University of Pittsburgh 401(a) Plan

Plan information

University of Pittsburgh 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.

The University of Pittsburgh makes matching contributions to this plan for eligible employees who contribute to the University of Pittsburgh 403(b) Plan. University contributions are vested after 3 years of participation, based on a minimum of 1,000 hours per calendar year.
 
The University matches the 3%-8% employee contribution as follows:
  • During vesting: 100% match on employee contributions of 3%-8%.
  • After vesting: 150% match on employee contributions of 3%-8%, resulting in a match of 4.5%-12%. You may also elect the accelerated option if you meet the eligibility criteria upon becoming vested. Under the accelerated option, the employee will contribute at least 8% and the University match will increase to 14.5%. The accelerated option lasts for 120 months or until the end of the month the participant turns 65, whichever comes first, at which point all University contributions cease.
Generally, full-time, regular faculty and staff are eligible for this plan. Please refer to the plan document for detailed eligibility requirements.

LOANS

Loans are available from a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of $50,000 from each employer. How much you can borrow depends on the amount you currently have in the plan and whether you have other outstanding loans. If you have money in other employer's plans, you may be able to transfer or roll it over to the University of Pittsburgh retirement plan to increase your maximum loan amount. This is only if the University of Pittsburgh retirement plan accepts rollovers.

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

DISTRIBUTIONS

Generally, you must be terminated employment in order to access your assets in this Plan. Call TIAA at 800-682-9139 with any questions.
 

Age-based distribution

Your employer will typically allow you to withdraw funds once you've reached 62 years of age and are no longer benefits eligible.

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 10 annual payments under those terms.

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.

Small-sum distribution

When you leave your employer, you may be eligible to withdraw your retirement savings. Your plan may distribute your entire balance if the value does not exceed $2,000. Even if your plan doesn't allow cash distributions, you can withdraw your entire retirement savings if your TIAA Traditional Account value does not exceed $2,000 and your overall account balance is below a limit set by your employer's plan (either $1,000 or $5,000).

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 a prior to reaching age 72. 

Retirement loan

Some retirement plans allow you to borrow funds from your account.
  • Generally, under the Internal Revenue Code the maximum loan allowed from all your employer's plans is up to $50,000 or 50% of your vested accumulation, whichever is less. (This may be further limited by the terms of your contract.)
  • Borrowing funds from your retirement plan is a nontaxable event as long as you repay your loan in full.

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) in 10 approximately equal annual payments. A lump-sum payment, subject to a surrender fee, may be available depending on your plan rules and the terms of your contract.

Phased retirement

Phased retirement has been introduced in higher education 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, faculty members resign their full-time position (and often give up tenure) 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.

Forced distributions

A forced distribution allows your former employer to close retirement benefit accounts with a balance of less than $1,000 after you leave service. If your balance is higher than $5,000, you cannot be forced from the plan and you can leave your balance in it.
Additionally, retirement benefit accounts with a balance from $1,000 to $5,000 may be automatically rolled over to an IRA, unless you choose to take cash or make a different direct rollover.

Rollover

Prior to rolling over, consider your other options. You may also 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.
  • This can help you defer the minimum required distribution while keeping you in compliance with federal regulations.
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.
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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 Services Fee is assessed to certain investments and deducted on a Quarterly basis. Details related to Plan Services Fees assessed to plan investments are listed in your Quarterly Investment UpdateOpens in a new window.

A Services Fee is assessed to certain investments and deducted on a Quarterly basis. Details related to Plan Services Fees assessed to plan investments are listed in your Quarterly Investment UpdateOpens in a new window.

A Services Fee is assessed to certain investments and deducted on a Quarterly basis. Details related to Plan Services Fees assessed to plan investments are listed in your Quarterly Investment UpdateOpens in a new window.

Your Plan provides credits to certain investments on a Quarterly basis, so that plan participants share equally in the cost of your Plan's record keeping and other plan services.

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.

TIAA RetirePlus Pro® model service

The TIAA RetirePlus Pro® model service program can help you simplify your decisions by investing your contributions in a pre-determined mix of the plan’s options and/or other Investment vehicles.

There may be annual fees (assessed quarterly) associated with participation in this service.

For more information, please refer to the TIAA RetirePlus Pro Program Model Service Participant Disclosure DocumentOpens in 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/feesOpens in a new window.

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