TSS - Tufts University-Funded Retirement Plan 401(a)

Tufts University-Funded Retirement Plan 401(a)

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First Published  :Mon Dec 01 18:55:59 GMT 2014
Last Modified  :Tue Jul 28 17:13:51 GMT 2020
Last Published  :Tue Jul 28 17:13:51 GMT 2020
Summary :  Reference for benefits eligible employees who have inquiries about the Tufts-Funded Retirement Plan 401(a) Audience: Benefits Eligible Employees, Retirees, Former Employees Specifically excluded groups: Post-Doctoral employees and employees without a social security number.


Primary Information

    2019 AccessTufts Benefits Information

    Tufts University Funded Retirement Plan 401(a) 

    The University’s contributions to the Tufts-Funded Retirement Plan 401(a) help eligible employees build substantial savings for their retirement years. Tufts University contributes a percentage of your salary beginning on your date of hire if you are a benefits eligible employee and at least 21 years of age. The plan is fully funded with University contributions as follows:
    Age% of Salary Under Social Security Wage Base% of Salary Over Social Security Wage Base*
    21 – 395%10%
    40 and over10%15%

     *The Social Security wage base for 2019 was $132,900 and for 2020 it is $137,700 . Once you have reached these earnings caps, there will continue to be contributions as shown according to the chart, until the overall cap is met. For 2019, the overall cap was $280,000. For 2020, the overall cap is $285,000. Once the earnings exceed this amount, there are no further contributions for the year. 

    If you are age 21 to 39, the university will contribute 5% of your salary, up to the Social Security wage base, and 10% of your salary above the Social Security wage base. 

    If you are age 40 or older, the university will contribute 10% of your salary, up to the Social Security wage base, and 15% of your salary above the Social Security wage base.  When you turn age 40 the increase to your 401(a) begins on the 1st of the following month.

    • You are automatically enrolled and any university contributions are deposited into the Plan default (a Fidelity Lifecycle funds at a date closest to the year that you will reach age 65) and your contributions will continue to be invested there until you indicate otherwise.  Fidelity/TIAA receives file information for active and inactive employees in the retirement plans. File information is sent with the regular payroll files (so weekly each week and semi-monthly every 2 weeks). 
    • If you would like to keep your contributions invested with Fidelity but re-direct it to investment options other than the default, simply call Fidelity at (800)-343-0860 or visit www.fidelity.com.
    • If you would like some or all of your contributions to be invested with TIAA, you may log into Employee Self Service to request this change. You can refer to the “Updating your 401a” Tip Sheet. This tip sheet will walk you through the process of changing your investment elections to a different Vendor for future contributions.  Please note:  You must choose a valid investment election at TIAA (by calling them) before your contributions will be deposited. Please Note: As of June 3, 2019, the appearance of eServe has changed. The steps in this process will mostly remain the same, but your screen may not match these images. We are working on updating this document.   
    • Navigation to the correct place in eServe is to use the Search/Magnifying Glass and enter "Savings Summary"; on the bottom of that page will be a heading "401(a) Basic Retirement Plan Vendor Selection" and a link "Change your 401(a) Vendor.
    • If using the Search function closes your system, make sure to clear your cookies/cache and try again.
    • Or to avoid using the Search function,  you can go to  > Self Service > Benefits Information > Benefit Summary > Self Funded Retirement Plan 403bVoluntary Ret Plan(choose this even though you are trying to change the University Funded Retirement Plan) >Vendor Elections > Return to Savings Summary (which will bring you to the page that has options for both the 401(a) and 403(b) > Change your 401(a) Vendor
    Vesting Period
    Employees are 100% vested in the University-Funded Plan once they have completed three (3) years of eligible service.  You will need to contact the vendor to initiate a distribution. A distribution completed by the vendor and does not need to be reviewed by the benefits team or Tufts University HR. 

    These are the organizations that provide investment services for employees who participate in the retirement plans:
    Please see the Retirement Savings Plans section of AccessTufts, as well as the Summary Plan Description, for more information on Retirement Plan options available to eligible employees at Tufts University.

    For each plan year (January 1 - December 31), in which you are an Eligible Employee who is regularly scheduled to work at least 17.5 hours a week, or a faculty member with at least a half-time, two-semester appointment, the University will make a contribution to the Tufts University-funded Retirement Plan 401(a) on your behalf in the amount indicated in the table above. University contributions are made each pay period. For any other Eligible Employee, the University will make a contribution to the Tufts University-Funded Retirement Plan 401(a) in the amount indicated as soon as reasonably practicable after the end of the plan year in which the employee is credited with at least 1,000 hours of service (generally each hour for which you are paid for work, including paid absences).


    Please contact Fidelity and TIAA directly to designate your beneficiaries.
    Fidelity:  You can elect your beneficiaries online or via paper form with Fidelity.  The benefit of making your designation online is that you can also view the details online.  For paper forms, call Fidelity at 800-343-0860.

    TIAA:  Please contact TIAA at 800-842-2776 for the paper form to elect your beneficiaries.
    Vendor Contact Information:
    Fidelity Investments
    http://netbenefits.com/tuftsuniversity - (Microsite just for Tufts!)
    One-on-One Consultations: 1-800-642-7131
    Fidelity Investments Beneficiary Designation Form - go online to Fidelity's website.
    Fidelity Tufts University Sponsor Plan for 401(a) is 57496 and the 403(b) plan number is 86801
    Please click here for details regarding the Fidelity Fee Structuring
    *** You can now make beneficiary elections online for your Tufts University Retirement Plans on Fidelity's website.  Visit the microsite above, and  click "Tools & Resources", then click "Forms and Documents" and follow the link titled "Online Beneficiary Election."
    http://tiaa.org/tuftsuniversity (Tufts Microsite)
    http://www.tiaa.org/(all other information)
    One-on-One Consultations: 1-800-732-8353

    TIAA - Tufts University plan number for 401(a) is 100345 and the 403(b) plan number is 100347.

    For former employees/retirees and/or  for active employees not currently participating in the retirement plans through Fidelity and TIAA, please report the name change (or address change) to vendors directly in those instances. 

    We are required by law to send the "Summary Annual Report" documentation to anyone who had a 401(a) or 403(b) anytime during the prior calendar year. 

    If the person was employed during that time, please inform the former employee and do not forward these notices to HR Benefits. 


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