Summary of Changes

  • Duke is enhancing the Faculty and Staff Retirement Plan ("403(b) Plan"). Effective January 1, 2024, Duke will make a contribution in the amount of 4% of salary (up to the statutory salary limit of $345,000) to Housestaff and Post-Doctoral Associates after they have completed one year of service at Duke and they have attained age 21. The Duke contribution will be immediately vested.

Informational Session

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Housestaff and Post-Doctoral Associates

Your Retirement Plan for Housestaff and Post-Doctoral Associates

Questions and Answers

Effective January 1, 2024, Duke will make a contribution in the amount of 4% of salary (up to the statutory salary limit of $345,000) to Housestaff and Post-Doctoral Associates after they have completed one year of service at Duke and they have attained age 21.

If you are a Duke GME resident, fellow paid by Duke University Hospital, or Post-Doctoral Associate you will be eligible to receive the Duke contribution. The Duke contribution will be calculated from your gross earnings which includes base pay and supplemental pay.

If you are eligible for Duke's contribution as a Housestaff member or post-doctoral associate, you may be eligible to waive the one-year service requirement if you meet all the following criteria:

  • Your immediate previous employer is an organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code) (examples: churches, schools, colleges/universities, hospitals, medical research organizations, some publicly supported/ community organizations) or a state educational organization as described in the Code Section 403(b)(1)(A)(ii);
  • Your hire date with Duke is within 90 days of your date of termination with your immediate previous employer; and
  • You were receiving fully vested employer contributions or accruals under a Code Section 403(b), 401(k), or 401(a) retirement plan maintained by your immediate prior employer.

It is your responsibility to have the waiver form completed by your immediate prior employer's plan and returned to the Duke Benefits Office. If your service waiver is approved, your Duke contribution will begin on the first day of the month following the month the Duke Benefits Office receives acceptable information from your immediate prior employer.

If you would like to see if you are eligible for this service waiver, you can request that your immediate prior employer complete the Request for Service Requirement Waiver form. Your immediate prior employer must send the completed form to the Duke Benefits Office via email (hr@duke.edu) with a subject line of "403(b) Duke Contribution Waiver" or by regular mail to 705 Broad Street, Box 90502, Durham, NC 27708.

More information can also be found online here.

  • No action is required at this time; however, you will have the opportunity to review and select your investment options for your Duke contribution through Fidelity's website prior to this change as well as designate your beneficiary(ies) .
  • The Duke contribution will begin automatically once you have completed the one year of service and attained age 21.

You are not required to contribute to the 403(b) Plan in order to receive the Duke contribution; however, it is suggested that you make your own voluntary contributions towards your retirement plan as a part of a personal financial management strategy.

You may enroll in the 403(b) Plan at any time through Duke@Work. The Faculty and Staff Retirement Plan enables you to make voluntary contributions to your retirement on a pre-tax basis, Roth after-tax basis, or a combination of both. You may contribute up to the IRS contribution limit.

Duke's contribution for Housestaff and Post-Doctoral Associates, including any associated gains or losses allocated to your Plan account, will be fully and immediately "vested".

  • Vesting refers to a participant's right to receive a present or future retirement benefit. Vesting only applies to Duke's contribution made to faculty members, officers or exempt staff members.
  • You are always 100% vested in your own voluntary contributions to the 403(b) retirement plan.
  • Duke's contribution for Housestaff and Post-Doctoral Associates, including any associated gains or losses allocated to your Plan account, are fully and immediately "vested". That is, you have an irrevocable right to these contributions subject to the terms of the Plan.
  • You will have the same investment options that are offered under the Faculty and Staff Retirement Plan for your Duke contribution. The investment options are offered through Fidelity. It is up to you to determine the right mix of investments that meet your needs.
  • Duke offers a tiered approach to investing, based on how hands-on you want to be with your investments. Duke actively monitors funds in Tier 1 and Tier 2. Funds in Tier 3 are available for employees to invest in, but not monitored by Duke.

You may select your investment options for your Duke contribution at any time through Fidelity's website. Please review the Investment Performance and Fee Disclosure Summary information before making your investment selections.

Fidelity offers one-on-one consultations to help you learn more about the investment options and identify how much you should be saving for your retirement goals. To schedule an appointment, go online or contact Fidelity directly at 800-343-0860.

You have the following options when you leave Duke:

  • Keep funds in the Duke Faculty and Staff Retirement Plan until age 73;
  • Rollover vested balances into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or another employer's retirement plan (if allowed by new employer); or
  • Withdraw vested balances using various distribution options such as lump sum, annual installments or an annuity.

If your account balance is $1,000 or less, your vested account balance will be automatically distributed as a lump sum, unless you direct otherwise.

IRS penalties may apply on distributions if you are younger than 59 ½. Distributions are taxed as ordinary income.

If you transfer to an exempt position that is eligible to receive the Duke contribution for faculty and staff, you will be eligible to receive the Duke contribution after completing one year of service at Duke and attaining age 21. The Duke contribution will begin the month following your transfer to an exempt position.

Duke's contribution for faculty and staff is subject to the normal 3-year vesting. The years of service include all periods of employment when you are a Duke employee, GME resident, fellow, or Post-Doctoral Associate, whether continuous or not, including periods of employment when you are not eligible to participate in the Plan or eligible to receive Duke's contribution.

The Faculty and Staff Retirement Plan may only accept rollover contributions from eligible rollover distributions (as defined in the Internal Revenue Code) from an eligible retirement plan (as defined in the Internal Revenue Code) and directly rolled over from an eligible retirement plan or accepted by an investment carrier from you within 60 days of your receipt of such contributions from an eligible retirement plan. Contact Fidelity at (800) 343-0860 for more details if you are interested in rolling over funds into the Faculty and Staff Retirement Plan.