Retirement Savings Plans and Investment Funds
Tufts provides a generous, university-funded retirement plan to eligible faculty and staff. If you are benefits-eligible, Tufts University contributes a percentage of your base salary to your retirement savings plan. If you wish to save more for retirement, you may also choose to make contributions to a self-funded retirement plan offered through the university. For both plans, you have the option to select your investment funds or use the plan default.
Tufts University-Funded Retirement Plan
You are automatically enrolled in the Tufts University-Funded Retirement Plan on your date of hire if you are a benefits-eligible employee* and age 21 or older. This is a 401(a) plan.
- If you are age 21 to 39, the university will contribute 5% of your base salary, up to the Social Security wage base, and 10% of your salary above the Social Security wage base.
- If you are age 40 or older, the university will contribute 10% of your base salary, up to the Social Security wage base, and 15% of your salary above the Social Security wage base.
Note: The Social Security wage base for 2019 is $132,900. Any changes for the 2020 calendar year will be added when available.
If you do not make an investment election, your contribution will be invested into the plan default, a Vanguard Target Date Fund.
You are 100% vested in the Tufts University-funded retirement plan once you have completed three years of eligible service.
Self-Funded Retirement Plan
If you are an eligible employee, you may also choose to enroll in the Self-Funded Retirement Plan to contribute your own funds toward your retirement. This is a 403(b) voluntary retirement plan.
You may sign up for the Self-Funded Retirement Plan anytime and the change will be effective with the next available payroll.
You may contribute up to the maximum IRS annual limit each year. Below are the IRS limits for 2019. Any changes for the 2020 calendar year will be added when available.
- If you are less than age 50, you can contribute up to $19,000 for calendar year 2019.
- If you are age 50 or older by December 31, 2019, you can contribute up to $25,000 for calendar year 2019.
- You are always 100% vested in the 403(b) retirement plan.
- Hardship and loan provisions are available under this plan.
- You may roll over funds from other employer-sponsored qualified retirement plans into the 403(b) Plan.
Investment Fund Options
You have the choice of 21 mutual funds for investing both your Tufts-University (401(a)) Funded and Self-Funded (403(b)) Retirement Plans. You may choose to invest through Fidelity or TIAA. Use this Risk/Return Spectrum chart (PDF) to see all your investment options.
If you do not choose a mutual fund for your investments, your funds will automatically be invested in the plan default, a Vanguard Target Date fund, offered through Fidelity.
Investment performance is included on the Fidelity and TIAA microsites:
- Fidelity Retirement Funds for 401(a) and 403(b) Plans
- TIAA 401(a) Basic Retirement Plan
- TIAA 403(b) Voluntary-Retirement Plan
How to Enroll
To enroll, increase or decrease your contributions, or to change your investment choices, log in to eServe. For step-by-step instructions, refer to the tip sheets below
- Tip Sheet: Updating Your 401(a) University-Funded Retirement Savings Plan (PDF)
- Tip Sheet: Updating Your 403(b) Voluntary Retirement Savings Plan (PDF)
Unless otherwise stated in the employee's employment letter, a foreign national employee who is eligible to participate in the Tufts University domestic benefit programs, may only participate in the University-Funded Retirement Plan (401(a)) and the Self-Funded Retirement Plan (403(b)) if the employee has a Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
Before participating in the Self-Funded Retirement Plan, the employee should consult a tax advisor familiar with the tax laws of the United States and the employee's home country.
For additional information, contact the company that manages your investment funds: