Virginia Commonwealth University

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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 plans.

Tax-deferred annuity (TDA) program

Effective Jan. 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 Earnings on Roth 403(b) contributions may be withdrawn, tax free, provided the withdrawal is made at least five years after the first Roth contribution is made and all other withdrawal eligibility requirements are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 2013, 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). 

  • At age 50 and over 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 2013.
  • 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). To request information about catch-up eligibility, contact
  • If you are within 3 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 submitting the appropriate form(s):
    - For the TDA, use the Salary Reduction Agreement pdf icon.
    - For the DCP, use the Deferred Compensation Plan Payroll Authorization Form pdf icon

In the 2014 calendar year, employee contribution limits for the VCU 403(b) Tax-Deferred Annuity (TDA) and the VRS 457 Deferred Compensation Plan (DCP) will be unchanged. Current employee contribution elections will remain in force automatically and no action is required to continue those contributions in 2014.  Employees may change voluntary contributions at any time by completing a Salary Reduction Agreement for the TDA or a Payroll Authorization Form for 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.

One-on-One Vendor Consultations

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 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 plans receive matching contributions to their Cash Match accounts 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 defined benefit plan (VRS Plan, VRS Plan 2, or VaLORS) or by the VCU Optional Retirement Plan, or
  • Be covered by the Virginia Retirement System 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


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:

  • Salary Reduction Agreement (SRA pdf icon).
  • Vendor enrollment form for each vendor with whom you choose to invest. You can obtain vendor enrollment forms from VCU Human Resources or the TDA vendor; or, if you enroll online, you can provide the online* confirmation page(s) from the TDA vendor(s).

*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.