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Frequently Asked Questions

General information, eligibility criteria, incentive package details

Q. Who is eligible?

A. Eligible faculty must be full-time full professors (tenured faculty or faculty in the School of Medicine with a contract to retirement) employed by JHU at participating Schools; must be age 67 or older by July 1, 2021; must have at least ten years of full-time continuous service to JHU at the time of eligibility; must be classified as full-time employees at the time of enrollment; and must be in good standing.  Additionally, eligible faculty must have a primary appointment in a School participating in the Transition Program and their current academic base salary must be paid by a participating School. 

Q. What is the financial incentive package offered to faculty who participate in the Transition Program?

A. All eligible faculty who are approved to participate in the program will receive a Transition Cost Benefit (10% of academic base salary), an Incentive Payment (100% of academic base salary, paid in two equal installments), and a Healthcare Cost Incentive ($10,000 paid in two equal installments of $5,000).

Q. Which Johns Hopkins academic Schools are participating in the Transition Program?

A. The following Schools are participating in the Transition Program: Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences (KSAS), the Whiting School of Engineering, the Carey School of Business and the School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS). 

Q. Which Johns Hopkins academic Schools or affiliated Divisions are not participating in the Transition Program?

A. The Peabody Institute, the Kennedy Krieger Institute, the Johns Hopkins School of Education, and the Leiber Institute are not participating in the Transition Program. The University reserves the right to revise this list or make other changes to the Transition Program at any time.

Q. Are faculty who are not tenured faculty or faculty in the School of Medicine with a contract to retirement eligible for the Transition Program?

A. No.  Non-tenured faculty are not eligible to participate in the Transition Program.

Q. Is participation in the Transition Program voluntary?

A. Yes.  Participation in the Transition Program is entirely voluntary.

Q. How long is the Transition Program open?

A. The Window Period for the Transition Program will begin July 1, 2021 and close on June 30, 2022.  All eligible and interested faculty must submit an election form no later than May 1, 2022 and must sign the first Transition Program agreement to resign from employment and relinquish tenure, if applicable, at any time during the Window Period, and participants must terminate employment no later than June 30, 2022.  The University reserves the right to make changes to the Transition Program, including the Window Period, at any time.

Q. Am I considered a full-time faculty member while in the Transition Program?

A. Yes.  If you elect to participate in the Transition Program, you will continue to be a full-time faculty member up through your last day of employment.

Q. Am I entitled to normal merit increases during my time in the Transition Program?

A. Yes.  You are entitled to normal merit increases during your time in the Transition Program.

Q. Can I be paid for teaching, clinical, or research activities within JHU after separation?

A. Yes.  There may be instances in which you are able to teach, provide clinical care, or do research at the University on a separately agreed upon part-time basis.  However, any such arrangement shall be based on the University’s business needs, must be made individually with Chairs, Department Directors or Deans, and there is no guarantee of re-employment.  If faculty are re-employed by JHU, there may be some implications with respect to retiree health insurance through the JHU Retiree Health Plan and restricted access to JHU’s contributions to the faculty member’s 403(b) retirement plan account.  Please contact the Human Resources Office Benefits Service Center at 410-516-2000 to learn more.

Q. When will I receive the incentive payments?

A. The University will issue payment for the Transition Cost Benefit (10% of academic base salary) as soon as administratively practicable after the effective date of the first Transition Program agreement.  The University will issue payment for the first Healthcare Cost Incentive ($5,000) as soon as administratively practicable after the effective date of the second Transition Program agreement.  The University will issue payment for the first incentive payment (50% of academic base salary) in the first January after the faculty member’s separation date.  Finally, the University will issue payment of the second and final incentive payment (50% of academic base salary) and the second and final Healthcare Cost Incentive ($5000) in the second January after the faculty member’s separation date. 

Example 1:

Assume the following:

  • An eligible faculty member voluntarily elects to participate in the Transition Program and the effective date of the first Transition Program agreement is July 15, 2021. 
  • The faculty member separates from the University on December 31, 2021.
  • The effective date of the second Transition Program agreement is January 15, 2022. 

