Retirement Saving Plans
The University of Pennsylvania offers eligible faculty and staff three easy ways 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 at TIAA and Vanguard.
Enroll or Make Changes NowEnroll and make changes to your retirement elections online or by phone. Use Penn's online Saving for Retirement Enrollment System 24/7, or call the Retirement Call Center at 877-PENN-RET (877-736-6738), Monday–Friday, 8am to 5pm.
The Basic Plan and Matching Plan work in tandem. If you’re a full-time staff member, or faculty in an eligible position, you’re eligible for both plans. (Part-time staff, or faculty in a position that is ineligible for the Basic and Matching Plans are eligible for the Supplemental Retirement Annuity Plan).
The Basic Plan
Penn automatically makes age-based contributions to the Basic Plan after one year of service. If you’re eligible for this plan, you don’t have to do anything to receive these contributions.
There is a one-year waiting period for Penn’s contributions (unless you’re eligible for Prior Service Credit). For monthly-paid employees, one year is defined as 12 months of service. For weekly-paid employees, one year is defined as having worked 1,000 hours in your first year of employment with Penn, or in any calendar year after your first year.
This table shows Penn's age-based contributions to the Basic Plan:
|Your age as of January 1||Contribution 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. After one year of service, 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).
Note that 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 some 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. If you need help with this calculation, please call the Retirement Call Center at 877-736-6738.
The Basic Plan and Matching Plan in Tandem
|Your Age||Penn's Basic Contribution|
(no employee contribution required)
|Penn's Match Contribution||Total Potential Contribution from Penn||Total Potential Contribution from Employee and Penn|
|21-29||1.5%||Dollar-for-dollar match on employee contributions up to 5%||6.5%||11.5%|
|40 or over||4%||"||9%||14%|
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
As of January 1, 2018, contribution elections to the SRA are limited to 75% of standard gross pay per pay period. That limitation applies to SRA contribution elections made in either percent or dollar format.
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 free access to the financial advice and services of TIAA and Vanguard.
Enroll or Make Changes
Start your retirement savings or make changes to your elections anytime with Penn's online Saving for Retirement Enrollment System, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Or call the Retirement Call Center at 877-PENN-RET (877-736-6738), Monday–Friday, 8am to 5pm, Eastern Time.
Before you enroll, consider:
- How much do you want to contribute to Penn’s retirement plans?
- Which investment provider(s) do you want to use?
- In which funds do you want to invest?
- Whom do you want to name as the beneficiary(ies) of your accounts?
You can enroll in the retirement plan(s) for which you’re eligible as soon as you are hired and begin making contributions immediately through payroll deductions. You must be at least 21 years of age to enroll in the Basic Plan and Matching Plan.
Retirement Call Center