Retirement Plans - Command Staff
- Yale University Retirement Plan for Staff Employees (YRPSE)
- Yale University Retirement Account Plan (YURAP)
- Yale University Tax-Deferred 403(b) Savings Plan
- Yale University 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan
- Roth 403(b) contribution option
- How to enroll in a retirement plan and make changes to your investments
- Yale Retirement Plan Documents
Command Staff are automatically enrolled in the Yale University Retirement Plan for Staff Employees, a defined benefit plan, upon hire. The amount of pension payment is determined for each participant by a formula that gives weight to salary, length of service, and age at retirement. There are no employee contributions.
Command Staff are eligible for retirement upon attainment of age 50 and sum of age and years of service equals or exceeds 70.
Participants in the Plan “vest” after five years of service. Vesting gives a participant the right to a pension at age 65 (or when the sum of age and service equal 70) even if he or she leaves Yale employment.
The current formula for calculating a monthly pension can be found in the Yale University Retirement Plan for Staff Employees plan document.
Terminated vested employees are eligible to “cash out” their pension benefit if the present value of their account balance is less than the plan limit.
Significant features of the Plan are:
- The highest annual rate of pay in the computation is the highest annual rate of earnings in the last five (5) years of employment. For active employees this is most often the rate of pay on the date of retirement.
- Lower salary increments are weighted for higher multipliers than higher salary increments, providing a “safety-net” for retirees at lower salary levels.
- Terminated vested employees are eligible to “cash out” their pension benefit if the present value of their account balance is less than the plan limit.
Command Staff in benefit-eligible positions (scheduled to work at least 20 hours per week) have an irrevocable option to enroll in YURAP. If you choose to enroll in YURAP, you will no longer accrue benefits under the Staff Pension Plan, as this decision is irrevocable, and any benefit accrual in the Staff Pension Plan will freeze.
- If you choose to enroll in YURAP, Yale will automatically reduce your monthly salary by 5% and deposit that amount as a pre-tax employee contribution to YURAP. Yale will make a Core Contribution equal to 5% of your salary and a University Match equal to 5% of your salary to your YURAP account. You may change the amount you contribute to YURAP at any time.
- Your contributions as well as the University Core and Match contributions are automatically invested in the appropriate model portfolio selected for you by the Yale Target-Date Plus Service, the Plan’s Qualified Default Investment Alternative (QDIA), as described in Section 404(c)(5) of ERISA. The model portfolio selected for you is based on a predetermined projected retirement age and a moderate investment style, and also takes into account or considers any account balances you may have invested in any of the legacy TIAA and/or CREF annuity contracts. The Service uses these three parameters to create a model portfolio that invests your account and future contributions in age-appropriate investments while maintaining diversified, risk-managed exposure across a wide range of asset classes.
- You can personalize your Target-Date Plus model portfolio, or opt out of the Yale Target-Date Plus Service and select your own investments among one or more of the funds offered under the Plan’s investment lineup. You can personalize your model portfolio by changing your projected retirement age or investing style, or by adjusting “considered” legacy annuity assets.
- Both the employee and employer contributions to the plan are immediately vested, meaning that the total accumulation belongs to the participant even if the employee terminates employment.
The University provides a University Core Contribution in addition to a University Match.
- Your University Core Contribution will equal 5% of your eligible earnings below the Social Security Wage Base (SSWB) plus 7.5% of eligible earnings at or above the SSWB, up to the Annual Compensation Limit as defined by the IRS.
- The university will match 100% of your contributions, up to 5% of your eligible earnings.
The Social Security Wage Base and the Annual Compensation Limit for the Plan Year will be adjusted in accordance with IRS guidelines each January 1, and will be applied to your eligible earnings on a calendar-year basis.
Employees can choose the amount they wish to contribute to YURAP and set the amount to a flat-dollar amount or a percentage between zero and 75% of their eligible earnings, not to exceed the annual IRS limit. If you are age 50 or older, you can make an additional IRS Catch-up Contribution at any time during or after the calendar year in which you reach the age of 50.
Contributions by the employee and the University may not exceed the limitations imposed by the Internal Revenue Code and applicable Treasury Regulations.
The University Core contribution will be credited to the employees account independently of whether they contribute to YURAP. However, if the employee does not contribute to YURAP, they will not receive the University Match.
For participants who are contributing less than 10%, each July, the University will increase your employee contribution by 1% to a maximum of 10%. If you are contributing between zero and 4%, the University will reset your contribution to 5%. You can change or waive contributions at any time. The automatic escalation feature began July 1, 2010.
