Virginia Commonwealth University

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Benefits

Tax-deferred annuity and Roth 403b program

VCU offers faculty and staff opportunities to participate in a Tax-Deferred Annuity (TDA) 403(b) program, the Roth 403(b) program as an after-tax savings vehicle and a Cash Match plan for eligible faculty and staff who contribute at least $10 (pre-tax) each pay period to their TDA plan.

Tax-deferred annuity (TDA) program

Effective January 1, 2008: Newly hired faculty and classified staff are automatically enrolled in the TDA 403(b) program, unless they opt-out of participating within 60 days of their hire date. Click here pdf icon for more information.

As allowed by Section 403(b) of the federal tax code, you are eligible for a tax break to put aside money today to build income for your retirement. You can reduce your taxable income; however, you do not reduce your life insurance, Social Security or retirement benefits.

Not only are your TDA contributions made with pre-tax income, but earnings on your investments also accumulate on a tax-deferred basis. Income taxes are payable when you make withdrawals from your account upon retirement. The funds in your account also may be accessed if you terminate employment, become totally and permanently disabled, reach age 59 years six months, have an IRS-defined hardship or die.

Select from the participating TDA providers and decide which investment products to use. 

Note: If you receive a lump-sum distribution (including a hardship withdrawal) before age 59 years and six months, you may also pay an additional 10 percent federal tax.

Roth 403(b) program

VCU offers faculty and staff the opportunity to participate in the Roth 403(b) program as an after-tax savings vehicle. Participation in the Roth 403(b) does not require participation in the TDA program. Your Roth 403(b) contributions are made with after-tax income. Earnings on Roth 403(b) contributions may be withdrawn, tax free, provided the withdrawal is made at least five years after the first Roth contribution is made and all other withdrawal eligibility requirements are met (generally, the same as TDA requirements above). Select from participating Roth providers and decide which investment products to use.

The annual limit for 403(b) contributions is a combined limit. This limit applies whether 403(b) contributions are made pre-tax (under the TDA), after-tax (as Roth contributions) or as a combination of both. For more information, see the retirement tax savings limits.

For additional Roth 403(b) information, view TIAA-CREF pdf icon or Fidelity pdf icon.

Retirement tax-savings limits

In 2014, VCU participants under age 50 can contribute up to a combined total of $17,500 to the TDA and Roth 403(b) program, and up to $17,500 to the Virginia Deferred Compensation Plan (DCP/457b). 

  • Beginning with the calendar year you turn age 50, you can contribute an additional $5,500 combined to the TDA and Roth 403(b) and an additional $5,500 to the DCP - for a total of $23,000 to each plan for 2014.
  • With 15 or more years of service to VCU, you may be eligible for an additional catch-up election in the TDA or Roth 403(b) program. To request information about catch-up eligibility, contact benefits@vcu.edu.
  • If you are within three years of your normal retirement age, you may be eligible for the standard catch-up contribution to the DCP. For further information, review the standard catch-up document pdf icon
  • Use the online pay calculator Excel document to determine how much to tax-defer. You can change your contributions at any time by using the following instructions:
    - For the TDA, complete the Salary Reduction Agreement (SRA) pdf icon.
    - For the DCP, all enrollment and contribution changes can be made online at Commonwealth of Virginia 457 Deferred Compensation Plan page. 

For calendar year 2015, employee contribution limits for the TDA and Roth 403(b) program and the VRS 457 Deferred Compensation Plan(DCP) will be increasing. VCU participants under age 50 can contribute up to a combined total of $18,000 to the TDA and Roth 403(b) program, and up to $18,000 to the VRS 457 Deferred Compensation Plan (DCP).

  • Beginning with the calendar year you turn age 50, you may contribute an additional amount under the age 50+ catch-up provision.
  • For calendar year 2015, the age 50+ catch up amount will be $6,000 combined to the TDA and Roth 403(b) and an additional $6,000 to the DCP - for a total of $24,000 to each plan for 2015.

