Retirement Plan

The University of Denver offers a retirement plan under section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), enabling you to invest in your retirement via the convenience of regular automatic payroll contributions. The plan is administered by the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA) and participation is entirely voluntary. It also includes an available Roth option.

Contributions are made on a pre-tax or tax-deferred salary reduction basis, which means your current taxable income is reduced by the amount of your contributions, and taxes on those contributions and their investment earnings are deferred until they are paid back to you in the form of retirement benefits or other distributions from these plans. For biweekly-paid employees, retirement contributions will be deducted from each paycheck.

  • New Expense Allocation Method

    Effective October 1, 2020, general plan administrative services expenses (including record keeping, investment advisory, and legal) will be allocated to each participant account on a pro rata basis. This administrative expense will be deducted or netted from plan expense offsets in quarterly installments from your assets within the core lineup of investment options in the plan. The total fee will equate to approximately a $0.72 annual charge for every $1,000 in your account, but may vary based on factors such as plan expenses and market conditions. Each quarter your online account and statements will itemize the amount charged to your account, the amount of any net revenue sharing received from your mutual fund investments, and the net plan services expense offsets earned in your annuity investments.

    Please know that there have always been costs to participate in the retirement plan. You have not seen an explicit charge before because these charges had been bundled within the annual operating expense ratios of the investments. Under the new arrangement, your cost to participate in the plan will be more visible, straightforward, and equitable across all investments.

    Fees help ensure that, regardless of the investments selected, all plan participants share in the cost of retirement plan administration. As you plan your financial goals, keep in mind that fees are just one factor in the decision-making process.

    You can find the expense ratios and other fees and expenses at, or in the prospectuses at

    Learn More About These Updates

    View Brainshark Video


    To learn more about your plan and to update your retirement portfolio online, log in to the secure website at, where you can change the direction of future contributions, transfer existing assets, and review your beneficiary election.


    If you prefer, you can update your retirement portfolio by calling TIAA customer service at 800-842-2252. They are available weekdays from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mountain Time.

    In Person

    Schedule an individual one-on-one session at or by calling 800-732-8353 on a weekday between 6 a.m. am 6 p.m. Mountain Time.

  • Employer Match Feature

    DU will match your 4 percent contributions to this plan with an 8 percent match, for a combined contribution equal to 12 percent of your appointed salary. Vesting of the match dollars is immediate at 100 percent upon enrollment.

    Appointed employees are eligible to enroll in the employer match feature of the retirement plan at any time after completing one year of service with the University or another qualified educational institution. This service requirement is defined as one year of service in a retirement benefit eligible position. A qualified educational institution, per IRC Section 170(b)(1)(A)(ii), is defined as an educational organization that "normally maintains a regular faculty and curriculum and normally has a regularly enrolled body of pupils or students in attendance at the place where its educational activities are regularly carried on."

    To participate in the employer match feature under this plan, you must contribute 4 percent of your appointed salary to your account. These contributions may be directed into a wide array of investment options available through TIAA. Additional contributions via the employer match feature are not permitted.


    Employee Contribution Feature

    Both appointed and non-appointed employees may enroll in the employee contribution feature at any time. You may also terminate your participation at any time. A wide array of investment options are available through TIAA. Contributions made via this feature are not matched by the University.



    Distributions from this plan are available only upon termination of employment from the University, except for a one-time "in-service" lump sum distribution of up to 10 percent of your account, which you can request at age 59½ or older. Any distribution from this plan that does not qualify as a "periodic payment" under the IRC, or as a qualifying "roll-over" or "direct transfer" to another qualifying retirement plan must be "rolled-over" to an IRA, which can then be used as the vehicle for cash withdrawals.



    Employees can open an account and manage their retirement plan through TIAA website. Contributions can be adjusted at any time through your online TIAA account.

    If you are eligible to waive the one-year service requirement for the employer match feature, please complete the Retirement Plan Participation Waiver of Service form and email it to

    Please contact TIAA customer service at 800-842-2252 with any questions.



    The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) requires retirement plan administrators to provide participants and beneficiaries, in writing, the most important facts they need to know about their retirement and health benefit plans. These facts include plan rules, financial information, and documents on the operation and management of the plan.

    One of the most important documents participants are entitled to receive automatically when becoming a participant of an ERISA-covered retirement plan, or a beneficiary receiving benefits under such a plan, is a summary of the plan called the Summary Plan Description or SPD. Under the terms of ERISA, this document must be made available to participants and beneficiaries at least once every five years, free of charge.

    You may view the SPD and the SMM below. You may additionally request a copy of the SPD and/or SMM in paper form at no charge to you. Please contact Elizabeth Cha at 303-871-3549 or if you would like a paper copy of these documents.

  • Summary Plan Description

    The Summary Plan Description (SPD) is a detailed guide to the benefits the program provides and how the plan works. It specifies when an employee may begin to participate in the plan and how to file a claim for benefits. If the plan is changed, participants must be informed via either a revised SPD or a separate document called a Summary of Material Modifications (SMM). These documents must be provided to participants free of charge.

    The Plan Document governs the retirement plan's features and day-to-day operations.

  • Summary of Material Modifications

    The Summary of Material Modifications (SMM) is a summary of the most important changes to the plan and information contained in the Summary Plan Description. Changes include in-plan Roth rollover contributions and employer matching contributions.

Learn more about the DU retirement plan and enroll at the link below or by calling TIAA customer service at 800-842-2252.

Learn More