UST Retirement Plan
The University has a qualified retirement plan in place. This 403(b) plan enables the University to provide contributions for most salaried and hourly employees who hold full-time and part-time regular positions that are approved to work at least 1,000 hours annually. The University contributes 9.4% of base annual salary for all eligible employees to either a TIAA-CREF or Fidelity Investment account. University contributions are made each payday.
To be eligible, an employee must be at least 21 years of age. Employees hired on or after July 1, 2010 are eligible to participate in the retirement plan after completing one year of employment. Upon completion of three years of service at the University, these employees will be fully vested.
Applications for the retirement plans are handled through the Department of Human Resources. Failure to complete the application on a timely basis may result in contributions being deposited to a default account. Currently, the default investment fund is TIAA-CREF's Lifecycle Fund appropriate for your age.
Voluntary Retirement Plan
The University provides the St. Thomas Voluntary Retirement Arrangement, a defined contribution plan, to give eligible employees the option to make voluntary contributions to a retirement account. You can make contributions on both a pre- and after-tax basis. Pre-tax contributions enable you to reduce the amount of your salary that is taxable under federal and state laws and defer paying taxes on the money you contribute as well as on your gains, dividends, and interest. After-tax contributions, also called the Roth option, allow you to contribute after-tax dollars and then withdraw tax-free dollars from your account when you retire. Consult with your tax or financial advisor to determine which option is right for you.
You can begin to participate in the voluntary arrangement at any time and contribute up to the Internal Revenue Code limits allowed each year. Contributions can be invested among two retirement vendors: TIAA-CREF and Fidelity Investments.
Phased Retirement Option for Faculty
The University offers a phased retirement option for faculty, enabling participating individuals to plan effectively and transition into retirement by reducing workload and salary while retaining benefits and faculty rights and privileges during the transition. The phased retirement period is three calendar years (beginning August 1 and ending the third consecutive July 31), but can be for a shorter amount of time with the Provost’s approval.
During phased retirement the faculty member must maintain a workload equivalent to half-time (0.50 FTE) each year, with at least 50% of a full-time teaching load and related student advising. The remaining allocation of part-time workload to teaching, research and service will be negotiated with the applicable Dean.
Faculty interested in participating in this option must meet all the following criteria:
- Be age 55 or older;
- Have completed at least 10 years of continuous service with the university as a tenured, tenure-track or clinical faculty member; and
- Have a combined age and years of continuous service equal to or greater than 70 (for example, age 55 plus 15 years of continuous service).
Age and years of service will be calculated as of August 1 of the year in which the faculty member intends to begin phased retirement.
Faculty interested in applying for a phased retirement that begins August 1, 2015 should complete and submit an application to the Office of the Provost on or before February 1, 2015. Applicants will be notified of their status no later than March 1, 2015.
One-Time Voluntary Retirement Incentive Opportunity for Faculty and Staff in 2013-2014
The University is offering a one-time voluntary retirement incentive opportunity for regular full-time and regular part-time faculty and staff members who meet certain criteria and choose to retire on May 31, 2014 in accordance with the 2013-14 Voluntary Retirement Incentive Plan for Faculty or the 2013-14 Voluntary Retirement Incentive Plan for Staff.
Eligible faculty and staff can voluntarily elect to participate in the plans during an election period beginning on Monday, Nov. 18, and ending on Monday, Feb. 3, 2014. Retirement must occur on May 31, 2014. Participants who meet all plan requirements will receive an incentive payment, payable in a lump sum or in equal bi-weekly installments, equal to one year of the participant’s annual base pay. Participants who met the university’s eligibility criteria for its full benefits package (those who are a minimum 0.625 FTE) on November 1, 2013, also will receive a benefits subsidy in the amount of $7,250, which is the equivalent of one year’s continuation of employee-only health insurance coverage under COBRA.
Additional information including plan documents and forms are available on the Voluntary Retirement Incentive webpage.