Pre-retirement programs

Vacation exchange program

If you retire before May 1, 2033 (May 1, 2030 for CUPE employees), you can exchange five vacation days per year, for no more than three years (i.e. 15 vacation days total) in total, for a one-time 2% salary increase to be paid as of the effective date you enter into this exchange. You must commit to an irrevocable declared retirement date under this program, which is subject to the following criteria:

  • you cannot work beyond the declared retirement date (you can chose to retire earlier),
  • the latest declared retirement date permitted is
    • for staff and union employees - first of the month coincident with or following the month you turn age 71 (age 66 for C.U.P.E)
    • for faculty - first of the month following the end of the academic term you turn 71.

The exchange normally increases the amount of your pension since it is based on the average of your best consecutive 60 months of annualized earnings over the 10 years immediately preceding retirement. If you would like the projected impact entering into the exchange will have on your pension, contact

The form you need to complete to enter into the exchange can be found on HR’s Forms page. It is your responsibility to obtain the required signatures; the Provost’s office will forward the fully executed form to HR for processing.

Reduced workload to retirement

If you are a faculty or staff member, you can reduce your workload in the years prior to retirement without negatively impacting your pension.

To be eligible for this program you must be at least 45 years of age and have completed at least 10 years of continuous University of Waterloo service in a full-time regular ongoing position, in definite term/temporary consecutive contracts whose lengths are a minimum of one year, or a combination thereof, prior to the commencement of the arrangement.  You can reduce your workload or full-time equivalent (i.e. full-time = 100% full time equivalent (FTE) down to as low as 50% of that required for a full-time position (i.e. 50% FTE). Your salary will be adjusted proportionately to reflect reduction of work, however you will continue to contribute to the pension plan based on your 100% full-time salary and accrue full credited service, subject to an Income Tax Act (ITA) limit. Once you reach the ITA limit, you can no longer contribute and accrue credited service based on 100% FTE; your contributions and service will be based on your reduced full-time equivalent.

Under this arrangement, your extended health care, dental, and life insurance coverage will continue as if you were working full-time.

Reduced workload to retirement arrangements can be for a maximum of 17 years, or to your 71st birthday, whichever comes first. A retirement date that is mutually agreeable to you and your department head must be established as part of the arrangement.

If you would like additional information regarding reduced workload to Retirement, you can contact

Note: If you enter into the reduced workload to Retirement program and the vacation exchange program, your declared retirement under the two programs must be the same date. Also, in the event the provisions of the pension plan are amended after you have entered into either one of these programs, the program will remain in place and the new plan provisions will apply to the calculation of your pension upon retirement.