AUI is an “at will” employer which means that unless superseded by law, contract, labor agreement or any other AUI policy, employment is terminable by AUI or an employee at any time for any reason.
Employment terminations may be voluntary (e.g., resignation or retirement) or involuntary (e.g., for cause or unsatisfactory performance, or due to a reduction in force or contract termination.)
AUI has no mandatory retirement age. However, the AUI retirement programs, together with statutory programs, are structured to provide career employees with an adequate array of retirement benefits. The decision to retire is an extremely important event that should begin with advance financial planning well before actual retirement. Additionally, because of the impact upon AUI programs, employees are encouraged to discuss the timing of their retirements with management in order to minimize the impact of their departures upon ongoing operations.
- The AUI Retirement Plan. The primary retirement program – the AUI Retirement Plan – is an IRS-qualified, defined contribution pension plan. Under its terms, an amount equal to a certain percentage of an employee’s compensation, as defined by the Plan, is contributed by AUI to the Plan. Employees choose how these contributions are invested from among a series of investment options offered by AUI. The distribution of benefits shall be subject to the provisions of the Plan document and applicable Federal laws and regulations.
- AUI Voluntary Tax-Deferred Retirement Plan. The AUI Voluntary Tax-Deferred Retirement Plan permits employees to defer part of their compensation on a tax-deferred basis to custodial accounts under Section 403(b) (7) of the IRS Code. Employees may choose how their contributions are invested from among a series of investment options approved by AUI.
The Gradual Retirement option is designed to reduce the impact of an employee’s eventual retirement upon the employee and the Research Center. Under this option, AUI needs and expects to benefit from the skills and experience of the employee, albeit at a reduced level, and at the same time be able to recruit new staff to assure the development of future programs. The staff member will continue contributing to AUI’s efforts while having the opportunity to develop new interests for the post-retirement years.
- Eligibility. Regular, full-time members of the scientific staff are eligible to apply for Gradual Retirement. Each case will be evaluated as to the possible mutual benefit to AUI and to the individual. Gradual Retirement status may commence no earlier than the employees 60th birthday and will be for the period, not to exceed, five years prior to the time which the staff member has agreed to retire. Work schedules for staff members on Gradual Retirement will not be less than half time.
- Approval. A request for Gradual Retirement, or for modifications of the fraction of time a person is already employed on Gradual Retirement, requires the approval of the Research Center Director.
- Fringe Benefits under Gradual Retirement. A person participating in the Gradual Retirement program shall receive a written statement detailing which fringe benefits will be continued in full, which benefits are to be prorated, as well as the required employee contributions, if any.
Employees can resign from their positions at any time and for any reason, provided they do not violate the terms of an employment contract into which they have voluntarily entered. When contemplating resignation, an employee is requested to provide as much notice as possible to his/her supervisor in order to facilitate a clear transition. It is suggested that, at a minimum, salaried employees provide at least one month’s advance notice and that hourly employees provide at least two weeks’ notice. Severance pay is not provided when an employee resigns.
- Reduction in Force. In the event that an employee’s job must be eliminated due to a reduction in force, AUI will make all reasonable efforts to identify another position for which the employee is qualified at the same worksite. If such efforts fail, AUI shall endeavor to provide as much advance notice of layoff as is reasonably possible. A decision as to whether, and how much, severance pay is authorized in the event of a layoff shall be made on the basis of a written severance pay policy developed by the Research Center.
- Discharge for Cause. An employee who has committed a serious offense or an employee who has not reacted satisfactorily to previous warnings regarding unsatisfactory conduct or performance may be terminated. Normally, severance pay for such terminations shall not be made.
- Other Terminations. Employees who terminate employment because of a military obligation and who later return to AUI will be treated in accordance with the provisions of applicable Federal laws.
Upon termination of employment, an employee is entitled to:
- receive a lump sum payment of unused vacation leave, subject to a maximum amount of hours as determined by Research Centers;
- enroll in insurance plans under the terms and conditions of the Comprehensive Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985;
- receive retirement benefits under the terms and conditions prescribed by the AUI Retirement Plan and the IRS;
- receive benefits, if any, under the AUI Voluntary Tax-Deferred Retirement Plan under the terms and conditions prescribed by the IRS;
- receive retiree health benefits under the terms and conditions of the AUI Comprehensive Medical Plan; and
- receive other benefits as may be authorized by the Research Center at which he/she was employed.
Notwithstanding the above, employees terminated for cause are entitled only to those benefits mandated by law.