University of Puget Sound Retirement Savings Plan

Benefits include the following:

Institution Plan Contributions

Faculty and staff members in regular positions are eligible for institution plan contributions after meeting the eligibility requirements outlined in the summary plan description.

  • Eligible faculty and salaried staff members will begin receiving institution plan contributions on the first of the month coinciding with or following the one-year anniversary of date of employment. The university contributes the equivalent of 6 percent of regular salary to their retirement account.
  • Eligible hourly staff members begin receiving institution plan contributions on the first of the month coinciding with or following the one-year anniversary date of employment and the completion of 1,000 or more hours of service as described in the summary plan description and the Summary of Material Modifications. The university contributes the equivalent of 6 percent of salary to their retirement account.
  • New faculty and staff with one year of service at an eligible employer immediately prior to employment with University of Puget Sound may be eligible to waive the one-year waiting period to receive institution contributions. One year of service means twelve (12) months of continuous service with the predecessor employer and the year of service requirement with that employer was satisfied.  Immediately prior means employment must have ended within 3 months of employment at University of Puget Sound. Eligible Employer means any regionally accredited nonprofit or public institution of higher education. Please complete the Application to Waive Waiting Period for University Retirement Contributions and submit it to if you meet the aforesaid criteria.

Immediately and fully vested, you direct institution plan contributions to one or more investment options made available by the university. Teachers Insurance Annuity Association (TIAA) serves as a single record keeper and contributions can be directed by participants to an array of 20 investment options from TIAA, Vanguard, and other leading investment managers. You receive quarterly reports showing contributions to your accounts and the total accumulation in your accounts. 

Elective Deferrals

Additionally, you can add money to your retirement savings plan, beyond the amount the university contributes, by making salary reduction contributions. Salary reduction contributions may be made on a pretax basis, which means that the amounts are not included in gross income at the time the contribution is made, or on an after-tax basis [Roth 403(b) contribution], which means that the amount of the contribution is included in gross income at the time the contribution is made. No waiting period is required to make salary reduction contributions.  If you are electing to enroll for the first time or make a change to your current election, please log in to TIAA and make your selections.  If you don't have an online account, visit, log in and then click Register for access.

Directing Your Investment Funds

You have the right to direct the investment of your entire account balance into the investment options offered in the Plan by TIAA. If you do not make an election with respect to the investment of institution plan contributions made on your behalf or your elective deferrals, the contributions will be invested in an age-based TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Index Fund – Institutional Class, which is the default investment fund selected by the university.  The Lifecycle Index Fund Fact Sheet provides additional information, including the investment objectives, risk and return characteristics, and fees and expenses.

You also have the option to change the way your contributions are invested at any time. If you would prefer to choose an investment other than a TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Fund for your future contributions, no fees or expenses will apply to that transfer.

For more information on your retirement plan or to obtain updated information on fees, expenses and more detailed explanation of the TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Funds and other investment choices, visit TIAA or view the online enrollment demo for help with any questions you might have concerning the enrollment process.

Social Security

The university contributes 7.65% of your covered salary to your Social Security taxes and you contribute a matching amount through payroll deduction. These contributions (FICA taxes) fund Social Security (6.2%) and Medicare benefits (1.45%).