Retirement

The SJSU Research Foundation Retirement Plan provides you with the opportunity to save for retirement on a tax advantaged basis. This is a 403(b) retirement plan administered by Teachers Insurance Annuity of America (TIAA).  The following types of contributions are allowed under this Plan:

  • Employee elective deferrals
  • Employer non-elective contributions 
  • Employee rollover contributions

Contributions

Employee Elective Deferrals

As a Participant in the Plan, you may elect to reduce your compensation by a specific percentage and have that amount contributed to the Plan on a pre-tax basis as an "elective deferral." Your taxable income will be reduced by the amount of the elective deferral contribution so you will pay less in federal income taxes. However, the amount you defer is still counted as compensation for purposes of Social Security taxes.

Later, when the Plan distributes the elective deferrals and earnings to you, you will pay the taxes on those elective deferrals and the earnings. 

Employees become eligible to make elective deferrals by completing the Salary Reduction Agreement. The annual maximum amounts you may defer are determined by the IRS each year. Employees 50 years of age and above can contribute additional catch-up amounts. Please contact Human Resources to learn more about these limits.

Excluded Employees

If you are a member of a class of employees identified below, you are an Excluded Employee and you are not entitled to participate in the Plan for purposes of elective deferrals. The employees who are excluded are:

  • Certain nonresident aliens who have no earned income from sources within the United States
  • Employees who normally work less than 20 hours per week. (However, if you actually complete a Year of Service, you will no longer be a part of this excluded class) 
  • Employees who are enrolled as students and regularly attending classes offered by the Research Foundation

Employer Nonelective Contributions

The Research Foundation will contribute an amount equivalent to 7% of your base salary to your retirement account if you are an eligible employee. All benefited employees who have completed one year of benefited service and worked at least 1,000 hours are eligible. Employees who have a break in service of 12 months or less will be eligible for reinstatement into the plan benefits as of their original eligibility date. 

Excluded Employees

If you are a member of a class of employees identified below, you are an Excluded Employee and you are not entitled to participate in the Plan for purposes of employer nonelective deferrals. The employees who are excluded are:

  • Employees under the age of 21
  • Certain nonresident aliens who have no earned income from sources within the United States
  • Employees who normally work less than 20 hours per week 
  • Employees who are enrolled as students and regularly attending classes 
  • Faculty of San Jose State University 

Employee Rollover Contributions

All eligible employees may roll over contributed funds from a previous employer's or a personal retirement account at any time. To initiate this transfer of funds the employee must contact their previous retirement account plan administrator.

Enrollment

Eligible employees are notified via email about their eligibility. The notification includes enrollment instructions. Eligible employees are automatically enrolled in Employer Nonelective Contributions if enrollment is not completed by the eligibility date. 

Once enrolled, employees can change their investment options from the Default QDIA (Qualified Default Investment Alternative) TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Retirement Class (2010-2060 Series) anytime by logging into their TIAA account or by contacting TIAA.

For more details about this plan, please refer to the Summary Plan Description (SPD) below. 

SJSU Research Foundation Retirement Plan SPD as of 2020 [pdf]

Research Foundation Salary Reduction Agreement [pdf]