Defined Contribution Retirement Plan

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Plan information

State of Rhode Island 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.

Contributions depend on Social Security Inclusion according to the following schedule:


Social Security

  Contributes Does Not Contribute
DC Employee Contribution
DC Employer Contribution
Additional Contribution
Additional Employee Contribution
Additional Employer Contribution
5% 1% 0% 2% 2%
State Employees 5% 1% 0% 0% 0%
BHDDH Nurses 5% 1% 0% 0% 0%
MERS General Non-Police and Fire 5% 1% 0% 2% 2%
MERS General Police and Fire N/A N/A 0% 3% 3%

Important note:  Employees with at least 10 but fewer than 15 years of service as of June 30, 2012, will receive an additional 0.25% DC Employer Contribution above the stated amount. Employees with at least 15 but fewer than 20 years of service as of June 30, 2012, will receive an additional 0.50% DC Employer Contribution above the stated amount.

All state employees, teachers, BHDDH Nurses, MERS employees, and MERS General Police and Fire employees will immediately begin making contributions to this plan as long as they work 20 or more hours per week.

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Defined Contribution Retirement 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 800-897-1026.

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.

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.

DB service credits

Plan participants may consider purchasing service credits when they directly transfer from a Section 403(b) tax sheltered annuity or governmental 457(b) plan to a governmental defined benefit plan allows the purchase of "permissive service credits."

A permissive service credit is credit for a period of service recognized by a defined benefit governmental plan only if you voluntarily contribute to the plan an amount that does not exceed the amount necessary to fund the benefit attributable to the period of service and the amount contributed is in addition to the regular employee contribution, if any, under the plan.
A permissive service credit may also include service credit for up to 5 years where there is no performance of service, or service credited to provide an increased benefit for service credit which a participant is receiving under the plan.

When purchasing service credits, keep in mind:

  • The request for purchasing service credits is most often accomplished via a direct transfer from either a qualified or non-qualified plan.
  • For example, permissive service credit can be granted for time spent teaching outside of the United States without being considered non-qualified service credit.
  • If an institution does not allow participants to purchase service credits, they must meet a triggering event at which point the transaction can be processed (Per Plan Rules). The request would need to be processed as a rollover and financial forms are required.


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.

Fees and plan expenses depend on the specific investments you select. To learn more about expenses associated with an investment, select Research and Performance from the Investment Options tab and read the fund profile or prospectus for each investment.
In addition to investment fees, there is a fixed TIAA Plan Servicing Fee of $32 per year that covers recordkeeping, administrative, compliance and employee services that TIAA performs on behalf of Rhode Island. Additionally, there is a fixed Non-TIAA Plan Servicing Fee of $8 per year so the State can pay direct, reasonable and necessary expenses of the Plan. These fees will be deducted in installments of $8 and $2 per quarter (respectively) through the selling of your investments. Please note: if your annual salary is less than $35,000, you will not incur these fees.
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