Retirement Planning

Through our partnership with our retirement plan administrator, TIAA, the University provides a retirement benefit that is among the most generous of its peer organizations. Upon reaching your one-year anniversary, you will begin receiving a University contribution of 10% of your base salary toward your retirement, subject to the annual maximum as determined by the Noncontributory Retirement Plan ($28,500 in calendar year 2020). 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 2020, the maximum contribution is capped at $19,500. If you are over age 50, or turn 50 during 2020, 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. Note: 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.

One-on-One Assistance

TIAA also offers personalized financial planning services to help you reach your retirement goals at no cost. TIAA consultants are available to meet one-on-one with you, on campus or at their Syracuse office. You can also receive advice online and by phone.

To schedule a one-on-one meeting with one of the University’s dedicated TIAA financial consultants [PDF], call 855.842.CUSE (2873), or go online to Syracuse University’s TIAA website. Once you’re registered on the site, you can also manage your TIAA account from there.

Online Tools

On TIAA’s website 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).  Go to to see the schedule and register.

In addition to retirement benefits, Syracuse University offers a number of other benefits to retirees.

Questions? Contact HR Shared Services at 315.443.4042 or e-mail

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.