The University makes retirement contributions for most employees in benefit-eligible positions. For most employees, the University contributes an amount equal to 14.2% of pay. Eligible employees are automatically enrolled in the applicable retirement plan. Only employees that are residents of the United States and those holding H-1B Visas are eligible for retirement benefits. Postdoctoral Fellows and Housestaff are not eligible for employer-funded retirement benefits.
These plans are fully funded by the University, employees cannot contribute to these plans.
- The majority of employees newly hired or transferred into a benefit-eligible position from a non-benefitted position are automatically enrolled in the 401(a) Plan. This summary provides information regarding that plan.
- Some University Health employees in Dermatology, Ophthalmology, and University of Utah Medical Group departments are enrolled in Plan H retirement benefits. (See below for information regarding this plan.)
- Employees who are newly hired and have prior service with Utah Retirement Systems may elect to be enrolled in a URS plan. That election must be made on or before the first day of employment. (See below for more information regarding the URS plan).
Maximum Contribution Amounts
- The University contributes an amount equal to 14.2% of the employee’s pay up to the IRS maximum.
Effect of Contributions to Other Retirement Plans
- The University’s contributions do not affect your ability to make contributions to other retirement plans.
- University contributions are made on a pre-tax basis. This means that when you withdraw funds from your account, you will pay taxes on the amount withdrawn. You also may be required to pay IRS penalties if you make withdrawals prior to retirement age.
- Loans are available in the 401(a) Plan, although they will not be available through TIAA until March 2023. You may have up to two loans at one time in this plan. Contact your Investment Provider for information.
Withdrawals and Distributions
- Hardship withdrawals are only available in this plan for employees who are age 59 ½ or older and experience a qualifying hardship. Employees with a qualifying hardship should complete the University's Hardship form, as well as the investment provider’s hardship withdrawal forms. Evidence of the hardship must be attached/provided to HR with your forms.
- Other withdrawals from the 401(a) Plan can be made 32 days or more after you have retired from the University (or your employment with the University has otherwise ended).
- Most plan assets may be transferred within the same plan between the University’s investment providers (Fidelity Investments and TIAA). Rollovers or transfers to another plan or individual account are only allowed when the employee qualifies for one of the withdrawal/distribution options (see above).
- Rollovers are not accepted in this plan. If you have 401(a) Funds from another employer, you can roll them over into the 403(b) Plan.
Utah Retirement Systems controls all the rules for the URS Plans.
- The URS Plans are governed by Utah law.
- Newly hired public safety officers and dispatchers are enrolled in the URS Public Safety plan.
- New hires who have prior years of service with URS while working for another employer can elect to be enrolled in the URS plan during University employment. The election must be made on or before the employee’s first day of work. Complete the URS Election Form for new hires.
- Rehired University employees who participated in a URS plan during their prior University employment will be reenrolled in the same URS plan upon rehire in accordance with URS Rules.
University Health employees in Dermatology, Ophthalmology, and University of Utah Medical Group departments are enrolled in Plan H retirement benefits. This summary provides information on the retirement benefits for University Health employees enrolled in the Plan H Benefit Program.
401(a) Defined Contribution Retirement Plan
- Eligible employees are automatically enrolled when they are hired into a Plan-H eligible position (there is no waiting period).
- The University contributes an amount equal to 6% of pay to the 401(a) Plan each pay period.
- Contributions are subject to vesting (see below).
403(b) Plan Matching Contribution
- The University will match an employee’s contributions to the 403(b) Plan up to 4% of the employee’s pay.
- Matching contributions are deposited each pay period that a 403(b) Plan employee contribution is made.
- The University’s contributions are subject to vesting (employee contributions are not subject to vesting).
University contributions to the 401(a) Plan and matching contributions to the 403(b) Plan are subject to the following vesting requirements:
- Employees are 20% vested in University contributions after one full year of service.
- Employees are 40% vested in University contributions after two full years of service.
- Employees are 60% vested in University contributions after three full years of service.
- Employees are 80% vested in University contributions after four full years of service.
- Employees are 100% vested in University contributions after five full years of service.
Years of Service
- Years of service begin on the employee’s original date of hire in a benefit-eligible position with the University.
- Years of service DO NOT accrue during:
- - Termination of employment longer than 31 days (employees rehired within 31 days are reinstated without break in service);
- - Transfer to a per diem or other part-time non-benefited position; or
- - Transfer to a benefit-eligible University or University Health position eligible for the regular 401(a) Plan or a URS retirement plan.
- Non-vested dollars (including gains) are forfeited upon the following events:
- Termination of employment longer than 31 days;
- Transfer to a per diem or other part-time, non-benefited position; or
- Transfer to a University or University Health position eligible for the regular 401(a) Plan or a URS retirement plan.
- If an employee returns to employment eligible for Plan H retirement benefits within one year, forfeited dollars will be reinstated.
Log into UBenefits and click on the “Retirement Savings” tile to see your retirement plan enrollment.
In UBenefits, you can direct contributions to the other investment provider or divide your contributions between Fidelity Investments and TIAA.
Plan rules for the 401(a) Plan are included in the Retirement Planning Guide.
See Manage Your Accounts for additional information on investments and making changes to your accounts.