In addition to Federal Social Security, every staff member (except students and House Staff) with employment of more than six months must participate in a retirement program. Staff members with a regular appointment of 50% or more may choose to participate in either IOWA PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM (IPERS) or in the University Funded Retirement Plan (TIAA/CREF).
Staff with appointments of six months or more and staff with regular appointments less than 20 hours per week or with an annual salary less than $7,800 are required to participate in the IPERS program. Under both plans, Federal and state income taxes on both the University and the staff member contributions are deferred until the benefits are received.
Serious consideration must be given to choosing a retirement plan because your choice of a retirement plan is an irrevocable decision that must be made within 60 days of your hire date. The IPERS plan is a Defined Benefit plan and retirement income is determined by a formula based on your years of service and salary earned. The TIAA-CREF plan is a Defined Contribution plan and retirement income depends upon your individual retirement investment returns. IPERS is the default retirement program at the University of Iowa; employees are automatically enrolled in IPERS unless they elect TIAA-CREF within 60 days of their hire date. The choice of the retirement program is an irrevocable decision.
You must complete the Retirement Election Form (pdf) within 60 days of your hire date.
Members of professional groups where part-time income from UI is not the majority of their income can use IPERS Exemption Claim Form (pdf) to request exemption from IPERS.
Voluntary Retirement Savings Program
No matter which retirement plan you select, arrangements can also be made for additional before-tax and after-tax contributions (over and above required contributions), within IRS guidelines, to a Voluntary Retirement Savings Program (VRSP).
An individual is allowed to freely change or terminate VRSP contributions during the calendar year. There is additional information regarding VRSPs available under "Saving Extra for Retirement" section.