Employees can enroll in the CU 403(b) and choose whether to contribute funds before or after tax.

  • The pretax option lowers your taxable income now. You'll pay taxes on your distributions in retirement.
  • The 403(b) offers a ROTH option. Consider the ROTH option if you want to contribute after tax, allowing for tax-free growth and tax-free distributions in retirement.
  • Not sure which option is right for you? Consider scheduling a no-cost personal consultation with a TIAA financial consultant.


Plan Features  403(b) pretax 403(b) ROTH
(after tax)
Plan administrator TIAA
Who can participate? All CU faculty and staff
How much can you contribute?


Minimum: N/A

Catch-up contributions: 

2024 Combined limits: 
  • CU voluntary retirement plans combined contribution limit between the CU 403(b) pretax option, CU 403(b) Roth option and PERA 401(k): $23,000
  • Combined contribution limit for age 50+ between these two plans: $30,500
  • Any combination of contributions made to the CU 403(b) pretax option, CU 403(b) Roth option or PERA 401(k) cannot exceed these limits 
When are you vested? Contributions to this account will be 100% vested immediately.
Investment choices
Target date funds: Take a hands-off approach where you invest in a target-date fund based on when you'd like to retire.

Core investment menu: From 18 funds on the 403(b) plan menu, you will be able to construct a well-diversified portfolio.

Self-directed brokerage: Seek and invest funds outside the 403(b) plan's core investment lineup. (Please note: Brokerage account holders are subject to fees.) 

See investment lineup
When can you take money out?
Qualifying distributions:
  • Attain age 59 1/2
  • Retirement
  • Severance of employement
  • Disability
  • Financial hardship​
Qualifying distributions:
  • 5-year taxable period has passed
  • Attain age 59 1/2
  • Retirement
  • Severance of employment
  • Disability
  • Financial hardship
Are loans available? Contact TIAA to learn about eligibility
What are the fees?

There’s a fixed annual service fee based on your account balance and deducted quarterly, as noted in the chart below. Any revenue sharing imbedded in investments will be returned to your account. Additional fees are based on individual investment choices. See this presentation and the TIAA CU 401(a) plan page for more information. 

Plan account balance as of the last day of the previous quarter Quarterly fee Annual fee
$0 to $5,000 $0 $0
$5,000.01 to $20,000 $7.75 $31
$20,000.01 to $50,000 $15.50 $62
$50,000.01 to $200,000 $23.25 $93
$200,000.01 to $500,000 $31 $124
$500,000.01 to $1,000,000 $38.75 $155
Greater than $1 million $46.50 $186