If you are in an eligible position, Duke may make contributions on your behalf after you have completed one year of service and have attained age 21. You may be eligible to waive the one year wait for the Duke contribution if 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 the prior organization. Your immediate previous employer must be 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). It is your responsibility to provide proof of participation with your previous employer's plan. If you are eligible for the service waiver, your Duke contribution will start effective on the first day of the month following the month that we receive acceptable information from your previous employer.

If you are an exempt employee (paid monthly) and would like to see if you are eligible for this service waiver, you can request that your immediate previous employer completes the Request for Service Requirement Waiver form. Your immediate previous employer must send the completed form to the Duke Human Resources Information Center via email (hr@duke.edu) with a subject line of: "403b Duke Contribution Service Waiver" or regular mail in an official envelope to Duke HR - Benefits at 705 Broad Street Box 90502, Durham, NC 27705.

  • Your name and your date of birth
  • Your termination date (must be within 90 days of your hire date at Duke)
  • The employer should specify that they are a 501(c)(3) organization or state educational institution
  • The employer should specify if you were getting an employer contribution towards your retirement plan (i.e- to a 401k, 403b or defined benefit plan) and the vested percentage

This information can also be found online at the Duke Contribution page.

Common Questions Regarding the Duke Contribution and this Waiver

When will I start receiving the Duke Contribution?

If you are in an eligible position, Duke will make contributions on your behalf after you have completed one year of service and have attained age 21. However, if you are eligible for the service waiver, your Duke contribution will start effective on the first day of the month following the month that we receive acceptable information from your previous employer.

Who is eligible for a waiver of the year of service requirement?

You may be eligible to waive the one year wait for the Duke contribution if 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 the prior organization. Your immediate previous employer must be 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). It is your responsibility to provide proof of participation with your previous employer's plan.

Does a 501(c)(6) organization qualify?

No, employment with this type of organization does not qualify. Your immediate previous employer must be a Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or a state educational organization.

What if my immediate previous employer qualifies but did not offer an employer contribution?

This would not qualify for the service waiver unless you were covered under a defined benefit plan.

What if my immediate previous employer qualifies but I did not receive an employer contribution because my position was not eligible?

This would not qualify for the service waiver.

What if I was a graduate student (or undergrad student) receiving W-2 wages from an eligible organization?

This would depend on how the previous employer treated students (graduate or undergraduate) in terms of retirement plan eligibility. If this is an ineligible position at the previous employer then this would not qualify for the waiver.

What if my previous employer qualifies but I was unemployed for a period of time before I came to Duke?

In order to qualify for this waiver, you must be employed at Duke within 90 days of your termination date from the previous employer.

What if my previous employer qualifies but I was self-employed or a contract employee for a period of time in between?

This would not qualify for the service waiver.

What if I left an eligible previous employer while on a leave of absence without pay but received employer contribution before going out on my leave of absence?

This may qualify for the waiver if the letter provided to Duke by the previous employer confirms that the employee was receiving fully vested employer contribution (or was covered under a defined benefit plan) up until the start of the leave of absence without pay (i.e. - FMLA leave , military leave, personal leave, etc.). The letter must clearly state when the leave ended and that date must fall within the 90-day grace period of the employee's start date at Duke.

What if my immediate previous employer qualifies but I did not work long enough to become vested in the retirement plan?

This would not qualify for the service waiver.

What if my immediate previous employer qualifies and I was partially vested but was not fully vested the retirement plan?

This would not qualify for the service waiver.