403(b) Savings Plan

Emory's 403(b) Savings Plan is a tax-deferred retirement plan which allows you to contribute a percentage of your pay before taxes and receive a basic contribution and matching contribution from Emory.

Contributions and investment earnings in a 403(b) grow tax-deferred until withdrawal (assumed to be retirement), at which time they are taxed as ordinary income.

Eligibility

For Employees to Contribute

Full-time and part-time employees can immediately begin to contribute pre-tax dollars to the 403(b) Savings Plan.

For Employer Contributions

All eligible full-time and part-time employees who are at least 21 years of age, have completed one year of service and have worked at least 1,000 hours in a consecutive 12-month period are eligible to participate in Emory's Basic Contribution and/or Emory's Matching Contribution.

Emory University will begin to make contributions on your behalf effective as of the first day of the calendar month which coincides with or next follows the date on which you satisfy the eligibility requirements.

You may be eligible to waive the one year service requirement if you participated in a prior employer's sponsored retirement plan and received employer contributions in the plan immediately prior to joining Emory. To request the waiver, you will need to complete the Certification of Participation in Self-Service (select Benefits then 403(b) Certification).

Employer contributions will start as soon as administratively possible following the completion of the waiver. The waiver is effective upon the date of completion and cannot be applied retroactively.

Contributions

You can make contributions to one or more of the following retirement vendors:

* Fidelity is the default vendor for Emory

Employee Contributions

You can contribute from 1% to 91% of regular salary, subject to IRS maximum deferral limits. The IRS sets limits annually. The maximum deferral limit for 2022 is $20,500 per calendar year. If you are age 50 or over, you can make additional catch-up contributions (for 2022, the IRS limit is $6,500). Contributions up to 2% will be matched by Emory.

Employer Contributions

Upon completion of one year of service in which an eligible employee has worked 1,000 hours, Emory will begin making employer contributions on earnings up to the IRS annual compensation limit (for 2022, the limit is $305,000). Employees do not have to make a contribution to receive Emory’s Basic contribution, but will have to contribute to receive the Emory Matching Contribution.

Emory’s Basic Contribution (6%):

Emory provides a basic contribution of 6% of regular salary. Once you are eligible, Emory’s 6% contribution to your retirement will be effective on the first of the month coincident with or next following the date your eligibility is satisfied.

Emory’s Matching Contribution (1.5% to 3%):

The matching contribution will be effective at the same time your employer basic contribution begins as long as you are making the appropriate contribution. If you are not making a contribution, the Emory Match will begin after you have satisfied the eligibility requirement and your contributions start. Emory will match employee contributions as follows:
  • Employee contributes 1% of regular salary — Emory matches with a 1.5% contribution.
  • Employee contributes 2% of regular salary — Emory matches with a 3% contribution.
Example

Below is an example of the total 403(b) contributions received for an eligible employee who contributes 2% to the 403(b):

  • Employee Basic Contribution: 2%
  • Employer Matching Contribution: 3%
  • Employer Basic Contribution: 6%
  • Total 403(b) Contribution: 11%

Notes

  • All Emory Employer contributions are on a pre-tax basis.
  • Voluntary employee contributions will be contributed to the Plan on a payroll-by-payroll basis.  You should consider this if you want to maximize the Matching Contributions you can receive under the Plan.
  • You are only eligible to receive Matching Contributions in payroll periods in which you make voluntary employee contributions.

How to Enroll

You can enroll in the 403(b) Savings Plan at any time throughout the year. Read this user guide for detailed information and instructions.

Step 1: Enroll using Fidelity's NetBenefits website

Use NetBenefits to enroll, enter your contribution amounts, and select your vendors. You can also calculate your maximum allowed contribution using an online retirement modeling tool.

Step 2: Complete the online enrollment form for each vendor you selected

Contact the vendor(s) you selected directly to complete this step. You can do this either online or by phone:

Fidelity Investments
Website Instructions:
Select Register and enter the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number. From there, you are presented with a series of questions to set up the account. You then select your funds.
TIAA
Website instructions:
Select Enroll Now. From there, you are presented with a series of questions to set up the account.

Notes

  • If you do not select funds, you will be placed in the default Lifecycle Fund of your selected vendor(s) until you make your selections.

Types of Investment Choices

With several types of investment choices within Fidelity and TIAA's investment lineups, you can easily create an investment mix to help you meet your goals, investing style and needs.