Based on the above facts, the incentive payments will be made according to the following approximate schedule; exact payment dates may differ:

  • Transition Cost Benefit (10% of academic base salary) paid on or about July 2021:
  • First Healthcare Cost Incentive ($5,000) paid on or about January 2022;
  • First Incentive payment (50% of academic base salary) paid on or about January 2022;
  • Second and final Incentive payment (50% of academic base salary) and the second and final Healthcare Cost Incentive ($5,000) paid on or about January 2023.

Example 2:

Assume the following:

  • An eligible faculty member voluntarily elects to participate in the Transition Program and the effective date of the first Transition Program agreement is January 15, 2022.  
  • The faculty member separates from the University on June 30, 2022.
  • The effective date of the second Transition Program agreement is July 15, 2022. 

Based on the above facts, the incentive payments will be made according to the following approximate schedule; exact payment dates may differ:

  • Transition Cost Benefit (10% of academic base salary) paid on or about January 2022;
  • First Healthcare Cost Incentive ($5,000) paid on or about July 2022;
  • First Incentive payment (50% of academic base salary) paid on or about January 2023; and
  • Second and final Incentive payment (50% of academic base salary) and the second and final Healthcare Cost Incentive ($5,000) paid on or about January 2024. 

Q. How will the incentive payments be taxed?

A. All cash incentive benefits are taxable. You will be given two choices for federal income tax withholding for your incentive payment: (i) 22% flat supplemental rate or (ii) rates based on the tax tables and your W-4 on file (maximum of 37%).  This impacts only federal income tax withholding; state withholding and FICA will result in additional taxes and/or withholdings.  To help you make a decision, it is recommended that you consult with a financial advisor.

Q. If I elect to participate in the Transition Program is my participation guaranteed?

A. No.  The Provost’s Office, in collaboration with the Human Resources Office, and Dean’s Offices of participating Schools, will evaluate all the election forms that are received.  The Provost will determine which faculty will be eligible to participate in the Transition Program.  While we hope to be able to accept all participation elections, there may be instances in which this is not possible.  For example, if the overall number of faculty electing to participate in the Transition Program is very high or if the electing faculty are concentrated in a particular area or function, we may determine that not all of the elections can be accepted because a specific department or School would not be able to operate effectively.  In this instance, the Provost will make a determination about which participation elections must be declined and will notify the affected faculty members.

Q. May the University decline my election to participate in the Transition Program?

A. Yes. The University in its sole discretion reserves the right to decline a faculty member’s election to participate in the Transition Program at any time and for any reason. As described above, this means, for example, that a faculty member’s election may be declined if it is determined that the faculty member’s continued employment is necessary for a specific department or school to continue operating effectively.

Q. Will a faculty member who is currently on long term disability be eligible for the Transition Program?

A. No.

Q. When do I need to make a decision about participating in the Transition Program?

A. Eligible faculty who wish to participate must submit an election form no later than May 1, 2022.    

Q. What do I need to do to elect to participate in the Transition Program?

A. To participate in the Transition Program, you must first complete and submit an Election Form no later than May 1, 2022.  If your election form is accepted, you must also complete and submit the first Transition Program agreement between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022 and pick a last day between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.  Finally, after terminating employment, you must complete and submit the second Transition Program agreement. 

Employee Benefits

Q. If I elect to participate in the Transition Program, how does this impact my medical, dental, vision, life insurance and other welfare benefits?

A. As a general matter, an eligible faculty member who enters into a Transition Program Agreement will receive the same JHU health and welfare benefits that are made available to full-time faculty members until his or her separation date.  Faculty who participate in the Transition Program may reduce effort to as low as 30% full-time equivalent and still retain full benefits.  JHU health and welfare benefits contributions, with the exception of medical benefits, will be reduced proportionate to the percentage of full-time employment worked, as specified in the program agreement and consistent with University guidelines.  Medical benefits contributions by JHU will remain at 100% until the termination date.  The opportunity to participate in the Transition Program is in addition to the standard benefits Johns Hopkins makes available to all retirees.  Please see below for additional details.

