Retirement Plans

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Choose Wisely

Selecting a retirement plan is an irrevocable decision. Pick the plan that's right for you.

Plan Comparisons

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Every faculty or staff member with an appointment expected to last six months or more must participate in a retirement program. Students, house staff, fellows, and adjunct faculty are not eligible to participate in the mandatory retirement plan.

If you are eligible to participate in the mandatory retirement plan, you will receive an email communication from University Benefits instructing you to complete your election in Employee Self Service. If you do not receive an email within the first week of employment, your position is not currently eligible to participate. 

Newly hired staff members (or those who have had a greater than 30-day break in service and thus considered to be a new hire) who are not currently participating in one of the University retirement plans may choose to participate in either Iowa Public Employees Retirement System  (IPERS) or in the University Funded Retirement Plan (TIAA).

Give serious consideration to choosing a retirement plan because your choice is an irrevocable decision that must be made within 60 days of your hire date (or eligibility date if transferring from an ineligible appointment).

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 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 within 60 days of their hire/eligibility date.

How to Make Your Retirement Election

After you have done your research and read all of the information, you should be ready to select your retirement plan.

  1. Please log on to Employee Self Service with your HawkID and password
  2. On the personal tab, locate the Benefits section and select the Retirement Enrollment link.
  3. It will show that you are currently enrolled in IPERS. If you would like to change that selection, click the box that is labeled TIAA and submit your choice to the Benefits Office. If you would like to remain in IPERS, you will not have to do anything further.

This is a irrevocable one-time selection and it must be done within 60 days of your hire/eligibility 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.

Other Links

ABOUT OUR SITE: The information presented on our website describes only the highlights of the plans and does not constitute official plan documents. Additional terms and conditions apply. If there are any discrepancies between the information contained herein and the official plan documents, the plan documents will govern.

Contact Information

University Benefits

Campus Address
120 USB
Mailing Address

120 University Services Building
Iowa City, IA 52242-1911
United States

Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.