401(a) Rice Retirement Plan
Rice University sponsors the William Marsh Rice University Defined Contribution Retirement Plan (the “Retirement Plan”, a plan qualified under Section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code) for the benefits eligible faculty and staff members 21 years of age and older.
Contributions are automatically made for each eligible employee following each paycheck to TIAA or Fidelity Investments, from the date of hire or the date of benefits eligibility, whichever comes later.
To select your plan administrator for the Rice Retirement plan, please complete the Retirement Plan Change Form through AdobeSign. It will be routed to Human Resources for processing
You are vested in the retirement plan after completion of one year of service.
The university contributes to each individual account an amount determined according to the following schedule:
|Salary||Under Age 50||Age 50 +|
|Within Social Security Wage Base||7%||additional 3% for age (=10%)|
|Above Social Security Wage Base||additional 5% for compensation over Wage Base (=12%)||additional 5% for compensation over Wage Base + 3% for age (=15%)|
The Social Security Wage Base for 2020 is $137,700. The maximum salary considered for the Retirement Plan is set by the federal government, and is $285,000.
Please review the following notice: 401(a) Summary Annual Report
Please review the following notice: Notice to Interested Parties; Defined Contribution Retirement Plan
If you do not make a selection for your retirement plan administrator, your default administrator is TIAA. The only exception to this is if you are rehired by Rice, and your previous plan administrator was Fidelity. If you want to change your plan administrator for your 401(a) contributions, you must complete a Retirement Plan Change Form and return it to the benefits department. These forms can be found in the HR Forms section of this site.
The default investments for each administrator are the age-based Vanguard Institutional Target Retirement funds. If you want to change your investment election, you will do that directly with the plan administrator via the website links below.
Information and forms for your TIAA account can be found on TIAA's Rice Microsite.
Information and forms for your Fidelity account, or to set up your account with Fidelity Investments,visit (http://www.netbenefits.com/rice).
Note that the Rice Retirement Plan funds are held in a separate accounts from 403(b) plan funds.
Your investment choices include mutual funds from many different asset classes as well as an investment window. Read about this in the Investment Window tab below.
Both TIAA and Fidelity offer free investment advice and retirement counseling:
To make a one-on-one appointment with a TIAA representative to review your investments and/or plan for retirement, please go to: http://www.tiaa-cref.org/moc
Log in to your TIAA account (or register as a first-time user and then log in) and view available dates, times and locations for an appointment with a TIAA counselor.
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 www.tiaa-cref.org (click "Sign up for access" near the log in link to create your account—you will need your contract number to enroll).
For an on-site one-on-one appointment with a Fidelity representative, you may call 800-642-7131. Fidelity also has local offices that can also assist you:
- 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 Galleria/River Oaks office (located at 4410 Westheimer Road) 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).
If you are not satisfied with the current line-up of funds, 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 Funds 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. The list is available on the TIAA or Fidelity website.