Retiree Health Insurance and the Retirement Plans of College and University Faculty
Does the expectation of employer-provided health insurance in retirement encourage faculty members to retire earlier and save less than faculty who do not expect to receive this benefit?
Many public institutions are reviewing their retiree health plans due to increasing annual costs and unfunded liabilities. Academic administrators, however, are cognizant of potential impacts on faculty retirement patterns, particularly the age at which faculty retire. This study, based on a survey of U.S. faculty members age 50 and older, examines how the expectation of employer-provided retiree health insurance affects faculty retirement savings and expected retirement age.
The TIAA Institute funded a telephone survey of 892 faculty members age 50 and older – almost half of whom are full professors – at U.S. colleges and universities in late 2013. The survey was conducted between October 9 and November 11, 2013. The sample was split into respondents age 50 to 59, and those age 60 and older.