TIAA, Fidelity, and Utah Retirement Systems (URS) options available

USU's retirement plans provide a strong foundation for our employees. Plans include employer-funded and employee-funded options from TIAA, Fidelity, and the Utah Retirement System (URS).

Employer-Funded Retirement Plans

401(a) TIAA/Fidelity

For new employees or rehired employees who were not previously enrolled in URS while they were working for USU, the university will contribute 14.2% of your annual gross earnings (up to applicable annual IRS limits) into a retirement account called a 401(a) plan. This is an employer contribution only plan, so all funds contributed come from the University. You may choose either TIAA or Fidelity, or a combination of both as your 401(a) plan administrator. You designate how this contribution is invested among the investment options by completing the 401(a) Investment Provider Change Form.

Be sure to register online with TIAA/Fidelity to manage investments and setup the account.

Vesting for the 401(a) is 100% on day one. Vesting is your ownership in your retirement plan. While many employers require you to work a set number of years for them before you own all your funds, USU gives you a 100% ownership on day one.

401(a) Summary Plan Description

Utah Retirement System (URS)

For employees who have been rehired by USU, if you were enrolled in the URS retirement plan during your previous employment periods with the university, you must remain in URS.

If you had prior URS membership with another organization, you may choose either URS or the 401(a) option with TIAA/Fidelity.

For employees enrolled in URS prior to July 2011, you are considered Tier 1. For employees enrolled after July 2011, you are considered Tier 2.

URS Online Enrollment

Employee-Funded Retirement Plans

403(b) Auto Enrollment

In addition to the employer contribution to your retirement, you will be automatically enrolled in a 403(b) supplemental retirement Life-Cycle Fund with TIAA. The auto enroll will be set up to contribute 3% of your income pre-tax.

If you want to opt out of this benefit you may do so when you complete your benefit enrollment, or anytime by completing a 403(b) change form.

If you would like to adjust this contribution please review supplemental Employee-Funded retirement contribution options.

Employees may wish to supplement the University’s contribution to their retirement, with a contribution of their own into an employee-funded retirement plan. The University offers several options of employee-funded retirement plans, which are 403(b), Roth 403(b), 457(b), and/or Roth 457(b). The University makes generous contributions into either a 401(a) or Utah Retirement System plan, which are employer-funded retirement plans (does not require a contribution from the employee) and because of this, the university does not make a matching contribution into any of the employee-funded retirement plans. Matching contributions refer to a retirement plan design, where an employer will match the contribution that an employee contributes into their retirement plan.

Changes can be made monthly, and must be turned in by the 15th of the month prior to the start of the contribution.  Your contribution will occur through payroll deduction on either a pre-tax or post-tax basis, based on the plan elected. The 2024 maximum contribution is $23,000 per supplemental retirement plan, if under age 50. If over age 50, the maximum contribution is $30,500.

You can learn more about the 403b and 457b retirement plans and how they compare to each other.

Provider Contact Information & Resources

Visit the providers site to update your personal information, beneficiaries, and retirement/investment allocations. To contribute more to your retirement, please complete the appropriate Supplemental Retirement form(s).


Retirement counseling is available at USU. You can schedule an appointment by calling (800) 732-8353 or using the TIAA online scheduling service.


Retirement counseling is available at USU. You can schedule an appointment using the Fidelity online scheduling service.

Utah Retirement System (URS)

Retirement counseling is available at USU. You can schedule an appointment with the URS online scheduling service.

For individual retirement planning sessions, please have the following with you for your appointment.

  • Your current gross pay rate (contract year salary for school members) and 3 to 5 highest years if close to retirement (contract years for school members)
  • Any retirement plan balances outside of URS
  • Your URS account log in information (user ID and password)
  • Your Social Security statement (you can get this at

URS also offers free member seminars tailored to your retirement horizon, from early career to planing to retire soon or post-retirement. Register through myURS and click on the Education tab. You can also participate in individual retirement planning sessions and receive debt counseling. Sessions are held virtually.

HUB International

Retirement counseling is available at USU. You can schedule an appointment using the HUB Calendy Scheduling Website.

Planning for Retirement

Regular Retirement

To retire from USU, write a letter of retirement to your department.

Upon leaving the University, an employee has the option to withdraw or rollover certain retirement accounts or leave the funds in the account.  For more information, contact the appropriate retirement vendor (TIAA, Fidelity or Utah Retirement Systems) and discuss the process they may need from you prior to your retirement. You will also need to notify HR if you contributed to a Retirement Health Savings Plan (RHSP).

You may want to meet with a retirement counselor:

  • TIAA (800) 732-8353
  • Fidelity (800) 813-1239
  • URS (800) 365-8772

You will also want to review the following:

Early Retirement

To be eligible for Early Retirement the employee's age and years of service in a benefited position must equal 75. There is a 5-year option or a 6-year option. In the 5-year option, employee's must be at least age 57.  The retirement incentive payment for the 5-year option is the lesser of 20% of base salary (salary at end of service), or the estimated single social security benefit available to the individual at Full Retirement Age (FRA) as defined by social security law.  The early retirement agreement will last for 5- years or until full social security age, whichever comes first. In the 6-year option, employee's must be at least age 56.  The retirement incentive payment for the 6-year option is the lesser of 16.67% of base salary (salary at end of service), or the estimated single social security benefit available to the individual at Full Retirement Age (FRA) as defined by social security law.  The early retirement agreement will last for 6-years or until full social security age, whichever comes first. Early Retirees may continue to participate in USU's medical and dental insurances.  The medical insurance can continue for the early retiree and their spouse while on early retirement, until the individual hits age 65 or the agreement ends, whichever comes first. The early retiree and spouse may participate in USU’s dental insurance for the life of the early retirement agreement. A dependent child can remain on medical and dental coverage until age 26 or the end of the agreement, whichever comes first. The retiree will pay their applicable share of the medical and dental premiums.

Phased Retirement

To be eligible for Phased Retirement, the employee must be at least 55 years old and have 5 years of continuous benefited service at USU.  The minimum FTE an employee may reduce to and continue to receive benefits is 50% FTE. Phased retirement employees will be entitled to benefits, for the duration of the agreement, at the same level attained prior to the effective date of the agreement. Annual and sick leave will be earned on a pro-rata basis according to the percent of time in the phased retirement agreement.

Participation in either the Early or Phased Retirement program is a privilege subject to department approval. For more information, please contact the HR Solutions Center: (435) 797-0122.

Retirement Healthcare Savings Plan

Employees may choose to participate in USU's optional Retirement Healthcare Savings Plan at any time. To participate, the minimum yearly contribution is $200/yr.

Contributions are made through post-tax payroll deductions. The money you contribute belongs to you, and grows tax free. It is only available to you when you leave the University, by retiring or due to the end of employment. The funds must be used for health care expenses for yourself, your spouse, or qualified dependents. The purpose is to save for medical expenses in retirement, however you may use this money to pay for COBRA premiums if you leave the University. The RHSP is administered by TIAA-CREF.

Other Resources

Emeritus Faculty & Emeriti Association

As retirees, emeritus faculty members are valued members of our campus community. USU offers continued benefits, support, and services to these faculty members.

The Emeriti Association is available to faculty and staff retirees. They hosts events and provides benefits.


Social Security