Noncontributory Defined Benefit Plan

The retirement benefit to be received under this plan is determined by a set formula which takes into account:

  • Salary
  • Years of participation in the plan
  • Age at retirement


The following categories of employees are eligible to accrue benefits under this plan: 

Faculty - full-time regular and part-time regular

Librarians - full-time regular and part-time regular

Research Associates - full-time regular and part-time regular

Staff - full-time regular and part-time regular

Postdoctoral associates with an appointment date on or before June 30, 2005. 

Union Employees as stated in their Collective Bargaining Agreement

Summary of the Plan

The full plan summary of how the plan operates and describes your rights and obligations as a plan participant can be found by clicking here

  • The Noncontributory Defined Benefit Pension Plan is totally funded by University contributions to a trust fund held at BNY Mellon.
  • The Plan does not require an employee contribution.
  • Benefits are based upon a formula, not upon contributions or the plan's investment earnings. The University is responsible for contributing enough money to fund benefits.
  • For each year of participation, a participant accrues a benefit, payable as a single life annuity, equal to 2.1% of his compensation not in excess of the Social Security Wage Base. The benefit is calculated (for all participants) as a single life annuity, although it may be converted to a joint and 100% survivor annuity for married participants.
  • An employee in the Defined Benefit plan may also make supplemental contributions to the Defined Contribution plan.  These contributions are not matched by the University. 

Vesting Period

The Vesting Period under the Noncontributory Defined Benefit Pension Plan is five years with 1000 or more hours of participation in each calendar year.  Full time employees will complete 1,950 hours of service in a calendar year. (To accumulate 1000 hours, the staff participant must be at least 60% effort.) Other rules apply to part-time faculty in this plan related to the number of credits taught each year.  See the plan document for specific information. 

There are two ways to collect this benefit:

  1. Retirement - Age 65 with 5 years of service.
  2. Early Retirement - A reduced benefit is available at Age 55 with 10 years of service.

The benefit is reduced by .6% for each month prior to age 65 you take the benefit. (Ex. If a participant retired on his 64th birthday and started the benefit immediately upon retirement, his benefit would be reduced by 7.2%, or .6% for each of the 12 months prior to reaching age 65.)

The benefit is paid in one of two ways:

  1. Single Annuity
  2. Joint and Survivor Annuity - Annuity is reduced based on an actuarial equivalent using the difference in the participant and spouse/partner's age. The spouse would continue to receive the benefit in the event that the participant should die.

Once in a Career Change

If you are covered by the Defined Benefit Plan and have never been enrolled in the Defined Contribution Program you may be eligible to take advantage of the Once in Career Change option.

Re-enrollment in the Defined Benefit Pension Plan is not permitted.

You may contact the Benefits Department at 412-624-8160 to discuss your options.  You can obtain a form to make this once in a career change from the benefits office.  Once eligibility has been determined by Human Resources, you will receive a notice.  You will be able to enroll in the Defined Contribution plan within 7-10 days of receiving the notice.  Instructions on how to enroll can be found at

Vendor Contact Information

University of Pittsburgh Pension Call Center