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Drexel University Retirement Plan Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Drexel University Retirement Plan?

Drexel University offers a 403(b) retirement program.  This program enables you to save for retirement by authorizing Drexel to deduct funds from your paycheck before federal taxes are deducted.

When can I participate in the plan?

If you are an eligible employee, you may begin participation in the plan immediately upon hire.  The deadline for enrollment for any specific month is the first day of that month.  Contributions for prior months are not legally permissible.

How do I know if I am an eligible employee?

All Drexel employees are eligible for the plan except for those in student employment and Co-op positions.

Does Drexel contribute to my retirement plan?

Yes, after one year of service, if you are an eligible employee age 25 or older, Drexel contributions will being to the extent permitted by the plan.

I was enrolled in a 403(b) plan with my prior employer. How does that change my 403(b) enrollment at Drexel?

If you were enrolled in a 403(b) retirement plan at any time in your employment history, you may be eligible for a waiver of the one-year-of-service requirement.  Drexel contributions to your 403(b) will begin for the month after the written proof of your prior 403(b) is received.  Contributions for prior months are not legally permissible.

Who is eligible for a Drexel contribution?

Part-time employees who work more than 1,000 hours per year and full-time employees in the following areas: administrative staff, professional staff, support staff, tenure track and tenured faculty, research faculty, instructors, and senior lecturers.

When does the retirement plan go from voluntary to mandatory?

After turning 35 years old and completing one year of service, full-time administrative staff, professional staff, support staff, tenure track and tenured faculty, research faculty, instructors, and senior lecturers are required to participate in the 403(b) plan.

How much must I contribute to the plan in order for Drexel to contribute?

Drexel University contributions range from 3% to 11% of base pay depending on your age. Please see the chart on our main retirement page for more information.

May I contribute more than the minimum, and, if so, how much more?

The amount that you can save is determined by federal law.  The statutory limit for 2010 is $16,500.  If you are 50 or over, you may add $5,500 to the 2010 limit.  When enrolling, you may elect the statutory limit.  Drexel will then change your deduction once each calendar year.

Will these funds ever be taxed?

Your funds are deducted from your paycheck before federal taxes are deducted.  When you retire and begin to receive distributions from your account, or when you remove funds from the plan after you leave Drexel, the funds will be taxed.  There is a penalty of 10 percent if you remove funds before age 59 ½.  After you leave Drexel, you may convert your 403(b) plan to an IRA (Individual Retirement Account) or another employer’s 403(b) or 401(k) plan without penalties or taxes.  Then, when you are ready to remove the funds, they will be taxed.

Do I own the Drexel contribution or will I lose it if I leave Drexel?

The Drexel contribution is “vested” (you own it) from the first day the contribution goes into your plan.

Where may I invest my money?

Drexel works with three investment companies.  To learn more about these companies, visit our main retirement plan page.

How do I decide which company to choose?

It's a matter of personal preference.  If you visit our main retirement plan page, you can find information including websites, phone numbers, and how to schedule an individual consultation appointment with each company.

Once I have decided on an investment company, must I continue to use that company?

You may move your funds from one of Drexel's investment companies to another at any time, with one exception: TIAA accumulations in the Basic Retirement Plan of less than $2,000 are not transferable.

You also have the option to change the funds to which you have allocated your money within the company you currently use.  Please contact your investment company for more information about this.

Can I remove funds from my accounts?

Funds may be removed at time of termination with a 10 percent penalty if you are less than age 59 ½ or not officially retired.  If you have been contributing above the minimum amount, hardship withdrawals and loans may be available from the Group Supplemental Account.  Please contact HR at 215-895-2850 for more information.

How do I enroll?