8.7  Retirement Benefits

(Board Policy 425.2, 425.5; Arkansas Code Ann. §24-4-301 et seq., §24-7-101 et seq.; Act 218 of 2003)

If you have a half-time or greater appointment and are not a student employee, you are eligible for retirement benefits under the university's 403(b)/457(b) defined contribution plans or the Arkansas Public Employee Retirement System defined benefit plan. If your initial appointment with the university started on or before January 1, 1994, you are included in the university's plan, unless you specifically elect, within 31 days of your appointment, the alternative coverage offered by the Arkansas Public Employee Retirement System. The choice you make within 31 days of your appointment is irrevocable. It cannot be changed at a later date. You must complete enrollment documents for the plan you choose. Your participation will begin on the first day of the month coinciding with or following your enrollment.

If you elect to participate in the university's 403(b)/457(b) plan, the university will contribute an amount equal to five percent of your regular salary to your retirement account. In addition, the university will match your own contribution, up to 10 percent. This means that, if you contribute nothing, the university contributes five percent. If you contribute six percent, the university contributes six percent. If you contribute seven percent, the university contributes seven percent, and so on, up to 10 percent. If you contribute more than 10 percent, the university will still contribute 10 percent. You may elect to make your retirement contributions in tax deferred dollars or Roth after tax dollars by completing a Salary Deferral Agreement that designates the percentage of your regular salary you choose to contribute to your retirement account. If you elect the tax deferred option, your contributions will be credited to your retirement account before federal and state taxes are deducted. Contributions are subject to limitations under the Internal Revenue Service code.

The current funding sponsors for the university's 403(b)/457(b) defined contribution plans are Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association - College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA) and Fidelity Investments. Funds are transferable within and among several investment fund choices. Specific information is available from the benefits section of Human Resources.

Employer contributions to the 403(b) plan are vested at the end of 12 consecutive months of employment in a benefits-eligible position.  Employees who work for the university in positions not normally eligible for benefits may participate in the 403(b)/457(b) retirement plan, but they will not receive matching contributions from the university.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 11:09 AM