These funds offer an all-in-one approach to simplify investing. The Vanguard Target Date Funds are designed for investors expecting to retire around the year indicated in each fund’s name. The funds are managed to gradually become more conservative over time as you get closer to retirement.

If you want to select from passive and active funds that are monitored by Emory, the plan offers a number of passively and actively managed funds for your asset allocation.

The funds have been selected for Emory by CAPTRUST, a leading investment consulting firm, with consideration of performance, fund management, fees and other important characteristics.

The investments include funds across several asset classes, such as domestic and international equities, as well as fixed and guaranteed income investments. It’s up to you to decide how much risk you want in your portfolio and how to allocate your assets among the funds. Each of the vendors offer tools and guidance to help you. As a rule, you should periodically evaluate your investments and retirement portfolio based on your goals, risk tolerance and time horizon.

  • Passively Managed Index Funds: A passively managed fund, or index fund, strives to deliver the return of a specific market index, such as small blend stocks. The lineup offers passive funds across several major asset classes. These funds are offered at a relatively low cost.
  • Actively Managed Funds: An actively managed fund strives to deliver returns that are better than the related market index, through active selection of stocks and other investments by a professional fund manager. The cost of actively managed funds may be higher than passively managed funds.

A self-directed brokerage account combines the convenience of your retirement plan with the additional flexibility of an individual brokerage account. It gives you a wide array of mutual fund investment choices beyond those in your plan’s lineup. Emory does not evaluate or monitor the investments available through a self-directed brokerage account. It is your responsibility to ensure that the investments you select are suitable for your situation, including your goals, time horizon and risk tolerance.

For more information about Self-Directed Brokerage, read the following details from Emory's retirement vendors:

If you decide that a self-directed brokerage account is right for you, contact your retirement vendor for details on how to open a separate brokerage account within your current plan.

Resources

If you need help in selecting funds, refer to the Investment Performance Chart or visit your selected vendor(s) website for information on fund performance. The Investment Performance Chart is updated quarterly.

You can also schedule a Retirement Counseling Session with the vendor(s) of your choice.

Fees

A flat fee will be deducted quarterly from your accounts to cover administrative costs. The fees are shown in the chart below:

Fees
VendorQuarterly Fee
Fidelity Investments$5.50
TIAA$9.75

Vesting

For new hires or contributions after January 1, 2007:

  • Employee’s Contributions: Your contributions are always 100% vested.
  • Emory’s Basic Contribution and Emory’s Matching Contribution: Vesting is after completion of 3 years of service. Any matching or employer contributions made by Emory on behalf of an employee are vested once the employee completes 3 years of service, with completion of 1,000 hours worked in a 12-consecutive-month period (i.e. eligible employment) with Emory.
  • Post Doctoral fellows are 100% vested.

Prior to January 2007, employer contributions were on a 5-year vesting schedule. If you were hired prior to January 1, 2003, you are fully vested.

Accessing funds

If you need to take a distribution from your Plan while you are an Emory employee, there are several options available. An overview of these options is provided below. Refer to the Summary Plan Description for more complete details.

Enables you to withdraw your own contributions and any Emory matching funds which are vested to cover certain medical, educational, real estate or personal purchase items. Plan Loans are repayable through direct debit of your checking or savings account over the timeframe of the loan and do not require you to cease participating in the plan during the term of the loan. No penalties are incurred by participants accessing their money, unless, they default on the repayment of the loan in which case the remaining balance will be treated as a distribution subject to all IRS penalties and taxes. Once all forms are completed/submitted to the appropriate retirement plan vendor, this process typically takes ten (10) business days.

Enables you to withdraw your own contributions which are vested to cover certain medical, educational, home purchase or repair items. Hardship withdrawals cannot be repaid; are subject to IRS penalties for early withdrawal; and are taxable to the participant. Hardships require proof and documentation. Once all forms are completed/submitted to the appropriate retirement plan vendor, this process typically takes seven (7) business days.

Available to employees who have reached 59½ years of age. These are not subject to IRS penalties for early withdrawal; and, do not require you to cease participation in the plan. You are able to withdraw ONLY your own contributions to the plan. Withdrawals are taxable to the participant at the time they are received. In-Service Withdrawals must be taken before all Hardships. Once all forms are completed/submitted to the appropriate retirement plan vendor, this process typically takes seven (7) business days.