Offices & Services

Human Resources

College Policies I Retirement Plan


The College participates in the TIAA-CREF retirement program, which is a 403(b) plan. TIAA and CREF are companion organizations that provide retirement and tax-deferred annuity plans for colleges, universities, independent schools, and other non-profit and tax-exempt educational and research institutions and their employees. The retirement program is a defined contribution plan through which the College makes contributions to the employee’s account. The employee may also make contributions to the same retirement account on a tax-deferred basis. All contributions are immediately 100% vested. The employee may select from among the investment options offered by TIAA-CREF. A supplementary retirement account option is also available for interested employees. A full description of the plan is available from Human Resources.


A full-time employee who meets any of the following conditions is eligible to participate in the plan:

a.  Full-time employee of the College.

b.  Has an existing TIAA-CREF contract.

c. Has worked for two full years at another college or university.

A part-time regular employee who works at least 1,000 hours per year, is eligible to participate in the retirement plan.


To enroll in the retirement plan, an eligible employee must complete an application form and a salary reduction agreement and submit these to Human Resources. Forms and further information are available in Human Resources. Participation begins with the pay period beginning after the submission of the properly completed enrollment forms.


Minimum Contribution

The College will make a minimum contribution equal to 3% of the basic bi-weekly earnings for eligible employees who are not making a contribution.

Matching Contributions

The College will match employee contributions starting at 3% of the employee’s basic bi¬weekly earnings up to a maximum of 7.5%.

Maximum Contributions

Federal tax law limits the amount that an employee may contribute to a retirement plan such as that offered by the College. The limit may be adjusted annually; the maximum employee contribution is available from TIAA/CREF through the College’s Benefits Administrator.


Initiation of Benefits

There is no mandatory retirement age. With limited exceptions, an employee may begin receiving benefits at age 59 1/2 without tax penalty if he/she terminates his/her employment with the College and is not participating in a TIAA-CREF plan with another institution. An employee should notify TIAA-CREF at least three months prior to the desired start date for the commencement of benefits.

Benefit Payment Options

Prior to receiving benefits, an employee is required to choose among the various payment plans offered by TIAA-CREF. The optional forms of retirement payment may be discussed in full with a TIAA-CREF counselor.

Pre-retirement Death/Spousal Benefits

If an employee dies prior to retirement, the full current value of the account accumulation is payable as a death benefit. Federal pension law requires the spousal death benefit regardless of the beneficiary designation in effect when the employee dies. The spouse may waive this benefit if the spouse consents in writing to the designation of a non- spouse beneficiary.          

Additional Information

TIAA-CREF Retirement Plan Enrollment Kits are available from Human Resources. For a complete menu of services, an employee can visit TIAA-CREF’s website at Employees also have the opportunity to meet with TIAA-CREF representatives during their annual visit to campus.