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Retirement plans

403(b) Basic Retirement Plan - University contribution

The 403(b) Basic Retirement Plan is a defined contribution plan operated under IRS Code section 403(b).  CMU contributes a percentage of eligible compensation to the Basic Retirement Plan, which is separate from an employee’s voluntary plan(s).  No matching contribution is required.  Eligibility and percentage contributed to the Basic Retirement Plan is based on employee group and is currently at 10% for all half-time or greater employees who are eligible for retirement, excluding Michigan Public Schools Employee Retirement System. The record-keeper for all of the CMU Retirement Plans is TIAA.

Supplemental Retirement Plans - employee contributions

You can establish a 403(b) Supplemental Tax Deferral Plan or a 457(b) Public Deferred Compensation Plan as a way to save more for retirement.  These are voluntary plans and all contributions are made by the employee.  

Deferral amounts are indicated as a percentage (%) of salary and are permitted as pre-tax or after-tax Roth contributions.  Participants who contribute to both a 403(b) and to a 457(b) plan will be allowed to contribute the maximum amount permissible to both plans.

A special catch-up limit allows participants who are age 50 and over to contribute an additional amount each year. 

Participants who contribute to a 403(b) plan outside of CMU must disclose these contributions to the University through the TIAA portal.  CMU has no responsibility for the consequences of your failure to fully disclose all outside contributions.

    403(b) - All staff employees, medical faculty, fixed-term faculty, regular faculty, and post-doctoral research fellows (including temporary staff and fixed-term faculty less than half-time) are eligible to participate.

    457(b) - All staff employees, medical faculty, fixed-term faculty, regular faculty, and post-doctoral research fellows with an appointment of half-time or greater are eligible to participate.

    CMU's voluntary retirement plans accept payroll deductions as after-tax ROTH and/or pre-tax contributions. You can start, stop, increase or decrease your contribution at anytime. Changes are effective the next available pay period.

    Note: 457(b) contribution changes can not be effective earlier than the first day of the month following the election.

    All contribution elections are made via the TIAA portal.

    Log in to (first-time users will need to register for secure online access).

    Select Actions on the menu bar. Follow the prompts stating Manage Contributions to start, stop or change your contributions.

    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)

    All contributions are subject to the IRS annual limits.

    TIAA Portal

    "Vesting" refers to an employee's right, usually earned over time, to receive some retirement benefits regardless of whether or not they remain with the employer. Contributions to CMU plans are 100% vested immediately.

    TIAA is the appointed record-keeper for the 403(b) Retirement Plans and the 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan. You may contact TIAA for forms, general fund information, fund performance, existing account information, allocation changes, transfers, withdrawals, name/address changes and beneficiary information.

    Customer Service: 800-842-2776

    Schedule an individual counseling session via phone, video or on campus: (select Michigan and then look for appointments under Central Michigan University) or call 800-732-8353.

    TIAA Disclosure Brochure

    TIAA Portal

    Frequently asked questions about retirement

      If you are in the 403(b) Basic retirement or supplemental tax deferral plans you are vested immediately and when you retire or leave CMU the monies belong to you. You can roll them over to another plan or leave them where they are. If you withdraw the monies, you will pay taxes at that time and there could be a 10% penalty if you do not meet the age requirements.

      Your termination date will not be reported to TIAA until the pay period following your official last day. Requests made prior to this date will be declined.

      If you are in the MPSERS plan, CMU completes a final wage and hour reporting to the Office of Retirement Services following the processing of your last paycheck. ORS will use this information to finalize your pension.

      No, TIAA-CREF requires you to start a new account at CMU. All accounts will be reflected on your quarterly statement.

      No, you cannot take out a loan from the University account. Only the voluntary 403b Tax Deferral plan has loan privileges.

      You generally can withdraw funds from your account with TIAA-Cref while still employed once you have reached age 59½.

      You generally can withdraw funds from your account with TIAA-Cref while still employed once you have reached age 59½.

      You can take out a loan with the TIAA-Cref voluntary 403b tax deferral plan.

      There is no loan provision with the 457(b) plan.

      You cannot withdraw monies from the 457(b) account at any age while actively working.

      You can increase, decrease, stop or start your tax deferral deductions any time.

      Yes, you can elect to defer to both accounts. You will have a maximum limit you can defer for each plan per calendar year.