Mandatory for eligible employees

The university will review your job classification and appointment to determine your eligibility for a mandatory retirement plan.  There are two plans: the 401(a) Plan and the PERA Defined Benefit Plan. In most cases, employees will only be eligible for one plan.

CU’s 401(a) Retirement Plan

Participation is mandatory for eligible faculty and university staff.  If you meet this criteria, you will be enrolled automatically on the first of the month following your hire date. Contributions will be made via automatic payroll deduction at the end of each month.

PERA (Public Employees' Retirement Association) 

PERA participation is mandatory for Classified Staff.  You will be automatically enrolled on your hire date, and contributions will be made via automatic payroll deduction from each monthly paycheck.


PERA Choice: An important decision for new hires

Some employees have a choice between the two plans.  If your job classification is faculty or university staff, and you have an account with PERA upon hire, you will receive a PERA choice letter. You must make a one-time irrevocable choice to participate in either CU’s 401(a) Retirement plan or the PERA plan. You have 30 days from your hire date to make this election. If you do not take action, you will automatically be placed in the PERA plan, effective from date of hire. Once your enrollment is processed, contributions to your retirement plan will be made the same month you choose a plan unless it was received after the payroll cutoff date.  Any necessary adjustments to your contributions will be made on the next available pay period.

Voluntary for all employees

There are three voluntary retirement savings plans to supplement your other retirement savings.

     University of Colorado 403(b) Voluntary Retirement Plan
     Public Employees' Retirement Association 401(k) Plan
     Public Employees' Retirement Association 457 Plan

Learn more