YURAP Frequently-asked questions
Can I change my contributions whenever I want?
You can always change the amount of your contribution to YURAP and set the amount up to 75% of your eligible earnings, not to exceed the annual IRS limit. If you are age 50 or older, you can make an additional IRS Catch-up Contribution at any time during or after the calendar year in which you reach the age of 50. You can change your contribution percentage at any time by logging on to the TIAA website, www.tiaa.org/yale.
Can I reduce my contribution to zero dollars and still get the University Core?
Yes. The University Core is credited to your account independently of whether you contribute to YURAP. However, if you do not contribute to YURAP, you will not receive the University Match.
Can I opt out of the automatic savings feature of this plan?
How much do I need to contribute to get the maximum University Match?
In order to maximize the University Match, you will need to save at a rate of at least 5% of base pay.
When will my Plan account be vested?
You will be fully vested automatically in all contributions you and the University make to your account.
Additional design features
- Contributions can be made on a pre-tax basis, after-tax basis through the Roth 403(b) option, or both. You can elect to contribute a flat dollar amount, a percentage of your salary, or the IRS annual maximum amount.
- Participants are eligible to take a loan on employee contributions only. Plan loans are administered by TIAA and are subject to the terms of the TIAA loan program. For further information, please contact TIAA.
- The number of loans is limited to three general purpose loans.
In-service distributions at age 59½
- • During active employment at age 59½, you will be able to take a distribution from the Plan. This is limited to employee contributions only.
Automatic escalation of savings rate of 1% per year to a maximum of 10% each July unless you provide direction to the contrary
- Each July, the University will increase your employee contribution by 1% to a maximum of 10%. If you are contributing between zero and 4%, the University will reset your contribution to 5% with the option to reduce or waive.
Command Staff, who are not enrolled in YURAP, may choose to contribute a portion of their pay to the Yale University Tax Deferred 403(b) Savings Plan as pre-tax contributions, Roth 403(b)* contributions, or a combination of both.
Employees can contribute a percentage of pay up to 75%, or the IRS annual maximum amount. Please refer to the YURAP section for Qualified Default Investment Alternative (QDIA) information.
If you are age 50 or older, you can make an additional IRS Catch-up Contribution at any time during or after the calendar year in which you reach the age of 50.
You may contribute a fixed-dollar amount, a percentage of your salary, or the IRS annual maximum amount.
Employee contributions may not exceed the limitations imposed by the Internal Revenue Code and applicable Treasury Regulations. Employee and contributions may be invested in a wide range of Vanguard and TIAA investment options through TIAA.
The Yale University 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan provides a vehicle for employees meeting specific criteria to accumulate additional tax-deferred savings beyond the limits of the 403(b) plans. The plan is available to tenured professors, professors on continuing appointments in the School of Medicine and employees whose salary equals or exceeds 1.5 times the current year Social Security Wage Base.
Eligible faculty and staff can contribute a percentage of eligible pay up to 75% or the IRS annual maximum amount. The contributions made to the plan are exempt from federal and state taxes. There are no employer contributions to this plan. Please refer to the YURAP section for Qualified Default Investment Alternative (QDIA) information.
This type of plan is unfunded by the University; however, the account balance is credited with investment earnings based on the performance of funds selected and is always fully vested.
Contributions may be invested in a range of Vanguard mutual funds and TIAA investment options through TIAA website, www.tiaa.org/yale. and the investment funds available are the same as with the 403(b) plans.
Although it is not required, it is recommended that you also contribute the maximum annual IRS amount to your 403(b) plan if you decide to contribute to the 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan. Contributing to both the 403(b) and 457(b) plans can increase your tax-advantaged retirement savings but you should be aware that there are key differences between these plans when it comes to withdrawals, rollovers and transfer of funds. If you are considering contributing to the 457(b) plan you should consult with your personal financial advisor, or a TIAA financial consultant or advisor to review your options.
How to enroll in a retirement plan and make changes to your investments
TIAA provides a customized website designed specifically for Yale participants where you can view and manage your Yale University retirement program contributions and investment options in one place. The site offers detailed fund information with Vanguard and TIAA investment fund options and retirement planning calculators.
To enroll in a retirement plan, update your beneficiary information, and view or change your investment options, go to the TIAA website. Log in instructions are provided on the website. First-time users will need to register for secure online access.
For assistance navigating the TIAA website, please contact TIAA at 855-250-5424, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (ET).
If you have any questions regarding your retirement benefits, contact Employee Services at 203-432-5552.