Frequently Asked Questions

Is the VSP a State retirement program?
No, the VSP is a Stony Brook University program open to those with the requested service eligibility who choose to retire or resign within a specified time frame.
Who is eligible to participate in this voluntary program?
Stony Brook University West Campus and HSC, full-time Faculty & Librarians.
Are Hospital Employees eligible to participate?
Faculty members, who are directly funded by a Hospital or LISVH account or are in a Hospital Title, are not eligible to participate in the program.
What is a Title F Leave and how would I apply for this option?
The chief administrative officer may grant a Leaves of absence for employees at full salary or reduced salary, or without salary, for the purpose of professional development, acceptance of assignments of limited duration with other universities and colleges, governmental agencies, foreign nations, private foundations, corporations and similar agencies, as a faculty member, expert, consultant or in a similar capacity, or for other appropriate purposes consistent with the needs and interests of the University.
  • Application Process: Applications for such Leaves of absence shall be made to the Department Chair and will require consideration by Chair, Dean, Provost and final review by the President. Each application shall include a statement of the purpose for which the Leave is requested, its anticipated duration and its values to the applicant and the University.
  • Leave Credits: Vacation Leave and sick Leave credits shall not be accrued or used during a period of Leave pursuant to provisions of this section.

Can a faculty member or librarian participate in both the Toll Program and the Voluntary Separation Program?
No, a faculty member or librarian may participate in one or the other program, but not both.

*Toll Professorship-Faculty member/librarians with at least 10 years of service and 55 years of age can retire and be reappointed to a part-time position for up to three years. Compensation will not exceed 25% of salary or the maximum allowed under the RSS law (section 212-$30,000), whichever is lower. Please speak to HRS-Benefits for more details.
I am a rehired retiree, can I take advantage of this program if I meet the years of service requirement?
No, this program is not available to employees who have previously retired.
Do Leaves count towards years of service?
Official leaves are counted towards the 25 years' service requirement. Full-time faculty appointed as part-time, while on sabbatical or Title F Leave, are considered full-time for purposes of this program. Leaves will be reviewed by HRS for final approval.
Does my supervisor need to approve my VSP Contract?
No. However, in order to participate in a Title F Leave a request must be sent to the Chair and Deans for consideration and to the President for final approval.
Do I need to inform my department of my intent to separate or will HRS notify them?
You are required to provide your department with a copy of your irrevocable letter once your Title F Leave is approved.
Is my Contract for the VSP confidential?
Due to the fiscal liability to the department, the department Chair will be provided with a list of all Faculty/Librarians who submit an application for the VSP lll program. It is still your responsibility to notify your supervisor of your retirement or resignation.
From which date will my years of eligible University service be calculated?
You must have completed 25 or more years of service at Stony Brook University as of your retirement/resignation date.
Must I be working full-time on the date of my separation?
You must be full time as of March 1, 2011 and continue to be full time on the effective date of your retirement.
From which date will my salary be calculated?
If you elect the option involving a lump sum payout, the payout will be calculated based on your March 1, 2011 base salary.
Will I be taxed on the lump sum payout?
The "Lump Sum Payout" is considered Supplemental Wages according to the IRS. Supplemental wages are wage payments to an employee that are not part of regular wages and will be taxed separately from your regular wages. Tax rates for Supplementary Wages paid separate from regular wages in 2011 are as follows; *rates subject to change

* Federal Income Tax Withholdings = 25%
* NY State Tax Withholdings = 9.77%
* Social Security = 4.2% (up to 106,800 of taxable wages)
* Medicare = 1.45%
Can I use my vacation leave time to carry me to my separation date?
Yes, if organizational needs are met, your supervisor may approve the use of vacation and holiday time.
Does my time worked as a graduate or teaching assistant count toward my 25 years of service?
No. Employment time other than in a full time faculty/librarian position will not be counted toward the number of years of service.
If I complete and submit a Voluntary Separation Program Contract, can I later rescind my decision (keep my job)?
You can withdraw your Contract up to and no later than August 30, 2011. In the event your Title F Leave is not approved the Irrevocable Intent Separation Form will be automatically canceled.
If I have negotiated a phased retirement program offered by my department, may I participate in the VSP lll?
No, employees may only participate in one University incentive/retirement program.
If the State offers an incentive program can I combine the State program with a University incentive?
No, eligible employees may only participate in one Separation/Incentive program. Employees who elect to participate in a State ERI will be ineligible for the Stony Brook University Program.
If I am rehired is there a salary cap?
Yes, the salary cap upon rehire is $30,000 per year.
Will I be eligible for unemployment insurance?
While the University does not make unemployment determinations, employees voluntarily separating (resigning or retiring) from their positions are not usually eligible for unemployment insurance.
How will I receive my 50% lump-sum payout?
If you pick the option for a 50% payout, you will receive a check from non-state funds within 2 months after Title F Leave end or your Retirement/Resignation date.
Who should I contact if I still have questions or need to make an appointment?
You should contact Lisa Coleman in HRS at (631) 632-4870.