The Wesleyan University Retirement Plan

  • Enrolling In of Changing Your Retirement Contributions

    Log in to Retirement@Work on WesPortal under "My Information" using your Wesleyan single sign-on to update your contribution amount or change your provider. Using the portal, you can:

    • Enroll in the Wesleyan University Retirement Plan.
    • Select an investment provider(s) and research investments for all plan(s).
    • View your Wesleyan University Retirement Plan balances.
    • Change your voluntary contribution amounts.
    • Access investment tools and calculators.
    • For transactions other than enrollment or contribution changes such as beneficiary or investment changes, you can access TIAA and Fidelity's main websites through Retirement@Work.

     

  • Employee Contributions (formerly called the SRA Plan)

    You decide how much to save, up to the plan limits ($19,500 for 2021, with higher limits for those age 50+ or with 15 years of qualified service). 

    Eligibility 

    All staff and faculty may contribute (with the exception of student workers). Bargaining unit members should refer to their contract.

    Pre-Tax Contributions

    Eligible employees can set aside 1% to 85% of their annual earnings to the maximum IRS plan limits toward retirement. You have the option to set aside money on a pre-tax or after-tax (Roth) basis.

    Roth Contributions

    Roth contributions are made with after-tax dollars. Therefore, withdrawals, including earnings, are made tax-free.*

    * In the event of retirement, termination, or disability, your earnings can be withdrawn tax-free as long as it has been five years since your first Roth 403(b) contribution and you are at least 59½ years old. In the event of death, beneficiaries may be able to receive distributions tax-free if the deceased started making contributions more than five years prior to the distribution.

    Starting or Changing Pre-Tax or Roth Contributions

    Employee contributions may be initiated, canceled, or changed at any time by visiting the Retirement@Work site on WesPortal under "My Information".

    Vesting of Pre-Tax or Roth Contributions

    You are always 100% vested in your employee contributions.

  • Employer-Funded Match

    Eligibility  

    Faculty and administrative staff regularly scheduled to work at 50% or more of a full-time equivalent or more than 1,000 hours of service per year are eligible. Faculty and post-doctorate staff members who are expected to be employed by the University for less than one year are excluded. 

    For the employer matching program, Wesleyan will make an additional contribution to your retirement plan (up to 3%) if you contribute to a pre-tax or Roth after-tax account. For every $1.00 that you contribute up to 6% of your salary, Wesleyan will contribute $0.50. If you are contributing less than 6%, you may want to consider increasing your contribution so that you can maximize the match. If you do not contribute, you may want to consider enrolling so that you can receive the additional Wesleyan match.

  • Employer-Funded Contributions (formerly called the RA Plan)

    Eligibility

    Faculty and administrative staff regularly scheduled to work at 50% or more of a full-time equivalent or more than 1,000 hours of service per year are eligible. Faculty and post-doctorate staff members who are expected to be employed by the University for less than one year are excluded. 

    Benefit 

    Wesleyan makes retirement plan contributions on behalf of a plan participant equal to 7% of base salary up to the salary breakpoint and 10% of base salary over the breakpoint. The salary breakpoint changes each year and currently is $80,500. Contributions to the basic retirement plan are tax-deferred until paid as retirement income.

  • 457(b) Plan

    For those eligible, contributions to the 457(b) plan are based on a dollar amount per calendar year, percentages aren’t allowed. The maximum contribution to a 457(b) plan in 2021 is $19,500. Voluntary contributions must be elected each plan year, please contact benefits@wesleyan.edu for an election form.

    Read about the 457(b) Plan.

  • Vesting of Matching and Employer Contributions
    Matching and employer contributions are subject to a three-year vesting schedule. You are credited with a year of vesting for every plan year in which you are credited with 910 hours of service.
  • Bargaining Members

    Bargaining unit members’ eligibility, match, employer contribution, and vesting schedule is determined by their bargaining unit contract and not by the summary above. Contact your union steward for details.

  • Investment Options and Providers
    You decide how to invest from among Wesleyan’s menu of investment options through either TIAA or Fidelity. Your choices will depend on your personal goals and risk tolerance and which provider you prefer. If you make no choice, your contributions will be directed to Wesleyan’s default investment, an American target date fund through TIAA based on your estimated retirement date.
  • Retirement Date and Retirement Income Options
    The "normal" retirement date used by Wesleyan to project a participant’s retirement income under the basic retirement plan is the last day of the academic year (June 30) during which a faculty member reaches age 68, or age 65 for all other employees. A participant may, however, retire and begin to receive retirement income before or after the normal retirement date. A participant is not eligible to receive retirement income from the basic retirement plan while actively employed by Wesleyan unless permitted to do so under the terms of a partial or phased early retirement agreement or plan. Retirees who are rehired by the University may continue to receive distributions and installment payments. Retirees may want to consult with the Social Security Administration regarding earnings limits. 

    Retirement income options are those offered by the investment organizations and are described on the investment organizations’ websites and in documents available in Human Resources. Any lump sum distribution option permitted by the investment vehicle, however, is subject to the following limitations:

    A participant may receive all of part of his or her basic retirement plan accumulations as a lump sum, provided the participant is at least age 59½ and the participant’s Wesleyan employment has ended, or provided the participant has partially retired pursuant to a partial or phased early retirement agreement or plan, or provided the participant’s employment terminates on or after age 55.

    Unless the participant has reached age 59½ or unless the participant’s employment has terminated on or after age 55, a lump sum withdrawal may be subject to tax penalty.

    The Internal Revenue Code requires retired participants to begin receiving a specified amount of retirement income from the plan no later than April 1 following the calendar year in which the participant reaches age 72.
  • Death Benefits
    Benefits may be payable to a participant’s spouse or designated beneficiary when the participant dies. (Special laws protect the rights of a participant’s spouse. See “Spousal Rights” section below.) The form and amount of these benefits depend on whether the participant has begun to receive an annuity from the basic retirement plan and what form of annuity was elected. These benefits are described in documents available in Human Resources.
  • Spousal Rights
    A married participant must obtain advance written consent from his or her spouse prior to certain transactions, including lump sum withdrawals. Also, subject to limited exceptions, a participant must choose an income distribution option that provides a survivor’s annuity to his or her spouse unless the spouse waives this right in writing.

    Under federal law, if a participant is married at the time of death, the participant’s surviving spouse is automatically deemed to be his or her beneficiary for 50% of the accumulation (subject to certain limited exceptions), unless prior to the participant’s death the spouse consented in writing to the designation of another beneficiary in the manner required by the law. The beneficiary for the other 50% is deemed to be the participant’s estate.