Mandatory Retirement Plans

Colorado State University is required by law to provide this Statement Concerning Your Employment in a Job Not Covered by Social Security (SSA 1945). Employees of CSU do not participate in the Social Security program and a pension from this job could affect future Social Security benefits to which you may become entitled. Because your earnings from this job are not covered under Social Security, you are mandated to participate in one of the following retirement programs:

  • Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA)
  • The Defined Contribution Plan (DCP)
  • Colorado Student Employee Retirement Plan (SERP)

Faculty, Administrative Professionals, Non-Classified Staff

Employees appointed on or after April 1, 1993, are required as a condition of employment under Colorado law, to participate in either the University’s DCP for retirement or, in limited cases, Colorado PERA.

Employees may be eligible to participate in PERA if they have at least 12 months of prior PERA credited service, have money in a PERA account, and have not previously elected to participate in an Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) at any public college or university in Colorado. If they are now or have previously been a PERA annuitant (even if the annuity is suspended), and have not returned to “active’ service in a PERA covered position since their last monthly annuity payment, they must enroll in the DCP. Note: PERA is a separate and independent entity and has the authority to make determinations regarding eligibility for membership. CSU cannot mandate, nor is it responsible for, PERA’s determinations regarding eligibility.

Mandatory Defined Contribution Plan (DCP)

VendorPhone NumberLogin SiteInvestment OptionsSchedule an Appointment
Fidelity Investments(800) 343-0860Account AccessInvestment InformationIndividual Counseling
TIAA(800) 842-2776Account AccessInvestment InformationIndividual Counseling
AIG (formerly VALIC)(800) 448-2542Account AccessInvestment InformationIndividual Counseling

The University will contribute an amount equal to 12% (effective 7/1/17) of your covered monthly salary to the DCP accounts of:

  • Regular and Special Teaching appointments of half-time or greater from date of appointment
  • Temporary Faculty and Admin Professionals, Post Doctoral Fellows, Veterinary Interns, and Clinical Psychology Interns of half-time or greater appointment after one (1) year of continuous service at that level.

To complete one year of service:

  • A 9-month employee must complete 2 consecutive semesters of continuous half-time or greater employment (excluding summer term)
  • A 12-month employee must complete 12 months of half-time or greater employment.

Any interruption in continuous appointment requires the eligible employee to complete one year of service again before CSU will provide the employer match to the DCP.

Termination at or after Age 55
When you leave CSU at or after age 55, you are entitled to your entire DCP account balance. Depending on the DCP investment company and the type of investment you have selected, you may be able to take your account balance as a lump sum payment, in installment payments, or convert it to an annuity which provides monthly payments for life. You can also leave it with the investment company for a distribution at a later date subject to certain limitations established under Federal tax law; or you can roll your account balance into another IRS approved, tax qualified plan.

Termination Prior to Age 55
If you leave CSU prior to “normal” retirement age (55) for any reason other than death or disability:

  • You can leave your account balance in the DCP until age 55 or later. If you choose this option, you continue to have full control over the investment of your account balance according to the provisions of the DCP. When you reach age 55, you can access, depending upon the DCP investment company and type of investment you have selected, your entire account balance in a lump sum, in installment payments, or you can convert your account balance to an annuity which provides monthly payments for life.
  • You can roll your account balance into another IRS approved, tax qualified plan. Other tax-qualified  Plans may include another employer’s 401(a) or 401(k) plan, or an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). In order to avoid tax penalties or federal income tax withholding, you must roll your account balance directly from your DCP investment company to another tax qualified plan.
  • If your total account balance is $10,000 or less, you have immediate access to your funds.

Retirement Manager
Requesting a loan from your 403(b) or DCP account(s) is completed through the online Retirement Manager portal. This software helps ensure that Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations relating to eligibility, limits and coordination among vendors are adhered to. The Quick Reference Guide contains instructions for logging into the system and generating an “Eligibility Certificate” which you will provide to your vendor(s) to effect the loan or hardship withdrawal.

Although Retirement Manager is developed and maintained by AIG/VALIC, all three vendors provide data on a regular basis to the system. While each vendor may request specific documentation of the need for a loan/hardship withdrawal as required by the IRS, the “Eligibility Certificate” is their assurance of your eligibility.

Defined Contribution Plan (DCP)
An employee may request a loan through Retirement Manager from their DCP account(s) with*:

  • TIAA
  • AIG/VALIC

Borrowing or withdrawing money from your DCP account may have income tax and other consequences. In addition, the ability to borrow or withdraw, and the limits thereon, may change as tax laws and regulations change. Contact your investment company directly for more information about their loan provisions. You are encouraged to seek independent tax advice with respect to the relationship and application of all matters under the DCP to their individual tax circumstances.

*DCP loans are not available from Fidelity.

Voluntary Retirement Plans

CSU offers employees the opportunity to contribute to voluntary tax-deferred investment accounts. These accounts can supplement your basic retirement plan.

Colorado State University (CSU) is a public education institution eligible to offer a voluntary retirement savings program as described under section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code (also referred to as a “403(b) Plan”). Colorado PERA also provides two voluntary retirement savings programs: a 457 plan and a 401(k) plan.

Comparison of Available Programs

  • All non-student employees can participate in CSU’s 403(b) Plan through Fidelity Investments, TIAA and AIG.
  • All employees can participate in PERA’S 457 Plan and/or PERA’s 401(k) Plan. (For more information, visit the PERA website or call 800-759-7372.)

403(b) Election/Payroll Form

Under the 403(b) plan, eligible employees may contribute on a pre-tax basis, in which investment earnings grow tax-deferred until they are distributed. The employee is responsible for investigating and selecting an investment service program (vendor) and investments from among the vendors available under the plan.

CSU has established relationships with three vendors to provide 403(b) arrangements for both “Traditional” and “Roth” accounts.  A Traditional account is funded with pre-tax contributions and a Roth is funded with after-tax contributions.

VendorPhone NumberLogin SiteInvestment OptionsSchedule an Appointment
Fidelity Investments(800) 343-0860Account AccessInvestment InformationIndividual Counseling
TIAA(800) 842-2776Account AccessInvestment InformationIndividual Counseling
AIG (formerly VALIC)(800) 448-2542Account AccessInvestment InformationIndividual Counseling

Regulatory Notices/Memos: 

401(k) Election/Payroll Form
401(k) Form for Non-PERA Members

PERA manages the 401(k) plan. To participate, complete a salary deferral election form and the necessary PERA application. New enrollments/changes are due by the 10th day of the month for the change to be effective for that monthly payroll cycle.

Colorado PERA(800) 759-7372PERAPlus Plan InformationAccount AccessRoth Comparison GuideRoth Option Highlights

457 Form for Non-PERA Members

This plan is managed and administered by Colorado PERA and is available to all CSU employees.  

Your initial enrollment form must be submitted to PERA. You will then be sent a secure PIN by PERA which allows you to complete the enrollment process online and to make future changes to contribution amounts or fund selections. Payroll deductions are initiated the month following completion of the online enrollment process.

Colorado PERA(800) 759-7372PERAPlus Plan InformationAccount AccessRoth Comparison GuideRoth Option Highlights

Retirement Manager
Requesting a loan from your 403(b) or DCP account(s) is completed through the online Retirement Manager portal. This software helps ensure that Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations relating to eligibility, limits and coordination among vendors are adhered to. The Quick Reference Guide contains instructions for logging into the system and generating an “Eligibility Certificate” which you will provide to your vendor(s) to effect the loan or hardship withdrawal.

Although Retirement Manager is developed and maintained by AIG/VALIC, all three vendors provide data on a regular basis to the system. While each vendor may request specific documentation of the need for a loan/hardship withdrawal as required by the IRS, the “Eligibility Certificate” is their assurance of your eligibility.

403(b)
Employees may request a loan or hardship withdraw from their 403(b) account(s) with:

  • Fidelity
  • TIAA-CREF
  • AIG/VALIC

Borrowing or withdrawing money from your 403(b) account may have income tax and other consequences. In addition, the ability to borrow or withdraw, and the limits thereon, may change as tax laws and regulations change. Contact your investment company directly for more information about their loan provisions. You are encouraged to seek independent tax advice with respect to the relationship and application of all matters under the DCP to their individual tax circumstances.

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Preparing to Retire

When you are getting ready to retire, there are many important factors to consider. Visit Separation and Retirement to learn more about post-employment benefits and how to initiate retirement from CSU.