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403(b) Defined Contribution Retirement Plan

Effective July 1, 2021, the University will fully restore the employer match and basic contributions to the 403(b) retirement plan at the previous levels of up to nine-percent maximum for employees under 50 and up to 11-percent maximum for those 50 and older. For more information and FAQs regarding the reinstatement, please consult this PDF.

Drexel University's retirement plan is a defined contribution 403(b) and Roth 403(b) program and provides for employee contributions and University contributions.

Eligibility to participate in the plan

All employees are eligible to defer pre-tax dollars out of their pay into the plan except for student employees, co-op positions, temporary, casual and per diem employees.

Eligibility to receive University contributions

Once enrolled in the plan, full-time, benefit-eligible faculty and professional staff are eligible for University contributions in their first available pay. Part-time employees become eligible the first of the month following completion of 1,000 hours worked within a year. All eligible employees must be an active participant in the plan in order to receive University contributions in either circumstance.

Adjunct and Union employees may participate in the plan with their own contributions. They are not eligible for University contributions.

Plan Providers

Drexel works with three retirement plan vendors in order to provide a variety of options: Fidelity Investments, TIAA and Vanguard Group. Please see the chart below or visit the Benefit Providers page for contact information. Each vendor aims to be available once a month at the University City and Center City campuses for individual sessions. Please review the Human Resources Events Calendar for times and dates that they will be available.

Vendor Services  Contact Information  Business Hours 
 Fidelity Individual Sessions Register by visiting
or call: 1.800.642.7131
Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET)
General Customer Service 1.800.343.0860 Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to midnight (ET)
Vendor Services  Contact Information  Business Hours 
 TIAA Individual Sessions Register by visiting
or call: 1.800.732.8353
Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET)
General Customer Service 1.800.842.2252 Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (ET)

Vendor Services  Contact Information  Business Hours 
 Vanguard  Individual Sessions  Register by visiting
or call: 1.800.523.1188
Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET)

Employee and University Contributions

If you meet the eligibility requirements for the University contributions, your contributions are matched, dollar for dollar, up to 6 percent. Plus, Drexel will contribute an additional 3 percent or 5 percent depending on whether you are over or under the age of 50.

A quick listing of the investments that are offered is also available for review: Retirement Plan Providers' Investment Structures [PDF]

The charts below provide examples of what your contributions will look like from the University based on how much you choose to contribute.

Under Age 50

Employee Contribution University Match University Basic Total Contribution
1% 1% 3% 5%
2% 2% 3% 7%
3% 3% 3% 9%
4% 4% 3% 11%
5% 5% 3% 13%
6% 6% 3% 15%
7% 6% 3% 16%

Over Age 50

Employee Contribution University Match University Basic Total Contribution
1% 1% 5% 7%
2% 2% 5% 9%
3% 3% 5% 11%
4% 4% 5% 13%
5% 5% 5% 15%
6% 6% 5% 17%
7% 6% 5% 18%

Roth 403(b)

Effective January 2018 Drexel University employees have the option of contributing to their retirement account with after tax dollars. The Roth 403(b) after tax option offers a new way to save for retirement. Employees pay taxes on their contributions today but will not have to pay taxes at the time of withdrawal provided certain requirements are met.*

Those who could benefit from making Roth contributions are at the start of their career and expect their income to rise substantially over the years. Others may see a value in limiting tax obligations while in retirement. If your portfolio could benefit from tax free growth on earnings then the Roth option is something to consider. Whatever your situation we recommend that you consult with your professional advisor before making any changes to your retirement contributions.

*A distribution from a Roth 403(b) is tax-free and penalty free, provided the five-year aging requirement has been satisfied and one of the following conditions is met: age 59 ½, disability, or death.

Informational Documents

Documents below can reviewed on your own or with your plan provider.

Fidelity [PDF]


Vanguard [PDF]

Human Resources General Presentation [PDF]

Roth 403(b) FAQs

What is the difference between a Roth 403(b) and a Traditional 403(b)?

Traditional contributions are made on a pre-tax basis, lowering your taxable income today and deferring taxes for a future date. Roth contributions are taxable at the time the contribution is made. You pay taxes "today" but will not pay taxes at the time of withdrawal.

When can I elect to begin making elections to my Roth 403(b)?

The Roth option is currently available to all employees. Follow these instructions to enroll:

  1. Log in to DrexelOne
  2. Select the Employee tab
  3. Select "All BannerWeb Employee Services" under the Employee Information tab
  4. Select "Benefits and Deductions"
  5. Select "Enroll or Change Retirement Plans"

Is my University match also an after tax contribution?

