401(a) Defined Contribution Plan

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Plan information

North Dakota Public Employees Retirement System 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.

Mandatory Employee Contributions

Each participant shall contribute seven percent (7%) of his or her compensation to the Plan. These are called "Mandatory Employee Contributions." Presently four percent (4%) of your employee contribution is contributed by your employer under 414(h) of the Internal Revenue Code and is paid in equal monthly installments commencing with the first month of participation in this Plan. Of 7%, 3% will be deducted from your paycheck on a pre-tax basis.

Contribution rates for this plan are set in statute and pursuant to HB1452, when the Defined Benefit Hybrid Plan becomes 100% funded, all contribution rates will return to the rates that were in effect on 7/31/2013.

Mandatory Employer Contributions
Your employer shall contribute seven and twelve hundredths percent (7.12%) of compensation to the Plan each month.  Effective January 1, 2014, the mandatory employer contribution will increase by 1% to 7.12% of your salary. The additional 1% will be contributed on a pre-tax basis. Contribution rates for this plan are set in statute or by the NDPERS Board and pursuant to HB1452, when the Defined Benefit Hybrid Plan becomes 100% funded, all contribution rates will return to the rates that were in effect on 7/31/2013.
Pursuant to HB 1452, effective October 1, 2013 through July 31, 2017, every Permanent Employee hired by the State of North Dakota who is at least 18 years old and who is hired within the window period of October 1, 2013 through July 31, 2017 is eligible to participate in the Defined Contribution Plan (the Plan). This does not include an employee of the Highway Patrol who is eligible to participate in the Highway Patrol Retirement System under NDCC 39-03.1, an employee who is eligible for the Teachers Fund For Retirement under NDCC 15-39.1 or, an employee who is eligible for the alternate retirement program available under NDCC 15-10-17.4
Every Eligible Employee may participate in the Plan upon making an affirmative election within the first six months of employment.

To obtain vesting information regarding this plan, contact TIAA at 800-842-2252.


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


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 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.

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.


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.

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 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.

A Non-TIAA Plan Services Fee, an annual service fee of .01%, is charged based upon your account balance and deducted on a Quarterly basis.

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:

Brokerage account

To learn more about the brokerage service including fees call 800-927-3059 or Get the BasicsOpens in a new window.

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/fees.

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