Planning for Higher Education Journal

Federal Freedom to Work Law Challenges Academic Planning

Journal Cover
From Volume 30 Number 2 | Winter 2001–2002
By Charles L. Baum, William F. Ford

Institutions referenced in this resource:
Middle Tennessee State University

This article examines the academic planning implications of “The Senior Citizens’ Freedom to Work Act of 2000.” The act sharply reduces Social Security retirement benefit penalties previously imposed on 65- to 69-year-old professionals who earned more than nominal incomes after enrolling in the program, potentially delaying their retirement decisions. Further, the average salary level of senior professors in U.S. colleges and universities places them among those who will most heavily benefit from the act, which might change the age composition of academic faculties significantly over time. This article closes with a discussion of the act’s potential impact on faculty turnover rates, academic staffing patterns, and the age distribution of academic faculties.

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