403(b) Retirement Plan

The University of Louisville is here to help you plan for your future. The UofL 403(b) Retirement Savings Plan is a defined contribution plan (described under section 403(b) on the Internal Revenue Code (IRC)), that enables faculty and staff to save money for retirement. 

IRS Announcement: the IRS increased the contribution limits to $23,000 for retirement plans in 2024. 

There are four parts to the university’s retirement program:

1) Employer (UofL) 7.5% contribution 

2) Employer (UofL) 2.5% match 

3) Employee contribution

4) Additional Employee and Additional Roth contribution

Future benefits from the 403(b) Plan will reflect the amount of a participant's vested account balance plus earnings.

Plan Document


403(b) Plan Frequently Asked Questions

IRS annual limits


Eligibility for Employees to Contribute

Any university faculty or staff member, full or part-time, can participate in the 403(b) plan by selecting a percentage of their gross salary to be contributed on either a pre-tax or after-tax basis through the Additional Employee Contribution and the Roth Additional Contribution. Participation is voluntary.

Eligibility for University Contribution 

Regular full time employees and benefit eligible part-time employees who work at least 80% FTE are eligible to receive the university 7.5% and participate in the employer 2.5% match after one year of retirement eligible service.

House staff, post-doctoral fellow and visiting scholars are not eligible for university contributions but can contribute on their own. Students are not eligible to participate in the University of Louisville 403(b) Plan.

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UofL Contributions to Your Retirement

The Employer 7.5% Contribution 

Employees who meet the eligibility criteria may begin to participate in the Employer 7.5% contribution option after one year of retirement eligible service. With this option, the university will contribute 7.5% of your annual base salary. No personal contributions are required to participate. As you reach the end of your eligible service waiting period, you will receive a letter from the university with instructions on how to complete your enrollment online.

The Employer 2.5% Match

In addition to the 7.5% contribution from the university, you may also select to participate in the Employer 2.5% Match option. A 2.5% contribution from you would be matched by the university. Participating in this 2.5% match option is voluntary and would increase the university contribution to a total of 10%.

University Contribution Waiting Period and Eligible Service

Employees that meet the eligibility requirements for university contributions must have one year of retirement eligible service before university contributions will begin. Eligible service is defined as 12 consecutive months in a benefits eligible position at the University of Louisville. However, you can contribute your own funds at any time. See more information below regarding the Additional Employee Contribution option.

Exceptions for Waiting Period

You may be eligible to waive the waiting period if you worked at a two-year or four-year university or college, non-profit research organization, Kentucky state government, or another non-profit entity which the University determines performs substantially similar services.  This must have been your most recent employer prior to becoming employed by the University of Louisville.  Note: You may also be eligible to waive your waiting period if you were formerly an employee of the University of Louisville and were participating in the university’s retirement plan at the time of your separation. Find out how to request a retirement waiting period waiver.

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Contributions You Can Make to Your Retirement

Employee Additional Contribution

As an employee of the University of Louisville, you are immediately eligible to participate in the Employee Additional option of the Retirement Plan. For employees participating in the 2.5% match option, this option is for any percentage you want to contribute above 2.5%. In this option of the plan, you may designate a percentage of your salary to be contributed to your plan through payroll deductions, subject to IRS annual limitations. The university does not offer a match or supplemental contribution for this option of the plan.

Roth Additional Contribution

UofL also offers a Roth 403(b) contribution within the 403(b) retirement plan. Roth contributions are made with after-tax dollars. This option was designed to allow you to pay the taxes of the contributions now, instead of when you withdraw your funds upon retirement. For more information about the Roth Additional Contribution, please view our Roth 403(b) Frequently Asked Questions. The university does not offer a match or supplemental contribution for this option of the plan.

Maximum Employee Contribution Limits

The IRS limits the amount participants may contribute annually. Salary deferral contributions can be made only from income paid through the university’s payroll system. Contributions are reported annually on employees’ W-2 forms, but are not included in income subject to taxation. 

Year Maximum Amount
2023 $22,500
2024 $23,000

Age 50+ Catch-Up Contributions

You may be able to make additional annual "Age 50+ Catch-up" contributions beginning in the calendar year you turn age 50 if you're already contributing the maximum to your 403(b) based on plan or IRS limits. The Age 50+ Catch-up contribution limit is $7,500.

Summary of All Contribution Limits for 403(b) Retirement Savings Plans:

Year Basic Salary Deferral Limit Age 50+ Catch-up Total Potential Contributions*
2023 $22,500 $7,500 $30,000
2024 $23,000 $7,500 $30,500

* Total potential contributions include the basic salary deferral limit, the 403(b) Lifetime Catch-up, and the Age 50+ Catch-up.

