Human Resources Manual

Policy No.: 4-24 This policy applies to:
Policy Name: Retirement Plans Non-exempt staff
Effective Date: 03/01/2014  Exempt staff
Revised: 01/01/2017 Faculty

Policy

Loyola University New Orleans has two separate 403(b) retirement plans:  1) the University “Main” Plan and 2) the Supplemental Retirement Plan.  TIAA-CREF is the Record Keeper for both retirement plans.  The following is a brief summary of the main features of the retirement plans offered and is not intended to govern the respective plans.  If there is a discrepancy between the information contained within this policy and the official Plan Document, the plan documents will be followed.  The Summary Plan Description (SPD) for each plan is available on the Human Resources website (http://finance.loyno.edu/human-resources/). 

All contributions to the 403(b) retirement plans are fully vested in (owned by) the participant immediately.  Generally, the accumulations are not accessible to the participant while he/she is still working at the University.  However, upon retirement or termination of employment, several distribution options are available.  The accumulation may be used to purchase a lifetime annuity or, alternatively, may be payable in a lump sum, rolled over to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), or paid over a fixed period.  Employees should contact TIAA-CREF for information concerning the specific procedures that apply to their investment account at 1-800-842-2776.

1)     The University “Main” Retirement Plan

All new employees must satisfy a one-year of service and one thousand (1,000) hours requirement within the same or future twelve (12) month period in order to participate in the Main Plan.  However, new employees with at least a year of immediate, prior, full-time service at an institution of higher education may be eligible to participate in the plan with the waiting period waived.  Once eligible, participants are required to contribute 3.5% of his/her base salary on a before tax basis.  The University will contribute 8% of salary based upon continually meeting the one thousand (1,000) hours worked requirement in a 12-month period for continued eligibility. Should a participant fail to meet the one thousand (1,000) hours requirement in future twelve (12) month periods, the University’s contribution will cease but the participant’s 3.5% contribution will continue as it is a condition of employment.

Participation in the Main Plan is mandatory and there is no “opt-out” option.  Once notified of eligibility an employee should contact TIAA-CREF to discuss and select investment options.  Participation will generally begin as of the first pay day of the month following eligibility date.  If no investment selection is made prior to the first contribution remitted, default accounts (i.e., Lifecycle Funds) will be selected based upon the participant’s age and anticipated retirement date.   Accumulations in the Main Plan are not accessible except in the case of termination of employment or reaching age 70.5 as an in-service withdrawal without penalty.   

2)     The Group Supplemental Retirement Account “Voluntary” Plan

Employees may participate in the Voluntary Plan without having to satisfy a waiting period.  This plan is available to participants who wish to make additional contributions on either or both a before tax or after tax (Roth) basis. There are no University matching contributions to the Supplemental plan.

A)   Before-Tax Option:  Employees interested in maximizing their retirement contributions, within IRS guidelines, can contact the Human Resources Office.  Accumulations in the Voluntary plan are generally not accessible before age 59½ except in the case of termination of employment, death, disability, or financial hardship (as determined by IRS regulations).  Certain other restrictions may also apply.  Within certain parameters, loans may also be obtained based on plan accumulations.  More complete information describing these options may be obtained directly from TIAA-CREF.
 

B)    After-Tax Roth Option:  Contributions are made on an after-tax basis rather than on a before-tax basis.  This means that an employee’s current taxes are not lowered as they are under the before-tax method.  However, the advantage of the Roth option is that when accumulations are withdrawn, the amounts including the earnings are received tax free.  To be tax free, the withdrawals must occur after age 59½ (unless disabled) and at least five years after the first Roth contribution.  There are a number of factors to consider when evaluating the Roth option.  For example, it may be of particular interest to someone, such as a younger employee, who expects to be in a higher tax bracket during retirement.  More information about the Roth option is available from TIAA-CREF. 

Supplemental Retirement Plan contribution changes may be made at any time and are subject to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) limitations. 

Death Benefits

If a participant dies before retirement, the full current value of his/her accumulation in either or both plan(s) including any amount attributed to the University’s contributions, become payable to the employee’s designated beneficiary(ies).  Several death benefit payment options are available to a beneficiary, including a lifetime annuity and a lump sum payment.

For additional information, participants should contact TIAA-CREF at 1-800-842-2776 or refer to the Summary Plan Description available on Human Resources website.

Other retirement resources are: 

Social Security Administration:  www.ssa.gov or call 1-800-772-1213

Medicare:  http://medicare.gov or call 1-800-633-4227.