant, lawyer, retirement plan representative, etc.) before deciding whether to participate in the VERI.

• While it is not anticipated to occur, if the total amount of incentive payouts to all eligible employees under this VERI exceeds the statutory limits for funding the VERI during this fiscal year, then ATU payments to or contributions on behalf of participating employees will be reduced based on state law. Any excess will be paid in the following fiscal year(s).

• Employees who elect to participate in the VERI will also be eligible for existing ATU retiree benefits, including the health insurance benefit that ATU provides retirees who are age 60 or above and who have completed ten (10) or more years of service, until he or she reaches Medicare eligibility or is covered by other health insurance.

• Participating employees will also receive payment for any unused annual or sick leave as allowed by law and policy.

• This incentive will not be available for employees whose salary is entirely grant funded. For employees whose salary is partially supplemented with grant funds, the grant funded portion of the salary will not be included in the salary calculation of the employee when determining the incentive amount.

• There will be a single window of time for eligible employees to elect to participate in the VERI. Employees will have a 45-day election period to decide whether to participate in the program. The election period begins Friday, Jan. 20, 2023, and closes at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, March 6, 2023. The participating employees will have an effective retirement date of June 30, 2023. Employees who decide to participate in the VERI must document their election by signing a written agreement between ATU and the employee containing the specific terms and conditions of the VERI. In consideration for the special incentive, participating employees will release all claims against ATU, ATU employees and the ATU Board of Trustees.

The application form is available at:


For more information, contact the ATU Office of Human Resources at (479) 968-0396 or hr@atu.edu.