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457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan

The Drexel University 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan is a voluntary retirement savings plan for faculty and professional staff members whose salary exceeds $150,000 during a calendar year. The plan is intended as a nonqualified, deferred compensation plan to provide supplemental retirement savings. The 457(b) Plan is another way to save more for retirement if you already contribute the maximum amount allowed under the 403(b) Plan. However, you are not required to do so in order to participate.

Contributions to the 457(b) Plan are made on a pre-tax basis, which allows you to build your retirement savings while reducing your current taxable income. There is no post-tax (Roth) option or employer contributions.

The plan offers a wide range of investment options [PDF] available through TIAA. Once enrolled, you can view and manage your investments through the TIAA website, along with beneficiary assignment.

Unlike the 403(b) Plan, which is a qualified plan, the 457(b) Plan is a nonqualified deferred compensation arrangement. This means that the assets that are held pursuant to the 457(b) Plan will be subject to the claims of all unsecured creditors of the University if the University becomes bankrupt or insolvent.

For more information on the 457(b) Plan, review the resources below:

Am I eligible to participate?

Drexel University faculty and professional staff whose salary exceeds $150,000 during a calendar year are eligible to participate in the plan.

When can I start making contributions?

To enroll in or make any changes to your 457(b) contribution:

  • Log in to DrexelOne and select the Employee tab.
  • Scroll down to the My Benefits heading on the left-hand side of the screen and select the link for “Retirement Plan management” which will directly connect you to your account on TIAA.org without having to supply additional login credentials.
  • Select Manage Contribution Amount under the Actions menu. Update the percentage for your contributions and the date to make your change effective.

How much can I contribute?

The minimum amount you may contribute to the plan is $25 per pay period.

The maximum contribution limit is established by the IRS each year. In 2020, you can contribute up to $19,500. Additional "catch-up" contributions may be made in the three years before you turn age 65.

For more information on the "catch-up," please contact Lauren Frankel, Senior Benefits Consultant, at lmf347@drexel.edu.

The contribution limit for the 457(b) Plan is separate from the 403(b) Plan. Contributions made to the 403(b) Plan do not count towards the 457(b) limit.

Does the University contribute to my 457(b) account?

No, the university does not make contributions to the 457(b) Plan.

How do I become vested in the plan?

You are 100% fully vested in your contributions to the plan.

Can I change my contribution amount?

Yes. To make any changes to your 457(b) contribution:

  • Log in to DrexelOne and select the Employee tab.
  • Scroll down to the My Benefits heading on the left-hand side of the screen and select the link for "Retirement Plan management" which will directly connect you to your account on TIAA.org without having to supply additional login credentials.
  • Select Manage Contribution Amount under the Actions menu. Update the percentage for your contributions and the date to make your change effective.

When can I take money out of the plan?

Except in the case of an unforeseeable emergency (as described below), you cannot withdraw or otherwise take distributions from your plan account while you are employed by the University.

Once you leave the University (and all affiliates), you can choose to receive the value of your plan account in a single sum, in installments, as a lifetime annuity, or postpone distribution to a later date.

You must make your election within 60 days of your separation from employment. If you do not make an election within 60 days, your 457(b) Plan account will be automatically paid to you as a single lump-sum payment.

Can I take a loan against this plan?

No, loans are not available through the 457(b) Plan.

What is an unforeseeable emergency withdrawal?

Under a special rule, you may be able to withdraw a portion of your Plan account prior to your separation from the University in the event of an "unforeseeable emergency." This means a serious financial hardship due to an unforeseeable event or emergency such as death or illness of you or a family member. An unforeseeable emergency withdrawal must be limited to an amount sufficient to meet the unforeseeable emergency and cannot be obtained for the purchase of a home, the payment of college tuition or other foreseeable events.

What are the tax effects of a withdrawal or distribution from the plan?

You should consult your personal tax advisor to obtain information regarding the tax consequences before you request a withdrawal or distribution of any portion of your plan account.

In general, your contributions to the plan and the investment earnings on your contributions are income tax-deferred while held in your account under the plan. Taxes become payable when your account is distributed to you. You may not roll over distributions from the plan into an IRA or plan maintained by another employer.

The University is required to withhold income taxes from all plan distributions. But if a distribution substantially increases your annual taxable income, it will be your responsibility to pay the additional taxes that may be due for the year of the distribution.

Investment Options

Visit tiaa.org/drexel to view the Plan’s investment lineup.

TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Index Funds are the default investment option for the Plan. If you do not select specific investments when you enroll, your contributions will be directed to the TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Index Fund that most closely corresponds to the year you turn age 65. You may select a different investment choice for your contributions at any time.