All University personnel are covered by the Social Security Program offered under the Federal Insurance Contribution Act. Participation in a University retirement plan is compulsory for eligible staff members.
Actively serving University personnel holding other that a temporary appointment with annual earnings of $7,800 or more must elect to participate in either IPERS, the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF), or a qualified substitute retirement annuity plan.
IPERS - The University contributes 5.75% while the participating staff member contributes 3.70% of earnings up to the maximum covered wages prescribed by law.
Coverage under IPERS is effective during any quarterly period in which earnings of $300 or more are provided, unless employment is of a temporary nature (period of less than 6 months) and is mandatory for University personnel serving with temporary status and/or annual earnings of less than $7,800.
TIAA-CREF - University personnel with less than 5 years of service and participating in TIAA-CREF or a qualified substitute retirement plan are required to contribute 3-1/3% on the first $4,800 of earnings and 5% on the remainder of salary to their retirement accounts. The University's contribution to an annuitant's retirement account during the same period will be equal to twice the staff member's contribution. Upon completion of 5 years of service, the $4,800 base is eliminated; and then the employee contributes 5% and UNI 10% on all earnings.
Substitute Retirement Annuity Plan - Newly eligible University personnel may elect to participate in an annuity program other than TIAA-CREF, provided they have not made application for a TIAA-CREF retirement annuity contract and were participating in the plan through their last employer. The plan must fully meet program specifications established by the Board of Regents and be approved by the University. The same contribution provisions noted above for TIAA-CREF apply to the qualified substitute annuity plan.
Summer Session and Special Compensation Contributions - Annuity program participation applies to non-temporary faculty members listed in the summer session budget or addendum when those members have participated during the preceding academic year. Participation does not apply to faculty or staff Extension Class service, non-credit program instruction, or other special compensation involving activities such as summer sports camps, summer theatre repertory, cheerleader clinics, honoraria, etc.
Added Retirement Plan Contributions - Staff members may contribute added funds to their regular retirement plan accounts by requesting increased employee contributions. No matching UNI contribution is made for these funds.
Supplemental Retirement Annuity (SRA) Programs - The SRA program permits the staff member to take a reduction (tax shelter) in salary with the contributions remitted directly to an approved supplemental retirement account. SRA plans are designed for staff members who may be interested in setting aside additional tax deferred funds in addition to those being accumulated under the University's regular basic retirement plan. The University does not contribute matching funds to SRAs.
Additional information on supplemental retirement annuity accounts is available in the Personnel Office.
TIAA/CREF Convertibility - On May 18, 1999, the Iowa Board of Regents approved a permanent convertibility policy. Retirees and former employees of the Iowa Board of Regents who are at least 55 years of age are allowed to convert all employee and employer contributions and all accumulations to the extent permitted by TIAA-CREF. TIAA-CREF allows full convertibility of all funds in CREF accounts and convertibility of funds in the TIAA account over a ten year period.
Former employees who are less than age 55 are permitted convertibility of up to one-third of the TIAA-CREF accumulation, also according to the TIAA-CREF guidelines. This convertibility is intended to provide for convertibility of the employee’s contributions and accumulations on the employee contributions in the account(s).
Former employees and retirees who are interested in exercising the convertibility option will be required to sign a waiver releasing the institution and the Board of Regents of liability for their decision.
IPERS Refund - A refund from the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System (IPERS) is available when participation with the program ceases by reason of the staff member's termination or election to participate in TIAA-CREF or an approved substitute annuity plan. The staff member, by completing a refund application, is eligible to receive the employee contributions in full plus interest earned as of the date of termination. All contributions made by the University in the name of the staff member are retained by IPERS.