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 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.


Full-time and part-time Medical House Staff members who are at least 21 years of age and who work at least 20 hours are eligible participate in the 403(b) Savings Plan.


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 2024 is $23,000 per calendar year. If you are age 50 or over, you can make additional catch-up contributions (for 2024, the IRS limit is $7,500).

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

* Fidelity is the default vendor for Emory.

Employer Contributions

Emory’s 403(b) Savings Plan provides a basic contribution of 1% of eligible salary for all current Medical House Staff members.

If you are a newly hired Medical House Staff member and your start date is on the first of the month, you will receive Emory’s basic contribution during the month of your hire. If you are hired after the first of the month, your contributions will begin the first of the following month.

Medical House Staff do not have to make their own contribution in order to receive Emory’s basic contribution.

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.
Website instructions:
Select Enroll Now. From there, you are presented with a series of questions to set up the account.

Note: 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.


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.


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

VendorQuarterly Fee
Fidelity Investments$5.50


Your contributions and Emory’s Contributions are 100% vested. There are no service requirements to be completely vested.

Accessing funds

If you need to take a distribution from your 403(b) 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 contributions 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.