403(b) Retirement Plan

The University of Louisville is here to help you plan for your future.  The University 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. 

There are four parts to the university’s retirement program: UofL contributions to your retirement, including the Employer 7.5% contribution and Employer 2.5% match and contributions you can make to your retirement, including the Additional Employee and the Roth Additional contribution.  Future benefits from the 403(b) Plan will reflect the amount of a participant's vested account balance plus earnings.

403(b) Plan Frequently Asked Questions

403(b) Roth Plan Frequently Asked Questions


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% contribution 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

If you worked at another college or university, non-profit research organization or governmental agency (with no break in service between jobs) prior to joining the university, you may be able to waive the waiting period.  You may also be able to waive 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
2020 $19,500
2019 $19,000

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 $6,500.

Lifetime Catch-up Contributions

This is available to employees who work for the University and have completed 15 or more years of service. This catch-up provision allows participants to contribute up to $3,000 in addition to the regular annual contribution limit. To qualify, you must be an employee who has contributed on average less than $5,000 a year to your 403(b) plan. A full review of previous contributions is required. The maximum lifetime limit for this catch-up provision is $15,000.

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

Year Basic Salary Deferral Limit 403(b) Lifetime Catch-up Age 50+ Catch-up Total Potential Contributions*
2020 $19,500 $3,000 $6,500 $29,000
2019 $19,000 $3,000 $6,000 $28,000

* 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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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:


Retirement Specialists are available Mon-Fri, 8:00 a.m to midnight Eastern time


100 Crosby Parkway

Covington, KY 41015



Telephone Counseling Center


Mon-Fri, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., ET and Sat 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., ET



P.O. Box 1259

Charlotte, NC 28201



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How to Enroll

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 the Retirement Plan.


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.