Tax Deferred Savings Program

The University of Virginia offers optional savings programs that allow employees to tax-defer income and invest for the future. The 403(b) plans are available through TIAA-CREF and Fidelity Investments and the Commonwealth Deferred Compensation 457(b) plan is offered through ICMA-RC. Both plans are open to all employees who can contribute the monthly minimum of $20. Beginning 2014, the IRS maximum contribution is $17,500. If you are 50 years or older you may defer $23,000. Employees who have been employed with the University for at least 15 consecutive years may be eligible for an additional catch-up of up to $3,000. Employees may participate in both the 403(b) and Commonwealth 457(b) and can contribute the maximum to both.

Cash Match

The University of Virginia offers an employer-paid match to employee contributions to tax-deferred savings programs. To be eligible, employees must be participating in the Virginia Retirement System, the Optional Retirement Plan or the Medical Center Retirement Plan.

For Medical Center employees hired on or after September 30, 2002 employee contributions will be matched at 50 percent up to 4 percent of salary, not to exceed a 2% employer match contribution. For Medical Center employees hired prior to September 30, 2002 who participate in the Medical Center Retirement Plan or any Medical Center employees who participate in the Virginia Retirement System regardless of their date of hire, employee contributions will be matched at 50 percent up to a maximum of $40.00 per month.

How to Enroll with TIAA-CREF or Fidelity

  1. Log on to Knowledge Link by choosing Employee Self Service and Benefits.

  2. Enroll in 403(b) Plan
    TIAA-CREF 403(b)
    Fidelity 403(b)

  3. Enroll in 401(a) Cash Match
    TIAA-CREF 401(a)
    Fidelity 401(a)

How to Change TDSP Account Once Opened

Once an account has been opened, all fund changes must be made through the vendor. Deferral amounts are changed through UVa by logging on to Knowledge Link.

How to Enroll in the Commonwealth 457 Plan

There are 2 ways to Enroll:

  1. Register online through ICMA-RC by creating a Initial User ID and Password.

  2. By phone, 1-VRS-DC-PLAN1 (1-877-327-5261), weekdays 8:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Once enrolled, you will make changes through ICMA-RC.

Roth 403(b)

Effective January 22, 2013, the University is adding a new choice to the retirement options we offer, a “Roth 403(b)” option, through both TIAA-CREF and Fidelity.

The traditional 403(b) is “pre-tax,” meaning you invest your money before you pay taxes on your gross income. When you withdraw the money during retirement, you will pay taxes at the rate in place at that time. Roth contributions differ from traditional “pre-tax” 403(b) contributions in that Roth contributions are “after-tax.” This means you invest money in the Roth out of your net income, after you have already paid taxes out of your paycheck, unlike the other retirement options we offer. You don’t get a tax savings on your contributions currently, but when you are eligible to take distributions from your Roth account (presumably when you are retired) the money is not taxable, including all of the accumulated earnings on the Roth contributions (some qualifications apply. See details for further information).

You have the option to designate all or a portion of your future 403(b) contributions, with Fidelity and/or TIAA-CREF, as Roth contributions, or designate a new contribution amount separate from your existing retirement portfolio. The annual limits on contributions are the same, regardless of whether the contributions are on a pre-tax or a post-tax basis: a maximum of $17,500 for 2014, or $23,000 for someone age 50 and over. However, the impact on your taxes and on your paycheck will differ depending on whether you contribute to retirement pre-tax or post-tax.

Tax Deferred Savings Program Summary Information

Customer Service Schedule an Appointment Fund Performance
TIAA-CREF 1.800.842.2733 Meet a Representative 403(b)  401(a)
Fidelity 1.800.343.0860 Meet a Representative 403(b)   401(a)

TDSP Payroll Change - Knowledge Link

403(b) Plan Document

TDSP Universal Availability Notice