TSS - Self-Funded Retirement Plan 403(b)

Self-Funded Retirement Plan 403(b)

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First Published  :Mon Dec 01 19:07:11 GMT 2014
Last Modified  :Fri Feb 05 03:13:56 GMT 2021
Last Published  :Fri Feb 05 03:13:56 GMT 2021
Summary :  Reference for benefits eligible employees who have inquiries about the 403(b) Voluntary Retirement Plan at Tufts. Audience: Benefits Eligible Employees, Post docs ,(403(b), Retirees, Former Employees


Primary Information

    AccessTufts Information

    Self-Funded Retirement Plan 403(b) 

    Eligible employees may sign up for the Self-funded Retirement Plan 403(b) at Hire (option is available within 2 days after the Health Benefits enrollment is complete) or at anytime throughout the course of a year.
    However, note that for Exempt/Semi-Monthly employees the option will be grayed out/unavailable when Payroll is in the calculation stage. Check tss.tufts.edu for the Payroll Calendars on the left margin to see when Semi-Monthly Payroll will be run and any changes for Exempt/Semi-Monthly employees will need to be made by two business days PRIOR to when Payroll will be run and the changes will be reflected on that next paycheck.

    The effective date is the date the change is made and the change will reflect on the paycheck that includes that effective date. There is a calendar on the 403(b) update pages, but it does not have any functionality, so even if you future date a change, it will reflect on the next available payroll. 

    To supplement the Tufts University-funded Retirement Plan 401(a), the Self-Funded Retirement Plan 403(b) is a key financial tool that allows you to save for retirement with pre-tax contributions. Here are some important details about the plan:
    • To enroll in the Self-funded retirement plan 403 (b) or increase or decrease your contributions, please log into Employee Self Service. For detailed instructions on how to make a change, please review the Updating your 403(b) Tip Sheet. 
    • Selecting the maximum contribution will take 100% of your eligible pay per pay period.  Therefore, if you choose to defer 100%, all eligible remaining pa  after all of your other benefits elections will be deferred and you will receive no cash until you have deferred the annual IRS maximum amount.
    • A loan provision is available under this plan.  The loan is with Fidelity and a payment schedule is set with them.  It is not through payroll deductions since it is not with Tufts. The loan payments must be made to the administrator that originated the loan.
    • If you are enrolled and want to change your investment elections, contact your vendor directly.
    • If you are enrolled and want to change your vendor, see NOTE and Tip Sheet.
    • Roll over options may be available from other qualified plans. See Retirement Plan Vendor Distributions (Withdrawals/Rollovers/Loans)  
    • The annual IRS maximum contribution to the Self funded Retirement Plan in calendar year 2020 and 2021 is $19,500 (2019 was $19,000).
    • If you will reach age 50 or older by the end of the calendar year, you are eligible for the Age 50 Catch-Up Limit and may contribute an additional $6,500 for calendar year 2020 and 2021 for a total of $26,000 if you are age 50 or older by December 31st.
    These are the organizations that provide investment services for employees who participate in the retirement plans:
    Please see the Retirement Savings Plans and 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.

    All employees of Tufts University (with the exception of certain students/employees who are exempt from FICA withholding and employees without a social security number or ITIN. Independent contractors and leased employees are not eligible to participate in the Plan.) are eligible to participate in the Self-Funded Retirement Plan 403(b). Note that employees are always listed as active with Fidelity. A person not benefits eligible cannot enroll via eserve; they must enroll via a salary reduction form
    Post-Doc Eligibility:
    All post-doc scholars at the University are eligible if they meet the below requirements:
    • The requirements for a Post Doc to be able to participate in the 403(b) Plan are that they must have a Social Security Number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification number (ITIN) and pay FICA tax. A 12 month appointment is not required.
    Vendor Contact Information:
    Fidelity Investments
    http://netbenefits.com/tuftsuniversity - Microsite for Tufts

    One-on-One Consultations: 1-800-642-7131
    Tufts University sponsor plan number for Fidelity 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 address and click "Tools & Resources", then click "Forms and Documents" and follow the link titled "Online Beneficiary Election."

    http://www.tiaa.org/(all other information)

    https://www.tiaa.org/public/tcm/tuftsuniversity- Microsite for Tufts
    One-on-One Consultations: 1-800-732-8353
    Tufts University plan number for TIAA is

    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. 

    NOTES:  Making a vendor selection change via eServe only affects future contributions, not current balances.*
    1. The option to change to from the default Fidelity to TIAA will not be available to you to choose in eServe until you contact TIAA to first choose valid investment elections. On the phone with TIAA, ask that they please in touch with Tufts as soon as possible. 
    2. Once you contact TIAA, generally within 10 days you will receive an email from TSS indicating that your investment election has been confirmed and directing you to log into eServe to request a vendor change.
      • The effective date of the change will be the first available payroll after you make the vendor change election via eServe.
    *Current balances may be transferred by contacting retirement plan vendors directly. If you want to transfer your current fund balances between vendors within the Tufts University 403(b) Plan, you will need to contact the vendor to which you ultimately want the funds deposited.  For example, if you have a 403(b) balance at Fidelity and would like to transfer the funds to TIAA, you would contact TIAA to assist you with the paperwork.


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