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Benefits & Retirement Orientation 

The university offers a comprehensive benefits program to all benefit-eligible faculty and staff. CMU offers health coverage, short-term and long-term disability, life insurance / AD&D, flexible spending accounts, health savings accounts and retirement plans. In addition, CMU provides other benefits and services to help enhance employee work-life wellness. 

Benefits are an important part of your total compensation package and enrollment is an integral part of the new employee onboarding process.  In order to maximize the benefits available to you and ensure timely enrollment, please complete the steps below.

Benefit elections are binding until the end of the plan year.  After your 30 day new hire election window you may only make changes to benefit coverage during the annual open enrollment period (typically the last two weeks in April*) or if you experience a qualifying status change event.

*For Regular Faculty enrolled in a MESSA medical plan, the open enrollment period for MESSA takes place in the fall.  All other benefit elections (i.e. dental, vision, FSA, etc.) still take place in April.

Enrollment | Retirement | Videos

Steps to enroll

    View the online benefit orientation videos below. The videos are designed to help you familiarize yourself with the different benefit options available and aid you in deciding which options are best for you.

    Benefit questions can be addressed to HealthAdvocate at 866-799-2691 or emailed to Retirement and Tuition Benefit questions should be sent to benefits@cmich.eduor call 989-774-3661.

    Make your benefit elections in CMU Choices, the online benefits enrollment system. Your benefits enrollment must be completedwithin30 calendar days of your date of hire. Elections are required for each of the health plans (medical/prescription dental and vision) and life insurance/AD&D and disability plans for which you are eligible.

    You are able to revise your benefit elections until your 30 calendar day benefit enrollment deadline date. Changes made to previous elections may result in retroactive changes to your coverage and/or your payroll deductions.


    Print your Current Year Summary. This confirmation statement documents your benefit elections, per pay costs and beneficiaries for the current plan year.

    Important Note: The IRS requires employers to provide the Social Security numbers (SSN) for employees and their covered dependents who enroll in their healthcare plans as part of the Affordable Care Act SSN reporting requirements. Be sure to enter the SSN for you and your family members in CMU Choices if you decide to enroll in coverage.

    Key retirement information

      If eligible, you will be automatically enrolled in the 403(b) Basic Retirement Plan. The university contributes 10% of your CMU base earnings into your retirement account. The university contributions begin on your CMU date of hire. You are not permitted to contribute to the defined contribution plan. TIAA will send a welcome letter with your contract after the pay date containing the first contribution.

      TIAA Portal

      You may wish to supplement the university’s contributions to your retirement, with a contribution of your own into an employee-funded retirement plan(s). The university offers two voluntary, supplemental retirement plan options: 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Plan and/or457(b) Public Deferred Compensation Plan. Both plans accept pre-tax and after-tax Roth contributions.

      Once you receive your welcome letter from TIAA, you are able to set up voluntary contributions:

      Log in users will need to register for secure online access)

      Select Actions and follow the Change Contribution Amount prompts. You can start, stop, increase or decrease your contribution at anytime.

      For assistance navigating the TIAA website or to change your election via phone, please contact TIAA at 800-732-8353, weekdays, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. (ET).

      TIAA Portal

      If you are eligible for more than one retirement plan, there is a limit on the amount that may be contributed through salary deferrals which must be aggregated (or combined) for certain plan types. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sets these limits annually and strictly enforces them. It is your responsibility for monitoring contributions to ensure you stay within the annual limits. Questions or concerns regarding these limits, including aggregation of contributions with other retirement plans, should be directed to a qualified tax adviser.