Through our partnership with our retirement plan administrator, TIAA, the University provides a generous retirement benefit. Upon reaching your one-year anniversary, you will begin receiving a University contribution of 10 percent of your base salary toward your retirement, subject to the annual maximum as determined by the Noncontributory Retirement Plan ($29,000 in calendar year 2021). If you are coming from another four-year institution, you may be eligible to waive your one-year waiting period. The waiver form and directions are available below. You also contribute directly to your future financial security when you contribute to the Voluntary Retirement Plan.
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Managing Your Account
Once you begin receiving the University’s contribution, the funds will automatically be invested in a T. Rowe Price Target Date Fund in your account at TIAA for the year closest to the year you reach age 65. However, you may redirect the contributions to other investment options within the plan at any time. The target date funds provide a one-step investing option for those who do not wish to actively manage their retirement account. Each fund combines a mix of stocks, bonds and other investments in proportions that adjust over time based on your age and expected retirement date. If you prefer to select your own investments from the options available [PDF], you can build a diversified mix that’s right for you.
When you contribute to your own retirement through the Voluntary Retirement Plan, you can designate your contributions as either pre-tax Traditional 403(b), or after-tax Roth 403(b) [PDF] up to the maximum amount permitted by law, which is adjusted each year. For calendar year 2021, the maximum contribution is capped at $19,500. If you are over age 50, or turn 50 during calendar year 2021, you are permitted to make additional catch-up contributions of up to $6,500, for a total of $26,000. Employees who have completed at least 15 years of service with the University may be able to contribute additional catch-up amounts. If you made contributions to a previous employer’s plan during the calendar year, you must include those contributions to ensure that you do not exceed the annual maximum.
If you contribute on a pre-tax basis, you will pay taxes on the amount you contribute, as well as any earnings, when you take a distribution from your account. If you make your contributions to a Roth account, you pay taxes now on the amount you contribute, and both the contributions and earnings are generally tax-free when withdrawn as a qualified distribution. As with the noncontributory account, you may direct your voluntary contributions into a T. Rowe Price Target Date Fund, or you may select your own investments based on your financial goals.
You may begin or adjust your contributions at any time using the Voluntary Salary Reduction forms available below. Once enrolled, your contributions can also be adjusted online at any time through MySlice.
Once you are enrolled in either the Noncontributory or Voluntary Retirement Plans, register for online access on TIAA’s website to view your retirement account, manage your investments and update your beneficiaries.
TIAA offers personalized financial planning services to help you reach your retirement goals. To schedule a meeting with one of the University’s dedicated TIAA financial consultants, or for assistance with your account, contact TIAA at 855.842.CUSE (TTY: 800.842.2755), or sign up online. As part of your benefits program, this service is available at no additional cost to you.
On TIAA.org/tools you will find a wealth of online financial planning tools, including the Retirement Goal Evaluator, Asset Allocation Evaluator, and the Voluntary TDA Advantage Calculator, among others. You can also register to attend live webinars on a variety of topics to help you plan for a successful retirement (replays are available on-demand within 30 days of the scheduled event).
Should you have any questions, please reach out to our HR Shared Services team at 315.443.4042.
- TIAA Enrollment Forms – create an account at TIAA, choose your investments and designate your beneficiaries.
- Syracuse University Noncontributory Retirement Plan Enrollment Form (RA) [PDF]
- Syracuse University Voluntary Retirement Plan Enrollment Form (GSRA) [PDF]
- Syracuse University 457(b) Deferred Compensation Enrollment Form [PDF]
- Noncontributory Retirement Plan Waiver Letter and Form [PDF] – For waiving the University’s 1-year waiting period
- Salary Reduction Forms – specify the amount you want withheld from your pay to contribute to a Voluntary account
- TIAA website
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained within this website is accurate. However, the benefits are governed by legal documents (which, in certain circumstances, may include insurance contracts). If there is any difference between the information in this website and the official documents, the official documents will control. As is the case with all of Syracuse University’s employee benefit plans, the University reserves the right to modify or terminate these benefits at any time.