403(b) Savings Program

You have access to voluntary programs that allow you to save extra money for retirement, on top of your primary retirement plan. The 403(b) and 457 savings programs allow you to

  • save up to $18,500 annually for retirement in 2018
    • if you are 50 or older, you may save an additional $6,000 ($24,500 in 2018 total)
    • if you have at least 15 years of service, you may also be eligible for an additional $3,000 catch-up contribution per year to a 403(b) plan, not to exceed $15,000 in a lifetime; contact HR directly to determine eligibility
  • save in both plans and contribute the maximum to both

403(b) Plan

  • Pre-tax and Roth after-tax deferrals
  • Vendors are Fidelity and/or TIAA
  • Changes to your vendor and/or contribution amount will always take effect the next pay period
  • Change your contribution amount through UVA Employee Self-Service (UVA will not make retroactive changes to excess contributions or deductions)

Enroll in 403(b)

  • Use the benefit enrollments page in employee self-service, following these step-by-step instructions
  • Work with your vendor, TIAA and/or Fidelity, to make investment elections and other decisions
  • If you make no specific fund choice, you will be placed into the default program

Commonwealth 457 Plan

  • Pre-tax and Roth after-tax deferrals
  • Vendor is ICMA-RC, a retirement service for public sector employers and employees
  • One-time deferral option available, paper submission only
  • Change your 457 contribution amount via ICMA-RC online account or by phone (UVA will not make retroactive changes to excess contributions or deductions)

Enroll in 457

  • Enroll online through ICMA-RC and create a user ID and password
  • Make investment decisions online at ICMA-RC Plan’s Investment Elections
  • Call ICMA-RC to enroll and to discuss investment choices on the Plan Information Line (UVA will not make retroactive changes to excess contributions or deductions)

Pre-tax 403(b) vs. After-tax Roth 403(b)


  • 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 are after-tax (pay taxes on your money, then invest what remains)
  • When you withdraw money at retirement, your cash is not taxed; you’ve paid your tax already
  • You are not taxed later on all of the investment earnings your Roth account has made for you, beyond the contributions you made on which you paid tax up-front (there may be exceptions)
  • The annual limits on contributions are the same, regardless of whether the contributions are pre-tax or after-tax; for instance, you can make all of your future 403(b) contributions—with Fidelity and/or TIAA—Roth contributions (after-tax)

Choose TIAA, Fidelity, and ICMA-RC

TIAA: 800.842.2252

Fidelity: 800.343.0860

ICMA-RC: 877.327.5261

403(b) and 457 Plan Resources