Current employee contribution elections will remain in force automatically and no action is required to continue those contributions in 2015.  Employees may change voluntary contributions at any time by completing a Salary Reduction Agreement for the TDA or visit the Commonwealth of Virginia 457 page to make changes to the DCP.  

TDA and Roth 403(b) plan providers

Fidelity (click here to visit Fidelity's Facebook page)

TIAA-CREF (click here to visit TIAA-CREF's Facebook page)

VCU Human Resources provides faculty and staff with opportunities to meet individually with the TDA vendors about retirement and investment strategies. For a list of campus dates and information on how to make a reservation for a session, follow the link below:

TDA distributions

Generally, distributions from TDA, Roth 403(b) and Cash Match plans are not available while employed by VCU. For information on your distribution options, please contact your vendor.

For more information, email benefits@vcu.edu or call (804) 827-1723.

Additional information

For more detailed information regarding TDAs, refer to the Tax-deferred annuity (TDA) Plan Document pdf icon.

Cash match plan

Eligible faculty and staff who contribute at least $10 (pre-tax) each pay period to their TDA plan receive matching contributions to their Cash Match account from VCU. The Cash Match plan, which was enacted by the 1999 Virginia General Assembly, allows the university to provide a matching contribution of 50 percent — up to the plan maximum each pay period — of the amount that eligible faculty and staff contribute to their retirement investment accounts in the TDA Program. Roth 403(b) contributions are not eligible for the Cash Match plan.

To be eligible for the VCU Cash Match, a faculty or staff member must be covered by:

  • a Virginia Retirement System (VRS) defined benefit plan (VRS Plan, VRS Plan 2, or VaLORS) or by the VCU Optional Retirement Plan (ORP); or
  • the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) Hybrid Retirement Plan and be making the maximum voluntary defined contribution to that plan.

Note: Adjunct faculty and hourly employees are not eligible to participate in the Cash Match plan.

If you contribute to the Virginia Deferred Compensation Plan (DCP) instead of VCU's TDA program, you may participate in the Cash Match plan, provided you meet the eligibility criteria indicated above. If you contribute to both the TDA and DCP plans, only your TDA account can receive VCU's Cash Match amount based on your TDA contributions.

Cash Match funds are initially invested into the same funds as your TDA allocations. If you would like to make different allocations with these funds, contact your TDA vendor to make the change.

Eligible faculty and staff who contribute to the TDA Program must choose between two vendors (TIAA-CREF or Fidelity) to receive the Cash Match contributions that the university makes on their behalf.

For more information about the Cash Match plan, please review the information below.

Who are the approved Cash Match vendors?

What are the approved Cash Match funds?

What happens if you want to invest in funds that are not approved for the Cash Match?

You can contribute to more of the vendor funds through the university's TDA program.

Why can't you invest in all of the vendor funds through the Cash Match plan?
  • The Cash Match plan is a retirement benefit provided through the university with funding from state dollars, which means that VCU bears the fiduciary responsibility for this plan.
  • The TDA is a benefit that is funded with the individual's dollars, which means that you (the participant) bear the risk of these investments.
When are individual sessions with the approved vendors?

See one-on-one counseling sessions with vendors.

See also investment education.

Glossary of Terms

Enrollment

TDA and Roth

To enroll in the 403(b) program for TDA and/or Roth contributions, you will need to provide VCU Human Resources with the following completed documents:

*To enroll online with your chosen vendor, visit the appropriate link below:

  • Fidelity - the plan code for TDA and Roth 403(b) is 50548; the plan code for Cash Match is 57837.
  • TIAA-CREF - the access code for TDA and Roth 403(b) is 100941; the access code for Cash Match is 100942.

Click here to enroll in the TDA and/or Roth 403(b) plan.

Click here to enroll in the Cash Match plan.

Note: If you enroll with more than one TDA vendor, your Cash Match contribution will be distributed to the vendor with the highest allocation. If the allocations are equal, the vendor listed first on the Salary Reduction Agreement (SRA) will receive the Cash Match contribution.

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