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Retirement Plans - Faculty

5/31/12 - Important information for Yale University Retirement Account Plan (YURAP) participants.

View the latest version of the Yale University Retirement Account Plan (YURAP) document for Faculty. See details on all of Yale’s retirement plans below.

In a 403(b) Defined Contribution Plan both employer and participant know how much will be contributed to the Plan, but cannot know precisely the retirement benefit. Such benefit will be affected by the amount of accumulation at the point of retirement, the age of the participant at that time and the payout option elected. The most important basis for the payout will be the accumulation, and the most important factor in the accumulation will be the investment return on assets over the accumulation period.

Eligibility to participate in the plan

An eligible employee is an individual who has a faculty or senior research appointment of at least half-time or greater.

Upon hire, all faculty as defined by the Plan will be automatically enrolled in YURAP. Under YURAP’s automatic enrollment feature, Yale will automatically reduce your monthly salary by 5% and deposit that amount as a pre-tax employee contribution to YURAP. Yale will make a Core Contribution equal to 5% of your salary and a University Match equal to 5% of your salary to your YURAP account.

You may direct that your contributions and Yale’s match be invested with TIAA-CREF and/or Vanguard and for each investment company you select, you may specify the investment funds in which you want your contributions and Yale’s match invested. 

Unless you direct otherwise, your contributions and Yale’s match will default to TIAA-CREF and will be invested in the age-based TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Fund that corresponds to your estimated date of retirement. While enrollment in YURAP will be automatic, you have the option to opt-out at any time.

Both the faculty member and employer contributions to the plan are immediately vested, meaning that the total accumulation belongs to the participant even if the employee terminates employment. Investment may be made with either one of the following Plan vendors: TIAA-CREF or The Vanguard Group.

Yale University Retirement Account Plan (YURAP)

The University provides a University Core contribution in addition to a University Match.

  • For the first $110,100* of base salary you earn in a fiscal year (from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013), the University Core will consist of a plan contribution equal to 5% of your earnings plus a dollar-for-dollar match for up to the first 5% you contribute to the Plan.
  • Once you earn over $110,100 in this fiscal year, the University Core contribution will increase to 7.5% of your earnings while you continue to receive a dollar-for-dollar match on your contributions up to 5%.
  • There will now be an all-in-one 403(b) plan that consists of the University Core, Employee Contributions, and University Match. The Supplemental Retirement Account (SRA) will no longer be active.

*$110,100 is the Social Security Wage Base (SSWB). This dollar amount automatically changes each year to keep the Plan up to date with increases in price and wage levels.
The chart below illustrates the plan design mentioned above. (Please note: All amounts are annual.)

YURAP with University Core Only and with Core and Match:

  YURAP w/Core only* YURAP w/Core only* YURAP
w/ Core & Match**
YURAP w/Core & Match**
Sample Salary Your Contribution University Contribution Your Contribution University Contribution
$50,000
0
$2,500
$2,500
$5,000
$75,000
0
$3,750
$3,750
$7,500
$120,000
0
$6,247
$6,000
$12,247
$175,000
0
$10,372
$8,750
$19,122

*Based on 5% below SSWB and 7.5% above SSWB.
**Based on an employee savings rate of 5%

Employees can choose the amount they wish to contribute to YURAP and set the amount between zero and 75% of their eligible earnings, not to exceed the annual IRS limit, currently $17,000 ($17,500 in 2013). If you are age 50 or older, you can choose to contribute up to an additional $5,500 at any time during or after the calendar year in which you reach the age of 50. Contributions by the employee and the University may not exceed the limitations imposed by the Internal Revenue Code and applicable Treasury Regulations. The FY2012/2013 salary limitation is $250,000.

The University Core contribution will be credited to the employees account independently of whether they contribute to YURAP. However, if the employee does not contribute to YURAP, they will not receive the 100% University Match.

Each July, the University will increase your employee contribution by 1% to a maximum of 10%. If you are contributing between zero and 4%, the University will reset your contribution to 5% with the option to reduce or waive. This began July 1, 2010.

Employee and University contributions may be invested with either TIAA-CREF or Vanguard.

Employees have the option to direct their Core contributions to one vendor and direct their contributions and the University Match to the other vendor. Employee contributions and the University Match must remain bundled together.

Both vendors have customized websites designed specifically for Yale employees. These sites offer detailed fund information, retirement planning calculators and all the forms you need to enroll.

