401(a) Defined Contribution Plan

Plan information

Dickinson State University offers this plan as part of workplace benefits. Now is a great time to understand what is offered - think about taking advantage of any opportunities to save and invest for the future.

Learn what plans allow eligible employees to do.

You may contribute the maximum amount permissible to both the 457(b) and your 401(a) Defined Contribution Plan. If your employer offers more than one plan for making employee contributions, you may increase the amount you save on a tax-deferred basis.
All eligible Class I and Class II employees are required to begin participation in this retirement plan immediately upon employment. Plan contributions will be made by the employee and employer.

Class I employees:

- with 10 years of service or less will contribute 4.50% of their salary and the employer will contribute 12.50% for a total plan contribution of 17%.

- with more than 10 years of service will contribute 5.00% of their salary and the employer will contribute 13.00% for a total plan contribution of 18%.

Class II Employees:

- with 2 years of service or less will contribute 3.5% of their salary and the employer will contribute 7.5% for a total plan contribution of 11.00%.

- with more than 2 but less than 10 years of service will contribute 4.5% of their salary and the employer will contribute 12.5% for a total plan contribution of 17%.

- with more than 10 years of service will contribute 5.00% of their salary and the employer will contribute 13.00% for a total plan contribution of 18.00%.

Contact your benefits office to learn more.

Contributions to this account will be 100% vested immediately.

LOANS

401(a) Defined Contribution Plan does not offer a loan feature.

DISTRIBUTIONS

Lump-sum distribution

You can withdraw all or part of your account in a single cash payment, depending on your plan rules and the terms of your contracts.

  • Your right to a lump-sum distribution from your TIAA Traditional Account may be restricted to taking periodic payments under the terms of the contract. Please refer to your contract or certificate for full details or contact us at 800-842-2252.

Systematic withdrawals

If your plan allows, you can choose to receive regular income payments (minimum $100) on a semimonthly, monthly, quarterly, semiannual or annual basis. You can increase, decrease or suspend the payments at any time.

  • These withdrawals are not available from TIAA Traditional Account balances.

Disability

You can withdraw elective deferrals and earnings from your retirement plan while employed by your institution but not working due to a disability.

  • To qualify you must be totally and permanently disabled, and the deferrals and earnings must have been credited to your plan on or after January 1, 1989.
  • Disability withdrawals are not subject to the 10% IRS penalty on withdrawals prior to age 59½.

Lifetime retirement income

  • One-life annuity - provides income for as long as you live.
  • Two-life annuity - provides lifetime income for you and an annuity partner (your spouse or someone else you name) for as long as either of you live.
  • One- or two-life annuity with guaranteed period - guarantees income for up to 20 years, as long as the period you choose does not exceed your life expectancy. It ensures that income continues to go to your beneficiaries for the remainder of the guaranteed period if you (one-life annuity) or both you and your annuity partner (two-life annuity) die before the end of that period.

Single-sum death benefit

A set amount your beneficiary(ies) will receive from your retirement account if you die before taking income.

Fixed period

You can choose to receive income for a set period of two to 30 years, depending on the terms of our contract and your plan's rules (and not to exceed your life expectancy).

  • Payments stop at the end of the period, during which you will have received all your principal and earnings.

Interest only

You can receive the current interest earned on your TIAA Traditional Account in monthly payments. Your principal remains intact while you receive the interest.

  • These payments generally are available to individuals between ages 55 and 71 and must begin at least one year prior to reaching age 72. 

Retirement transition benefit

In order to more easily transition into retirement, you may be able to withdraw up to 10%, in cash, of your lifetime annuity income. The amount you withdraw will reduce your lifetime annuity income accordingly.

TPA to cash

If you need some of your retirement savings in cash, you can withdraw your TIAA Traditional Account balance through a Transfer Payout Annuity (TPA) under the terms of the contract. A lump-sum payment, subject to a surrender fee, may be available depending on your plan rules and the terms of your contract.

For more information about the terms of your individual contract, contact your plan sponsor or financial advisor.

Phased retirement

Phased retirement has been introduced for the baby boom generation nearing retirement. Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re interested in a phased retirement:

  • Under most phased retirement plans, the employee resigns their full-time position in return for the right to work half-time at half-salary for a given number of years.
  • Many phased retirement plans benefit both the institution and the employee, giving you a way to work and still draw salary.
  • Every institution may have different rules around phased retirement, so research all your options.

For more information, contact your plan sponsor or financial advisor.

Rollover

Prior to rolling over, consider your options. You may be able to leave money in your current plan or withdraw cash. Compare the differences in investment options, services, fees and expenses, withdrawal options, required minimum distributions, other plan features, and tax treatment.

If you have had an IRS-defined "triggering event," and your plan allows withdrawals, you can roll over your accumulations to another retirement plan that will accept them or to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

  • Direct rollovers - from one account to another - are nontaxable and not reported as income to the federal government. Your plan's rules specify when you are eligible for a distribution.

Minimum distribution option

Generally, you must begin taking minimum withdrawals from your account by April 1 following the year in which you turn age 72 or retire, whichever is later.

If you're married, you may be required to get spousal consent to receive any distribution option other than a qualified joint and survivor annuity.

This plan is designed to provide you with income throughout your retirement. Leaving money in your account may allow the funds to grow on a tax-deferred basis. 

This plan allows you to receive a cash withdrawal. This may be restricted by the terms of your TIAA contracts. Taxes and penalties may apply.

Understanding investment fees

Your financial well-being is TIAA's top priority and we are committed to helping you make informed decisions. Fees should be just one factor in your decision-making process since the lowest cost option may not be the best one for you.

Cost of plan services

Fees and expenses have always been part of a retirement savings plan-some fees are associated with the administration of the plan and may be covered by your employer, while others are paid by you based on the specific investments and services you choose. The following three categories of services are provided to your plan:

1. General record keeping and other plan services

Over the course of a year you pay for services like record keeping.

Many services are necessary for the day-to-day operation of your employer's retirement plan. General administrative services include recordkeeping, legal, accounting, consulting, investment advisory and other plan administration services. Some of these expenses are fixed and other expenses may vary from year to year. These costs are allocated to each participant in a uniform way.

Other than your specific investment services fees, your plan has no additional record keeping or other plan services fees paid to TIAA.

2. Specific investment services
You pay only for what you use.
Each investment offered within the plan charges a fee for managing the investment and for associated services. But you pay only for the investments you actually use and in proportion to the amount of your investment. These fees are not deducted directly from your account; they are paid indirectly through the investment's "expense ratio". The specific expense ratio for each plan designated investment option is listed in your Quarterly Investment UpdateOpens in a new window.

3. Personalized services

You can opt for extra features, like loan services.

Personalized services provide access to a number of plan features and investments that you pay for, only if you use them. The personalized services used most often are:

Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO)
No additional charge
Sales charges, purchase, withdrawal and redemption fees for certain investments
Certain charges may apply. For additional information, see Quarterly Investment UpdateOpens in a new window.

More information about retirement plan fees and expenses is available at TIAA.org/feesOpens in a new window.

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