Established under the Internal Revenue Code, Pitt provides faculty and staff an opportunity to elect from two pension plans, the Defined Contribution Program, and the Noncontributory Defined Benefit Pension Plan. An option to make supplemental pre-tax and Roth 403(b) after-tax contributions without a University matching contribution is also available.
Defined Contribution Program
Defined under IRS code 403(b) and 401(a), the Retirement Benefit to be received under the Plan depends upon factors such as the amount of funds contributed, the investment returns on the funds contributed to over time, and the distribution or withdrawal option selected at the time of retirement. Learn more »
You may also consider the Roth 403(b) options.
Noncontributory Defined Benefit Pension Plan
The retirement benefit to be received under this Plan is determined by a set formula which takes into account salary and years of participation in the plan and age at retirement (University Funded Trust at Mellon Bank). Learn more »
Employee-Only Supplemental Contributions
Faculty and staff may elect to make supplemental tax-deferred contributions without a University matching contribution, but within the limits permitted by tax regulations.
Employees who are not eligible for the University matching contribution may make elective tax-deferred contributions within the limits permitted by tax regulations.
Faculty and staff may also elect to make supplemental contributions to the Roth 403(b) plan. Contributions are made on a post-tax basis, meaning that while your current taxes are not lowered, your contributions and the earnings in them are tax free upon withdrawal in retirement. Withdrawals of Roth contributions (assuming you meet the requirements) are always tax free since you have already paid taxes on the contributions.
Review your current beneficiary designations and make changes as appropriate. Having a correct beneficiary designation will help ensure that your intentions are protected and your retirement savings are distributed according to your plans.
If you do not designate a beneficiary, your vested interests in the University of Pittsburgh 401(a) and 403(b) Retirement Plans could go to an unintended survivor. Be sure to review the beneficiary rules.
Initial Enrollment In a Retirement Plan
For a newly eligible member of the faculty or staff hired on the first business day of a month, enrollment becomes effective the first of the next month, provided the online enrollment process has been completed and confirmed, prior to the effective date.
If hired after the first business day of a month, the enrollment becomes effective the first of the month following one full month of employment, provided the online enrollment process has been completed and confirmed, prior to the effective date.
For example, if you are hired September 1, eligibility is effective October 1 and is applied to the October paycheck. The online enrollment is due by September 30. If you are hired September 2 or later, enrollment is effective November 1 and is applied to the November paycheck. The online enrollment is due in October not later than 30 calendar days from your date of hire.
Once In Career Change
After the initial enrollment election, a participant may terminate participation in the Noncontributory Defined Benefit Pension Plan and elect to be a participant in the Defined Contribution Program if he or she is eligible. This is referred to as a “Once In Career Change.”
Once the change in election has been made, the participant is not permitted to switch back to the retirement plan initially elected.
A participant may not change from the Defined Contribution Program to the Noncontributory Defined Benefit Pension Plan.
Accelerated Retirement Option
The Accelerated Retirement Option is available to fully vested participants between the ages of 52 and 65 who are contributing at least 8% of their salary. When an eligible participant joins the Accelerated Option, the University will increase its match contribution from 12% to 14.5%. Learn more »
The guidelines for enrollment and effective dates must be followed for the University to be in compliance with federal regulations and the Plan. This means that there are restrictions concerning when the online enrollment is processed with respect to when it was completed and that exceptions may not be permitted.
If an eligible member of the faculty or staff does not enroll within proper time periods of eligibility, he or she must wait for the next applicable time period. For any transaction involving the University payroll system, enrollment through the University Portal must always be completed prior to the effective date. If a participant does not enroll online by the deadline, the member of the faculty or staff must wait for the next applicable time period.
Failure to meet the deadline for enrollment in the Defined Contribution Program means that he or she will be covered under the terms of the Noncontributory Defined Benefit Pension Pension Plan, and subject to the once in career change provisions.