Contributions to the Plans

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Choose How You Pay Taxes

Your contributions, which are deducted from your paycheck, can be made on a pre-tax or Roth basis. This allows you to choose the tax treatment that best supports your long-term goals.

Pre-tax contributions

Pre-tax contributions are tax-deferred, so you don’t pay taxes on the contributions, or on any investment earnings, until you take the money out of your account.

Example: Suppose your monthly pay is $4,000 and you contribute 5%. Your monthly contribution amount would be $200, but your net pay would be reduced by only $144 (at 28% tax bracket). Your tax savings is $56 per month, or $672 per year.

Roth contributions

Roth contributions are taken from your pay after taxes, but all earnings are tax-free if they are taken as a Qualified Distribution (you must be at least 59½ years of age, and you must have made your first Roth contribution to the plan at least five years ago).

Annual Limits on Contributions

The Internal Revenue Service specifies annual limits for the maximum amounts you can contribute to the retirement plans in any calendar year.

Employee Contributions: Your combined pre-tax and Roth contributions for the Matching and Supplemental plans (as well as applicable retirement plans at other employers) cannot exceed $23,000 in 2024.  If you turn 50 anytime during 2024, you can contribute up to $30,500.

Annual Compensation Limit for Employer Contributions: The IRS limits the amount of annual compensation that can be considered when calculating employer contributions. The Annual Compensation Limit for 2024 is $345,000.

Excess Deferrals

Although Penn's payroll system will stop your contributions from your pay when they reach the annual IRS limit, you could make excess deferrals if you also contributed to another employer's retirement plan in the same year. If you made excess deferrals, you will need to take a corrective distribution of that excess. You can read more about excess deferrals and how to request a corrective distribution here.
Limits on Retirement Plan Contributions for 2024 and 2023
Contribution Type 2024 2023
Elective employee contributions, age 49 and below $23,000 $22,500
Elective employee contributions, age 50 and above $30,500 $30,000
Annual compensation limit for employer contributions $345,000 $330,000

Penn's Contributions

If you are eligible for the Basic and Matching Plans, Penn makes employer contributions to those plans for you. Penn’s contributions are pre-tax.

Basic Contributions

Penn makes regular, automatic contributions to your Basic Plan account as long as you are eligible, regardless of whether you make your own contributions. These basic University contributions are a percentage of your base salary, according to your age as of January 1 of each year.

University Match Contributions

If you make contributions to the Matching Plan, Penn will match your contributions dollar-for-dollar (subject to the IRS contribution limits discussed above).


Total Potential Contributions
Your Age University Basic Contribution University Match Contribution Total Potential University Contribution Total Potential Employee + University Contribution
21-29 2.5% Dollar-for-dollar match on employee contributions up to 5% 7.5% 12.5%
30-39 4% " 9% 14%
40 or over 5% " 10% 15%

Maximizing Your Contributions

  • If you want to maximize your contributions, contact the Retirement Call Center at 877-PENN-RET (877-736-6738) for help in calculating how much you need to contribute. You will need to provide the TIAA representative with your salary information.
  • If you stopped your contributions because you reached the maximum early in the calendar year, you’ll need to call 877-PENN-RET in early January of the following year to have your contributions restored. To ensure your contributions will restart in time for your January pay, please call in the first two weeks of January.