Frequently-Asked Questions

Can I change my contributions whenever I want?
You can always change the amount of your contribution to YURAP and set the amount between zero and 75% of your eligible earnings, not to exceed the annual IRS limit, currently $17,000 ($17,500 in 2013). If you are age 50 or older, you can choose to contribute an additional $5,500 at any time during or after the calendar year in which you reach the age of 50. You can change your contribution percentage at any time by logging into the University portal (www.yale.edu/portal) and clicking "My Benefits".

Can I reduce my contribution to zero dollars and still get the University Core?
Yes. The University Core is credited to your account independently of whether you contribute to YURAP. However, if you do not contribute to YURAP, you will not receive the 100% University Match.

Can I have the University Core contributions invested separately from my savings and University Match account?
Yes. You have the option to have the Core go to either TIAA-CREF or Vanguard. Your contributions and the University Match must remain bundled together and can also be directed to either vendor; these monies cannot be split.

Can I opt out of the automatic savings feature of this plan?
Yes. You can opt out at anytime for future contributions. To opt out, you must complete a YURAP Election/Change Form or contact the Benefits Office.

How much do I need to contribute to get the maximum University Match?
In order to maximize the University Match, you will need to save at a rate of at least 5% of base pay.

When will my Plan account be vested?
You will be fully vested automatically in all contributions you and the University make to your account.

Additional Design Features

Loans

  • TIAA-CREF participants will be eligible to take a loan on employee contributions only. There is not a loan feature available for Vanguard at this time.
  • The number of loans is limited to three general purpose loans.

Full distribution rights at termination and retirement

  • The University will allow you to take your retirement account balance with you upon termination or retirement.

In-service distributions at age 59½

  • During active employment at age 59½, you will be able to take a distribution from the Plan. This is limited to employee contributions only.

Ability to direct University Core and Match to different vendors (TIAA-CREF or Vanguard)

  • You may select different vendors for the University Core and Match. There is a requirement that employee contributions and the University Match remain bundled with one vendor.

Automatic escalation of savings rate of 1% per year to a maximum of 10% each July unless you provide direction to the contrary

  • Each July, the University will increase your employee contribution by 1% to a maximum of 10%. If you are contributing between zero and 4%, the University will reset your contribution to 5% with the option to reduce or waive. This began July 1, 2010.

Supplemental Retirement Account (SRA) is replaced by an all-in-one 403(b) plan

  • If you were contributing to an SRA in addition to YURAP, your SRA contributions will continue and now be included as part of your YURAP account.

Yale University Tax-deferred 403 (b) Savings Plan

Faculty who are below the benefit level, or are not enrolled in YURAP, may choose to save for retirement by contributing a portion of their pay on a pre-tax basis to the Yale University Tax-deferred 403 (b) Savings Plan. There is not a University Match.

Employees can contribute a percentage of pay ranging from 1 to 75% or the IRS maximum of $17,000 ($17,500 in 2013). If you are age 50 or older, you can choose to contribute up to an additional $5,500 at any time during or after the calendar year in which you reach the age of 50. Employee contributions may not exceed the limitations imposed by the Internal Revenue Code and applicable Treasury Regulations. The FY2012/2013 salary limitation is $250,000.

Employee and University contributions may be invested with either TIAA-CREF or Vanguard.

Both vendors have customized websites designed specifically for Yale employees.  These sites offer detailed fund information and retirement planning calculators.

You can enroll in a retirement plan online via the My Benefits website by logging into the University portal (www.yale.edu/portal) and clicking "My Benefits." The My Benefits website also enables you to estimate your retirement savings to reach your goals. If you have any questions, contact Employee Services at 203-432-5552.

Yale University 457 (b) Deferred Compensation Plan

The Yale University 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan provides a vehicle for employees meeting specific criteria to accumulate additional tax-deferred savings beyond the limits of the 403(b) plans. The plan is available to professors, professors on continuing appointments in the School of Medicine and employees whose salary equals or exceeds 1.5 times the Social Security Wage Base (in 2012, the eligible salary is $165,150; in 2013, the eligible salary is $170,550) and have elected to contribute the IRS maximum to their Yale 403(b) plan.

Benefits-eligible faculty and staff can contribute a percentage of pay ranging from 1 to 75% or the IRS maximum of $17,000 ($17,500 in 2013). The contribution made to the plan are exempt from federal and state taxes. There are no employer contributions to this plan.

This type of plan is unfunded by the University; however, the account balance is credited with investment earnings based on the performance of funds selected and is always fully vested.

TIAA-CREF or Vanguard may be chosen as record keepers and the investment funds available are the same as with the 403(b) plan.

This site is currently being updated. If you have further questions regarding faculty retirement benefits, please contact an Employee Services representative by phone at 203-432-5552 or send an e-mail to employee.services@yale.edu.