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Retirement Plan

Notice:  2019 Retirement Plan Limits:  IRS limits for voluntary contributions to 403(b) and 457(b) are $19,000 for 2019.  Employees 50 or over may contribute an additional $6,000 to each plan.  To increase your contributions complete the retirement contribution form and return to your Human Resource Office.

Arkansas State University benefit eligible employees hired January 1, 2019 or later participate in the Arkansas State University System Defined Contribution Retirement Plan which is a 403(b) plan.  The plan is administered by Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA).  The University contributes 10% and each employee contributes 6% to the plan.  Employees vest in the plan after 12 continuous months of service.  Employee contributions vest immediately.  Employees hired prior to 2019 may be enrolled in one of the following closed retirement plans.  New employees are not eligible to participate.

  • Arkansas Teacher Retirement Plan (ATRS)
  • Arkansas Public Employee Retirement Plan (APERS)
  • VALIC 403(b) - DC Retirement Plan
  • VOYA 403(b) - DC Retirement Plan

Employees participating in VALIC or VOYA may change to TIAA to take advantage of funds with lower expenses.  Employees enrolled in ATRS or APERS may not change plans, however, they can make voluntary contributions to TIAA.

New employees should set up an account on the TIAA website to designate a beneficiary and make an investment election.  New employees who do not enroll before they receive their first paycheck, will automatically be enrolled in the TIAA Lifecycle fund and their beneficiary will default to their estate.  

Employees may also contribute additional funds to a supplemental retirement plan on a tax-deferred basis.  This benefits employees now by reducing their federal and state taxable income, as well as in the future, as there will be additional assets in the retirement plan.  Employees may contribute to both a 403(b) and a 457 plan which gives employees under age 50 the opportunity to save up to an additional $37,000 annually ($18,500 in each plan) and those age 50 plus the opportunity to save $49,000 ($24,500) in each plan.  Please note that contributions to the 403(b) plan are limited to an annual limit of employee mandatory, employee voluntary and employer contributions, and some employees may not be eligible to contribute the maximum noted above.

Employees may withdraw funds from the retirement plan at separation of service or at age 59 1/2.  Employees may borrow against their retirement plan.  Employees may not have more than three outstanding loans, including loans in default.  Hardship withdrawals are also available.  Both loans and hardship withdrawals are subject to IRS regulations.  Defaulted loans and hardship withdrawals are subject to regular federal and state taxes as well as a 10% penalty if withdrawn before age 59 1/2.  Loans are not available from APERS or ATRS.

For more information contact your human resources office or a representative at TIAA at 1-800-842-2252.

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