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Home > News > 2018 > April > How will you transition to retirement?

How will you transition to retirement?


An effective transition can provide the flexibility and peace of mind that members need as they approach retirement.

What will your transition look like?

The ways in which members choose to transition to retirement vary depending on their individual needs and circumstances.

A transition to retirement may consist of arrangements such as:

  • Job sharing with another staff member
  • Working a lesser load on fewer days
  • Working partial days
  • Undertaking different duties, roles or projects (e.g. non-classroom based roles)
  • Accessing special leave arrangements (e.g. long service) in the lead up to retirement
  • Deferring your salary or purchasing leave under your collective agreement

Our union can help

As a member of our union, our industrially trained staff can provide you with assistance in:

  • Understanding the process of transitioning to retirement
  • Advising specific leave or transition to retirement entitlements that may be outlined in your agreement
  • Reading through and providing advice on your application
  • Pursuing a dispute where possible, should your application be rejected.

Member and Teacher at Ipswich Flexible Learning Centre Tim Acutt said that a transition to retirement after almost 30 years in the profession would mean he is able to continue to stay engaged as a teacher, while also pursuing other interests in life.

As a practising artist, Mr Acutt said a flexible work arrangement would allow him to maintain his commitment to the teaching profession, and allow more time to be dedicated to his art practice.

“Education and working with students is certainly one of my passions, and a passion for many teachers and school staff; however, the current level of workload and its intensification can mean teachers who have been teaching for decades experience fatigue.

“Experienced staff are obviously valuable to any school, but without an opportunity to revitalise, they can be left burnt out.

“I want to remain an asset to my school community as I approach retirement, which is why I hope to transition to a flexible working arrangement in the coming years.

“I will also be taking some long service leave this year to give myself the opportunity to reenergise my approach to teaching.”

Mr Acutt said being self-aware of one’s needs when approaching retirement is critical.

“We commit a lot of time to ensuring the needs of our students are met – and to properly fulfil this task we need ensure our own needs are met.

“That may mean taking the time to reflect on our current capacity, as well as our needs and ambitions that extend outside the school grounds.”

Your rights under current employment standards

Under the National Employment Standards (NES), employees who have completed 12 months’ continuous service have the right to request flexible working arrangements in certain circumstances.

One circumstance is where an employee is aged 55 years or over.

Changes in working arrangements could include reduction in hours, change to the pattern of work or change to the location of work.

We need to change the rules

Despite efforts from IEUA-QNT members during bargaining, collective agreements in our sector do not currently contain flexible work arrangement provisions beyond those contained within the NES.

IEUA-QNT Organiser Caryl Davies said the fact that teachers and school support staff are only afforded the right to request flexible working arrangements, rather than a right to access it, is symptomatic of inadequate industrial laws.

“Unfortunately, all union members are facing industrial laws that favour employers — the provisions around flexible working arrangements are a clear example of this.

“Our union will continue to campaign on this issue, both on an individual member basis and during sector-wide collective bargaining campaigns.

“However, until the broken industrial laws in Australia are addressed, and the power imbalance is corrected, workers will continue to be frustrated in their attempts to achieve just and fair wages and working conditions.

“To secure workers’ rights in the future, change needs to happen on a legislative level,” Ms Davies said.


Topics : Equity

Authorised by Terry Burke, Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland & Northern Territory Branch, Brisbane.