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.

Pre-tax Contributions

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

In general, you must begin receiving a distribution no later than April 1 following the year in which you reach age 73 or retirement is attained, whichever is later. Starting in 2033, the age will increase to 75.

Beginning after December 31, 2023, SECURE 2.0 eliminates the pre-death distribution requirement for Roth accounts in employer plans.   This does not apply to distributions which are required with respect to years beginning before January 1, 2024, but are permitted to be paid on or after such date.

Duke Contribution

For Exempt Staff:

In general, exempt employees are eligible for Duke's contribution; however, certain job categories are not eligible to receive Duke's contribution1. For additional information about Duke's contribution and vesting rules, please go to

For Non-exempt Staff:

In general, Duke does not make a contribution for non-exempt 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


You may enroll in the Plan, discontinue or change your enrollment at any time online through Duke@Work self-service website at 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 paid 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 at to select your investment options. For additional information about enrolling in the Plan, go to or contact the Human Resource Information Center (HRIC) 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.

403(b) Elective Salary Deferral LimitThis is the basic retirement plan deferral limit for each employee.
Age 50 Catch-Up LimitEmployees age 50 and over can contribute this amount to a retirement plan in addition to the 403(b) Elective Salary Deferral Limit.
403(b) Lifetime Catch-Up LimitThis special retirement plan catch-up is for certain employees who have at least 15 years of service at Duke and have contributed an average of less than $5,000 per year of service to this Plan. Contact the HRIC at (919) 684-5600 to determine if you qualify.

Please visit Enroll in Your Duke Retirement Plan for the limits for this year.

Investment Elections

You must designate the investment funds in which your contributions are to be invested. If you fail to make an investment fund selection, 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

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.


Loans are only available with Fidelity and are subject to the terms of the loan policy. More information is available at Duke Faculty and Staff Retirement Plan Participant Loan Program.

Additional Information

Additional information about the Plan is also available on the retirement section of our website: If you have questions regarding this notice, please contact the HRIC at 919-684-5600 or

  1. Employees not eligible to receive Duke's contributions include non-exempt staff, post-doctoral scholars, chaplains in Job Code 1671, contract employees, and student workers.

This information is subject to the terms of the Plan document, which may be modified from time to time. Where this description and the official document vary, the official Plan document is the final authority. Duke reserves the right to change or terminate this benefit or your eligibility for benefits under the Plan. 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.