10 December 2021 | Story Lacea Loader

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) approved the retirement age of all staff members to 65 this week. 

“The current retirement age for staff members of the UFS is 65 years for those appointed prior to 1 June 1998, and 60 years for those appointed after 1 June 1998. The Council’s decision to amend the retirement age to 65 comes after an extensive benchmarking process involving the university’s two labour unions, NEHAWU and UVPERSU, which requested that the retirement age of all staff members be adjusted to 65,” said Prof Francis Petesen, UFS Rector and Vice-Chancellor.

 This amendment brings the university in line with other universities and will assist in overcoming a negative impact on the recruitment and attraction of high-calibre academic and specialist staff.

 Parallel to the amendment of the retirement age in the Conditions of Services, the university is also adapting the allocation of vacation leave. “We are currently facing a challenge in terms of the provision of the staff leave liability, which has a major financial implication for the UFS. In consultation with stakeholder unions the accumulation of vacation leave has been adjusted to a maximum of five days per year,” said Prof Petersen.

 The new retirement age to 65 and the adjusted accumulated vacation leave days will be affected from 1 January 2022. Staff who are set to retire on 31 December 2021 may opt to continue to the age 65. This amendment will not apply to staff that may have already retired.

Adjusted vacation as from 1 January 2022:

Academic staff:

Current number of vacation days: 42 
Approved Leave Days
Number of vacation days: 30
Additional research leave days: 12 (non-cumulative and expires at the end of each calendar year)

Support staff:

Deputy Director and higher levels
Peromnes Level: 1 – 6
Current number of leave vacation days: 36
Approved number of vacation days: 30

Assistant Director to Officer
Peromnes Level: 7 – 14
Current number of leave vacation days: 30 - 28
Approved number of vacation days: 28

Service Workers 
Peromnes Level: 15 - 18
Current number of leave vacation days: 24
Approved number of vacation days: 24


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