To contribute the maximum amount, participants should check the limits and adjust their contribution election percentages for each calendar year accordingly. Under the percentage method, contribution will change proportionately as the participant’s salary changes.   

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The IRS Annual contribution limits are set up in the UofL retirement savings system. When an employee reaches the IRS annual limit, their employee contributions will automatically stop for the remainder of the calendar year. Contributions will automatically resume at the beginning of the new calendar year. Contribution election changes for both Fidelity and TIAA must be entered on our Plan Master Administrator website (Netbenefits.com). Instructions to help you navigate the Netbenefits website can be found on the HR Retirement Website. If you have any questions, please contact an HR Retirement Administrator at benefits@louisville.edu


New Participants hired on or after July 1, 2011 are subject to a three-year vesting schedule, from your date of hire in a retirement eligible position. If you are eligible to waive the one year waiting period, you may receive credit toward the three year Vesting period for any retirement eligible years of service at an immediate preceding eligible employer.

If you are subject to the vesting schedule and you terminate employment prior to becoming fully vested, all employer contributions and earnings will be forfeited upon termination.

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Investment Providers

The University of Louisville has designated two companies to invest your plan contributions: Fidelity Investments and TIAA. You can contact Fidelity Investments and TIAA at any time for questions about your retirement plans or for any of these inquiries and services:

  • Questions/help choosing a fund
  • Account and income information
  • Change of address
  • Change your Personal Identification Number (PIN)
  • Forms for cash withdrawal, rollovers, transfers, income options
  • Income and payment methods (lifetime annuity, cash out, interest)
  • Tax questions (withdrawal penalty, minimum distribution, federal withholding)
Fidelity Investments TIAA

24-Hour Automated Phone Center:


Mon-Fri, 8:00 a.m. to midnight ET


100 Crosby Parkway

Covington, KY 41015



Telephone Counseling Center


Mon-Fri, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., ET 



P.O. Box 1259

Charlotte, NC 28201



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How to Enroll

The University of Louisville has selected Fidelity Investments as our Plan Master Administrator online portal to provide expanded services that will make enrolling and managing your retirement savings plan easier. Whether you choose to enroll with Fidelity, TIAA, or both, you will first access an enrollment site (NetBenefits®) managed by Fidelity.

At the Fidelity NetBenefits site, you can enroll in the University of Louisville 403(b) Plan, change providers, make or change payroll deduction amounts, and choose your investment options with Fidelity. To choose investment options with TIAA, you need to access TIAA’s website.

Steps to Enroll in the Plan

To enroll for the first time in the University of Louisville 403(b) Plan, follow the steps below. (Remember, regardless of whether you are enrolling with Fidelity, TIAA, or both, you will first access an enrollment site managed by Fidelity.)

Before investing in any mutual fund, please carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. For this and other information on mutual funds available through Fidelity, call Fidelity at 1-800-343-0860 or visit www.fidelity.com for a free prospectus. Read it carefully before you invest. For information on investment options available through TIAA, call TIAA at 1-800-842-2252 or visit www.tiaa.org for a free prospectus. Read it carefully before you invest.

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Beneficiary Designations

Fidelity Investments

To complete your beneficiary designations online:

  1. Log onto Fidelity Netbenefits, www.netbenefits.com
  2. Click on the Profile link.
  3. Select Beneficiaries and follow the online instructions.

Once you have completed the online process, you will be able to view your elections on the Netbenefits website.

Paper forms are available by calling Fidelity Investments' toll free number 1-800-343-0860. Updated forms can be mailed directly back to Fidelity Investments.


To complete your beneficiary designation online:

  1. Log into your account at www.TIAA.org.
  2. Click on My Account, under Profile select Change Beneficiaries.

Once you have completed the online process, you will be able to review your Beneficiary elections on the TIAA.org website.

 Paper forms are available by contacting TIAA toll free number 1-800-842-2252. Updated forms can be mailed directly back to TIAA.

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Managing Your Account

The University of Louisville has retained Fidelity Investments to support the enrollment process and provide ongoing administrative services for your Retirement Plan.

Online Access

Whether you invest with TIAA or Fidelity Investments, you'll be able to log on to your account through Fidelity and maintain a single account for the Plan to make contribution election changes for both providers. If you invest with Fidelity, you will also be able to view your account balances, make exchanges between Fidelity investment options, track your contributions and investments, request a loan, and access a variety of educational and planning tools. Account balances, investment changes, etc. with TIAA must be transacted directly with TIAA (www.tiaa.org).

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This website highlights the University of Louisville retirement plan benefits. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information. However, in the event of a discrepancy between this website and the plan document and agreements, the plan document and agreements will govern.