Retirement Saving Plans

The University of Pennsylvania offers eligible faculty and staff a combination of plans to save for retirement: the Basic Plan, Matching Plan, and Supplemental Retirement Annuity (SRA) Plan.

Each plan allows you to choose from a wide variety of investment funds. The plans offer investment funds from Vanguard, TIAA, and Blackrock, as well as a brokerage option that allows you to access mutual funds outside of the plans' core investment menu.

TIAA is the plans' provider and hosts all the investment funds on their platform.

On this page:

The Basic Plan and Matching Plan

The Basic Plan and Matching Plan work in tandem. If you’re a staff member, or faculty in an eligible position, you’re eligible for both plans.

The Basic Plan

Penn automatically makes age-based contributions to the Basic Plan. If you’re eligible for this plan, you don’t have to do anything to receive these contributions.

Here are the percentages for Penn's age-based contributions to the Basic Plan:

Your age on January 1Contribution to the Basic Plan
(percent of your base pay)

40 and above



The Matching Plan

Eligible employees may make contributions of up to 5% of their standard pay to the Matching Plan, up to IRS limits. Penn makes a dollar-for-dollar match for any contributions you make to the Matching Plan. If you want to make contributions beyond 5%, you can make those contributions to the Supplemental Plan (these Supplemental Plan contributions aren't matched, and the IRS limits linked above apply to these contributions too).

Matching Contributions are made by Penn on a per-pay-period basis. You will receive Matching Contributions for a particular pay period only if you made an Employee Contribution during that pay period. If your Employee Contributions stop for any reason (for example, you reach an IRS limit), Matching Contributions stop and you may not receive all of the Matching Contributions that you could have received had you contributed to the Plan throughout the year. For this reason, be sure to calculate your per-pay-period Employee Contribution amount so that you make contributions throughout the year without reaching a limit early and losing any Matching Contributions.

The Basic Plan and Matching Plan in Tandem

Your AgePenn's Basic Contribution
(no employee contribution required)
Penn's Match ContributionTotal Potential Contribution from PennTotal Potential Contribution from Employee and Penn
21-292.5%Dollar-for-dollar match on employee contributions up to 5%7.5%12.5%
40 or over5%"10%15%

The Supplemental Retirement Annuity Plan

The SRA Plan is similar to the Matching Plan. The primary differences are that the SRA allows employee contributions only and that the in-service withdrawal options are different (see Accessing Your Money for more information).

Limit on Contributions to the SRA Plan

Contribution elections are limited to 80% of standard gross pay per pay period. If you're eligible for the SRA Plan, you can contribute up to 80%; if you're also eligible for the Matching Plan, the first 5% would go to the Matching Plan and the remaining 75% to the SRA Plan.

Employees Eligible for the Basic and Matching Plans

If your position is eligible for the Basic and Matching Plans, you would use the SRA Plan if you want to make retirement savings contributions of more than 5%. The first 5% would go into your Matching Plan, and the remainder would go into your SRA Plan.

Employees Ineligible for the Basic and Matching Plans

If your position is ineligible for the Basic and Matching Plan, you still have full access to the SRA Plan. The SRA Plan offers you tax-advantaged payroll contributions to save for retirement, access to a large list of investment options, and access to retirement plan counseling, educational resources, and other applicable services offered by TIAA.