403(b) Supplemental Retirement
Rice University offers all paid employees and students with a stipend the opportunity to contribute to a 403(b). The salary reduction is made with pre-tax dollars and the earnings accumulate on a tax-deferred basis. You choose how to invest the funds based on your risk tolerance. Please be sure to review and choose your investment options and designate a beneficiary (see below) for your investments.
All new and re-hired faculty and staff will be automatically enrolled in the 403(b) plan with a 4% contribution rate.
You may opt-out of this enrollment when you complete your new hire paperwork, or at any time thereafter (with changes effective on the first paycheck of the following month). Here is a link to the new hire notice regarding the automatic enrollment in the 403(b) plan. If you wish to contribute more or less to the plan, you may make this election by completing the Salary Reduction Agreement and submitting it to HR through interoffice mail at MS-92, scanning and e-mailing the form to benefits @Rice.edu.
If you are not satisfied with the investment line-up, or if you are seeking a particular mutual or sector fund, you can also use the Investment Window (or brokerage account). Both TIAA-CREF and Fidelity have this option, which will allow you to invest in any mutual fund that is available on that administrator's platform. Keep in mind that Rice will only report on fees and expenses for the Vanguard Institutional Target Fund and the funds identified under each administrator. In a defined contribution plan, it is ultimately your responsibility to monitor and choose funds that meet your particular needs and goals. We are providing you with a reasonable list from which to choose, and you also have the ultimate flexibility to choose any available mutual fund on each administrator's platform.
For calendar year 2018, you may contribute up to $18,500 if below age 50 for the entire calendar year. If you are 50+ at any time during the calendar year, your maximum contribution is$24,500. If you like to contribute at the maximum level allowed, you can ensure you keep current with legal limits by electing “maximize my contributions” on your salary reduction agreement.
You may be eligible for different type of “catch-up” provision if you have at least 15 years of employment service with the university. By law, we are required to count any age 50+ contributions toward your catch-up contributions before they are counted as age 50+ contributions. Contact a member of your Benefits Team for more information.
Rice offers the choice of two administrators for your SRA contributions:
As of January 1, 2013, all new hires are auto-enrolled at 4% of your salary. If you are auto-enrolled, you may elect to discontinue contributions by completing the following form: Opt-Out Form.
To enroll in the 403(b) and or change your current election, you will need to complete the Salary Reduction Agreement and, if you wish to designate your beneficiary and investment options at the time the account is created, please also complete your application for either:
Click on the "TIAA" or the "Fidelity Investments" link above for the electronic application that you may complete to set up your account.
The 403(b) plan allows loans and hardship withdrawals, based on the IRS regulations.
Loans are only available from TIAA. If you currently use Fidelity, you may transfer funds to TIAA and then take a loan. For more information regarding loans, please review the TIAA Loan Brochure. Keep in mind that Rice limits the number of loans from your account to three active loans (as of July 1, 2012).
More information on the IRS hardship provisions can be found on the Retirement Plans FAQs page on the IRS website.
It is wise to build up a separate savings account to use for emergencies, since retirement plan funds are not easily accessible, and should only be accessed in a dire emergency!
You may change your election or terminate elections as often as monthly by completing the Salary Reduction Agreement and returning to Human Resources (MS-92, fax to x5496, or scan and e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org).
To change your investment allocation, please contact the administrator directly (see contact information above).
To make a one-on-one appointment with a TIAA representative to review your investments and/or plan for retirement, please go to https://www.tiaa.org/public/tcm/rice.
You can also contact the TIAA Houston office directly by phone at 832-681-7400 (local) or 866-842-2951 (toll-free).
You can manage your account online at https://www.tiaa.org/public/index.html (click "Sign up for access" near the log in link to create your account — you will need your contract number to enroll).
To schedule a meeting with a Fidelity representative on campus, go to www.fidelity.com/atwork/reservations or call 1-800-642-7131.
To schedule an appointment with a member of the Texas Medical Center office of Fidelity Investments (located in Scurlock Tower, Suite 200), call 800-418-6821. The Highland Village office (located at 2701 Drexel Drive) is also relatively close to campus—they can be reached at 800-367-7516. You can also manage your account online at https://www.netbenefits.com/rice (click on "New User Registration" to create your account).