Want a quick way to learn about CU's Student Employee Retirement Plan? Watch this helpful series of videos.
Eligibility and Effective Dates
- Fall, spring and summer semesters: As an undergraduate student employee you are required to participate in the Student Employee Retirement Plan if you are enrolled in fewer than 6 credit hours. Graduate students enrolled in fewer than 3 credit hours are required to participate.
- Participation is required for students not enrolled during the summer semester, but who were enrolled in courses during the spring semester and will be enrolled in the fall semester.
- Regardless if you are an undergraduate or graduate student, if you consistently work 40 hours per week in any given semester, regardless of the number of enrolled credit hours, you are required to participate.
- Once your eligibility for participation in student retirement has been established, your participation will be required for the remainder of the current semester. Eligibility will be evaluated each pay period and may change within the term, based on enrollment in coursework.
- You will contribute 7.5% of your gross earnings.
- Contributions are invested in TIAA-CREF , according to your investment fund selections.
- Contributions are made into the Student Retirement Plan as an alternative to Social Security .
The University of Colorado has three voluntary pension/savings plans available to most employees; review the benefits eligibility matrix  to determine your eligibility. The voluntary pension/savings plans are defined contribution plans of an individual account that you set up to set aside money on a pre-tax basis through a Salary Reduction Agreement  with the university.
Your benefits are based on the contributions credited to these accounts, plus or minus investment gains or losses. Investment risk and investment rewards are assumed by each individual/employee/retiree and not by the sponsor/employer.
Learn more about CU's 403(b) Plan .
University 403(b) Plan
|Enrollment or Changes to Enrollment||403(b) Salary Reduction Agreement Form  and a 403(b) Fund Sponsor Application for each investment company newly elected.||PERA 401(k) Contribution Authorization Form ||Enroll or make changes directly on the PERA website .|
|Deadline for Enrollment or Changes||Forms must be received by Employee Services no later than 5 p.m. on the 10th of the month to change your end-of-month contribution.||Forms must be received by Employee Services no later than 5 p.m. on the 10th of the month to change your end-of-month contribution.||Enrollment and changes must be made with the plan administrator by 2 p.m. on the 25th of the month to affect next month's contribution.|
|Minimum Contribution||no minimum||$25 or 1% of monthly compensation|
|2015 Calendar Year Limit||$18,000||$18,000||$18,000|
|2015 Age 50+ Catch-up Provisions||$6,000||$6,000||$6,000|
|Additional Catch-up Provisions||15-year catch-up provision for employees with 15+ years of university service
may contribute up to $3,000 for five years (or $15,000 for a lifetime maximum) if you under-contributed in prior years
|N/A||For the three consecutive years before your normal retirement age, you may be able to contribute up to twice the available limit if you under-contributed in prior years.|
|Loan Provisions||Contact TIAA-CREF at 1-800-842-2252.||Yes; contact your plan administrator.||Yes; contact your plan administrator.|
|Qualifying Distribution Events||retirement, severance of employment, disability, attainment of age 59½, or financial hardship||retirement, severance of employment, disability, attainment of age 59½, or financial hardship||retirement, severance of employment, disability, attainment of age 70½ while employed, or for an unforeseeable emergency|
|Early Withdrawal Penalties Before Age 59½||Yes||Yes||No|
|Plan Administrator Contact Information||University 403(b) plan administrator information||PERA of Colorado 401(k) Plan||
PERA of Colorado 457 Plan
Retirement Pension/Savings Plan Distributions
The availability of distribution/withdrawals under each of the mandatory and voluntary Pension/Savings plan accounts may differ depending on the plan(s) you are enrolled in and your student/employment status with the University. Review the Distribution Fact Sheet  for details.