No. While your contribution is taxable, any match or basic contribution that comes from the University must be pre-tax. Because of this, the University portion must be contributed to a traditional 403(b).

Do I have the same investment options for the Roth 403(b) as I do with the Traditional 403(b)?

Yes, all platforms and vendors available to traditional 403(b) participants are available to Roth participants.

Is there any income restriction on participating in the Roth 403(b)?

No, unlike the Roth IRA there are no income limits for a Roth 403(b).

Is there a limit on contributions?

Yes, individuals can save up to $19,000 a year through the Roth 403(b) and individuals age 50 or older can contribute an additional $6,000 in "catch-up" contributions.

Can I max out the limit on my traditional and separately max out the limit on my Roth?

No, the IRS caps apply to both plans and an individual may not contribute more than $19,000 ($25,000 if older than age 50) in total.

I would like more information, who can I contact?

1.800.343.0860 (Telephone Counseling Center)
1.800.642.7131 (Schedule Individual Sessions)

1.800.842.2776 (Telephone Counseling Services)
1.800.842.2010 (Schedule Individual Sessions)

1.800.523.1188 (Telephone Counseling Services)
Schedule a meeting

Drexel Human Resources - HR Service Center

How to Enroll or Change Your Plan

Before enrolling, please note:

  • The 2020 limit for your contribution is $19,500. This is an IRS limit and not that of Drexel University.
  • If you are 50 or older, you may contribute up to an additional $6,500 in 2020.

In order to enroll, you must know with what vendor you wish to participate. Information on the vendors can be found with our Service Fees and Disclosure documents that are released on an annual basis and can be found on the 403(b) Plan Fee Disclosures page.

To enroll in or make any changes to your 403(b) plan (this includes increasing or decreasing the contributions), follow these steps:

  • Log in to DrexelOne, select the Employee Tab. Then select the 403b Plan Management link under the My Benefits header and follow the instructions provided.
  • When enrolling, please note that you will need to know the percentage that you want to contribute. Changes can be made to the retirement plan on a month to month basis, if desired. The system will advise when the deduction will be effective.

Full-time Faculty and Professional Staff who do not elect into the 403(b) Plan within 31 days of their hire date will be automatically enrolled with our default vendor, TIAA, at a 2 percent per pay contribution rate. If you do not wish to participate, you must actively waive participation in the retirement plan. To ensure that you are not defaulted, please be sure to enroll within your 31-day enrollment window that coincides with your Health Benefits Enrollment.

Investment Education

Drexel and its retirement plan vendors offer a variety of workshops, advice and other tools to help you make investment decisions.

On-Campus Conferences and Workshops

Drexel hosts individual conferences and group workshops with our retirement plan vendors several times a year. Visit the Human Resources Events Calendar for the workshop schedule.

Online Workshops, Planning Tools and Calculators

Our investment providers offer several written and video workshops, planning tools and investment calculators. To learn more, visit our providers' websites:

Plan Numbers

Fidelity: 57748

TIAA: 406661

Vanguard: 091322


If you want to rollover money from a previous employer into your Drexel University plan, you will want to be sure that you are currently participating in the Drexel University retirement plan before submitting anything to the vendor. To sign up for a plan, please follow the instructions for enrolling noted above in the How to Enroll section. All vendors have different forms for the rollover process – please select the appropriate form below:

Consolidate Vendors

To move funds from one Drexel affiliated vendor to another, you will need to submit the appropriate form below to the vendor where you wish the funds to go. Forms are also available through the vendor websites if you have created an online account with the respective vendor.


Loans are offered only through TIAA. For more information, contact TIAA directly at 1.800.842.2776.

Hardship Withdrawals

Under circumstances of severe financial hardship, you may be eligible to take funds out of your account managed by Fidelity, TIAA or Vanguard. In order to qualify, there are certain IRS approved hardships that you would need to provide documentation to confirm your situation. If approved, Drexel Human Resources will notify the vendor.

Employer contributions are not eligible for distribution while actively employed with the University. You will be penalized for an early withdrawal and the funds are considered taxable. Once deemed qualified, employees who wish to initiate a Hardship Withdrawal should reach out to the vendor to begin the process. Once all the necessary paperwork is received the vendor will send it to HR/Benefits for approval – contact information is as follows:

Human Resources
Benefits/403b Hardship Request
3201 Arch Street, Suite 430
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Fax: 215.895.5813

403(b) Plan Disclosures can be viewed here.