SP 3-61a – Voluntary Retirement Incentive Plan

Colorado Community College System / System Procedure

SP 3-61a

APPROVED: October 21, 2020
EFFECTIVE: October 21, 2020
REVISED: February 14, 2024
RENUMBERED: February 14, 2024

REFERENCE(S): Board Policy (BP) 3-61, Voluntary Retirement Incentive Plan


/ Joseph A. Garcia /
Joseph A. Garcia, Chancellor


This procedure applies to all administrators, professional and technical staff, and faculty in the Colorado Community College System, including its Colleges (CCCS or System).


Board Policy 3-61 authorizes the creation of a Voluntary Retirement Incentive Plan and promulgates authority to the Chancellor to establish necessary procedures. Voluntary retirement incentives may be used by the System Office or Colleges to encourage voluntary, early retirement as a means of providing a well-earned benefit to eligible individuals and for providing an opportunity to proactively address budgetary and/or ongoing workforce challenges.


“Base Salary”: An employee’s regular salary not inclusive of any supplemental or premium payments such as, but not limited to, extra duty, overloads, overtime, or benefit allowances.

“Service Year”: One full year of regular, full-time employment within CCCS.


Use of voluntary retirement incentives require the System Office or College to publish a Voluntary Retirement Incentive Plan which clearly states the critical objectives, defines the eligibility terms and conditions, explains the application process, establishes a budget, and includes incentive allocation requirements, as outlined in this procedure. Plans must be reviewed by System Human Resources prior to publishing.

The following eligibility criteria apply to all Voluntary Retirement Incentive Plans:

  • Employees must retire from CCCS within one (1) year of being approved to participate in a plan.
  • Employees must have at least ten (10) service years with CCCS.
  • Employees must be able to provide official documentation demonstrating a combined number of years of service and age that would allow them to retire under PERA, either early reduced or in full, at time of separation from CCCS.
  • Employees who have declared their intent to retire, in writing, prior to a published plan’s application period are not eligible for participation.
  • Employees in grant-funded positions are not eligible for participation.

The System Office or College may establish additional or more restrictive requirements, including which employee groups or departments may be eligible to participate. Limiting participation to specific employee groups or departments cannot be so limiting such that plans may appear to be targeting individual employee(s).

Application Process:
Voluntary retirement incentive plans must include an application process with an established application time frame. All eligible employees who submit an application within the established time will be considered according to the terms and conditions of the published plan.

Criteria for selecting employees from among the eligible applicants shall be established based upon critical objectives outlined in each published plan. This may include factors such as an employee’s salary placement within their pay range, with greater consideration for those highest in their pay range, and/or demonstrated savings to the System Office or College, or ability for the System Office or College to restructure as a result of the retirement. Consideration of potential hardship or business impact as a result of the retirement can be part of the application review process.

Once an application is accepted, it may not be rescinded, unless approved by the Chancellor or President, or their designee.

All participating employees shall waive their rights to continued or future benefit eligible employment within CCCS, and participating faculty shall relinquish all rights associated with due process, per BP 3-20.

The System Office or College and an employee approved for participation in a voluntary retirement incentive plan must mutually agree upon the terms of the retirement. This may include the employee’s final working day, work transition plans, and timing of incentive payments. Agreed upon terms shall be documented, in writing, and authorized by both the Chancellor or President, or their designee, and the employee.

Participation in a voluntary retirement incentive plan is voluntary and no employee shall be persuaded or unduly influenced to apply or not apply.

The System Office or College shall determine the budget available for each published plan. Published plans must include information about the established budget.

Incentive Allocation Requirements:
Published plans must include information regarding how incentives will be allocated. Incentives may be allocated as lump sum payments based on service years and/or lump sum payments to cover the estimated cost of benefits for an established period of time. Incentives shall be paid as no more than two lump sum payments. All payments will be processed through payroll and subject to all applicable taxes and deductions.

Payments based on service years must be calculated from the employee’s base salary.

Incentives may not include continued participation in the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education (SBCCOE) benefit plans after retirement.

Incentives are not considered earned wages under PERA and are not PERA includable. Incentives will not contribute to an individual’s highest average salary under PERA.

Employees approved for a voluntary retirement incentive shall have their accrued leave paid according to SP 3-60b, Employee Leave, for retirees. This payment will be in addition to any established incentive payment.

Any eligible employee who receives payment made by mistake of fact or law, or was paid contrary to the terms of the applicable published plan, must return the payment to the System Office or College.

Disputes Regarding Voluntary Retirement Incentives:
All disputes regarding a voluntary retirement incentive plan or specific voluntary retirement incentive, must be submitted, in writing, to the Human Resources office where the plan was published within thirty (30) days of the publish date of the plan or receipt of incentive payment, whichever is applicable.

Disputes will be reviewed by the Chancellor or President, or their designee, for resolution. Resolutions by the Chancellor or President shall be final.


CCCS reserves the right to change any provision or requirement of this procedure at any time and the change shall become effective immediately.