The Duke University Faculty and Staff Retirement Plan (the Plan) is a 403(b) retirement savings plan offered by Duke. The Plan allows employees to make voluntary contributions on a pre-tax basis, Roth after-tax basis or a combination of both. Contributions are made to a 403(b) savings account through salary reduction to help you save for retirement.
Eligibility to Participate
If you receive a W-2 from Duke, you are eligible to enroll in the 403(b) plan at Duke unless you are a student worker and exempt from FICA taxes. If you are a student worker, you cannot be enrolled in the Duke 403(b) plan while your wages are exempt from FICA taxes.
Your Voluntary Contributions
Eligible employees can make voluntary contributions to the plan on a pre-tax basis, Roth after-tax basis or a combination of both.
If you elect to make contributions on a pre-tax basis, your contributions as well as any investment earnings are tax deferred, which means they are not taxable until distributed.
Roth After-tax Contributions
If you elect to make contributions on a Roth after-tax basis, you pay current federal or state income tax on your contributions; however, you can make tax-free withdrawals of your contributions—and any earnings— provided you are at least age 59 ½ and made your first Roth after-tax contribution at least five years earlier. For additional information about Roth after-tax contributions go to: hr.duke.edu/roth.
In general, you must begin receiving a distribution no later than April 1 following the year in which you reach age 70 ½ or retirement is attained, whichever is later.
For exempt staff:
In general, exempt employees are eligible for Duke's contribution; however, certain job categories are not eligible to receive Duke's contribution2. For additional information about Duke's contribution and vesting rules, please go to: hr.duke.edu/contribution.
For non-exempt staff:
In general, Duke does not make a contribution for nonexempt employees to this plan; however, non-exempt Duke employees who are eligible for The Duke University Faculty and Staff Retirement Plan may also be eligible for the Employees' Retirement Plan (ERP), a pension plan funded entirely by Duke. Additional information about the Employees' Retirement Plan can be found at: hr.duke.edu/erp.
You may enroll in the Plan, discontinue or change your enrollment at any time online at: hr.duke.edu/403benroll. You may also enroll in the Plan by submitting a salary reduction agreement form to the Benefits Office. The salary reduction agreement will only apply to amounts earned after your salary reduction agreement is processed. Your salary reduction agreement will continue in effect unless it is modified or revoked in the future. Duke has established policies that enable you to change your salary reduction agreement to increase or decrease your contribution each pay period. It is your responsibility to monitor your contributions throughout the year to ensure that you will reach your target contribution amount by the end of the calendar year. You may terminate your salary reduction agreement at any time.
In addition to completing an online or paper salary reduction agreement for the Benefits Office, you will need to register with Fidelity to select your investment options. To obtain an enrollment form, go to hr.duke.edu/forms/benefits or contact the Human Resource Information Center at (919) 684-5600.
Limits on Contribution Amounts
The IRS limits the amount of contributions you can make to the Plan for the calendar year. Below are the contribution limits for the 2019 calendar year.
2019 Contribution Limits4
|Basic Limit||Age 50+ Catch-Up Limit||Maximum Limit|
You must designate the investment funds in which your contributions are to be invested. If you fail to make an investment fund selection on your enrollment form for your investment carrier(s), your contributions will be automatically invested in the Plan's default investment option and will remain invested in that default investment option until you direct otherwise. For more information regarding the Plan's default investment option and investment funds, including their investment objectives, risk and return characteristics, and fees and expenses, please go to: hr.duke.edu/403bdefault.
Access to Your Plan Account
There are limits on when you may withdraw funds from your Plan account. These limits may be important to you in deciding how much, if any, to contribute to the Plan. Generally you may only withdraw amounts from your Plan account after you terminate employment with Duke, you reach age 59 ½, incur a hardship or wish to take a loan. Also, there is generally an extra 10 percent tax on distributions before age 59½. Your beneficiary is entitled to any amount remaining in your Plan account in the event of your death.
You may withdraw your own 403(b) contributions as an active employee at age 59 ½ and Duke's contributions at age 67. Hardship withdrawals are limited to the dollar amount of your contributions. They may not be taken from earnings. Hardship withdrawals must be for a specified reason – for qualifying medical expenses, costs of purchasing your principal residence (or preventing eviction from or foreclosure on your principal residence, or repairing qualifying damages to your principal residence), qualifying post-secondary education expenses, or qualifying burial or funeral expenses. Hardship withdrawals are administered by Fidelity.
Effective January 14, 2019, loans are only available with Fidelity and are subject to the terms of the loan policy.
Additional information about the Plan is also available on the retirement section of our website: hr.duke.edu/benefits/retirement. If you have questions regarding this notice, please contact the Human Resource Information Center at (919) 684-5600.
- This information is subject to the terms of the applicable legal plan documents, which may be modified from time to time. Where this description and the official documents vary, the official plan documents are the final authority. Duke reserves the right to change or terminate this benefit or your eligibility for benefits under this plan.
- Employees not eligible to receive Duke's contributions include non-exempt staff, housestaff, postdoctoral associates or postdoctoral scholars, chaplains in Job Code 1671, contract employees, and student workers.
- Duke has no liability for your election to enroll in the Plan and does not guarantee any tax consequences resulting from enrolling in the Plan. Duke does not provide tax, legal or investment advice and recommends that employees seek advice from professionals who specialize in these areas.
- Employees who have had 15 years or more of continuous service with Duke may be eligible for an additional catch-up contribution amount of $3,000. Please contact the Human Resource Information Center at (919) 684-5600 to confirm eligibility for this additional catch-up contribution amount.