Q. How does the Transition Program affect my existing benefits?

Medical, Dental and Vision Benefits: At the end of the Transition Program, and following termination of employment, an employee and/or the employee’s eligible dependents will be given an opportunity to continue medical, dental and/or vision benefits, as applicable, by paying the full premium (and an administrative fee) under continuation coverage provisions of a federal law known as the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, as amended (“COBRA”).

Life Insurance: Life insurance can be converted to an individual policy if done so within 31 days of a faculty member’s separation date.  Accidental death and dismemberment coverage will cease at the time of separation.  Employees seeking to convert life insurance must call 1-866-365-2374.

Disability Benefits: Short-term disability benefits and coverage stop on a faculty member’s separation date.  Faculty that may be eligible for long-term disability benefits based upon an illness or injury occurring before their separation date have up to 30 days from their date of disability to apply for these benefits.  After this 30 day period, long-term disability benefits and coverage are no longer available.

Health Care and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts: After a faculty member terminates employment from the University under the Transition Program, she/he may not open or reenroll in a flexible spending account.  However, they may file reimbursement claims against the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (“Dependent Care FSA”) and the Health Care Flexible Spending Account (“Health Care FSA”) within 120 days following a termination date.  For the Dependent Care FSA, participants can be reimbursed up to the amount of available funds in the account for expenses incurred through the last day of the plan year in which the faculty member’s separation date occurs.  For the Health Care FSA, participants can be reimbursed up to the amount the faculty member elected to contribute for the year, less any previous reimbursements, for expenses incurred up to and including the faculty member’s separation date.

Retirement Benefits

Existing retirement benefits are still available upon retirement and existing retirement savings accounts are, of course, 100% vested at all times.

Retirement Plan Contributions:  Faculty can continue to make contributions and receive University contributions under the Johns Hopkins University 403(b), 457(f), and 457(b) Plans (the “Retirement Plans”) up through the faculty member’s last regular paycheck as an employee.  

Retirement Plan Distributions: After separation from service, any accounts in Retirement Plans will be available for distribution, subject to any applicable statutory, carrier, and institution restrictions and the requirements of the Retirement Plans.  How a faculty member chooses to draw on their retirement account is arranged directly with the investment company (TIAA, Fidelity, Vanguard, American Century or VALIC).  Please contact the Human Resources Office Benefits Service Center at 410-516-2000 for information about electing a distribution from a retirement plan.

Retiree Health Insurance. Faculty will be eligible to elect to participate in the University’s Retiree Health Plan which provides medical and dental benefits to eligible University retirees.

Q. What terms and documents apply to my employee benefits?

A. Your eligibility for employee benefits (medical, dental, life insurance, retirement, tuition, paid time off, etc.) will be determined solely in accordance with the official plan documents, summary plan descriptions or policies governing the terms of the particular benefit. In the event of any inconsistency between the terms of this document, related materials or the terms of the official plan documents, summaries or policies, the terms of the official plan documents, summaries or policies will control.  No one acting on behalf of the University or the University’s employee benefit plans may verbally change or amend these official plan documents, summaries or policies.

Further questions?

Q. What resources are available to me as I consider the Transition Program?

A. You should contact Jennifer Van Beek at jvanbeek@jhmi.edu if you have any questions about the Transition Program.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE: The Transition Program will be governed by the terms of the Johns Hopkins University Voluntary Window Separation Plan, a copy of which will be made available to all eligible faculty.  The University reserves the right to determine employee eligibility for the Transition Program, to interpret and apply Transition Program provisions in all instances, and to suspend, amend, modify and/or terminate the Transition Program and any associated benefits at any time in its sole discretion. The provisions of the Transition Program documents, and any employee benefit or compensation plan documents associated with the Transition Program, and all University actions in administering, interpreting and applying such program and plan documents, will continue to control.  If you have questions concerning the Transition Program please contact Jennifer Van Beek at jvanbeek@jhmi.edu.

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