The Catholic University of America strongly encourages employees to set financial goals and plan for retirement. The University has a Defined Contribution Savings Plan 403(b), which enables employees to save for retirement on a pre-tax basis. Employees are also eligible to voluntarily participate in a supplemental pre-tax deferral plan, the Group Supplemental Retirement Annuity Plan (GSRA). The University's retirement plans are administered by TIAA.  


The Defined Contribution Savings Plan 403(b) has the following eligibility requirements in order to participate.   Once you have met the age and service requirements listed below, you will automatically be enrolled in the plan and become eligible to receive employer matching contributions from the University.*

      •  You must be at least age 26 and have 1 year of eligible service with the University before you will be eligible to receive matching contributions from the University. A year of eligible service is only granted if you complete at least 1,000 hours of service during that period.
      •  A year of eligible service means a 12 consecutive month period.
      •  New employees who worked for a prior employer with a qualified 401(a), 403(b) or 457(b) plan immediately preceding 90 days of employment at the University may apply for a waiver of the one year of service requirement.  Please complete the waiver form (under the Forms section below).

Below are the following election options for the Defined Contribution Retirement Plan 403(b) and corresponding employer matching contributions.*

No Employee contribution University contributes 5% of gross salary
2.5 % Employee contribution University contributes 7.5% of gross salary
5 % Employee contribution University contributes 10% of gross salary
* Please note:  In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, Catholic University will temporarily suspend employer contributions to the Defined Contribution Retirement Plan 403(b).  As announced in the letter from President John Garvey on June 23rd, contributions will be suspended from September 1, 2020 through August 31, 2021 and are part of a suite of measures to support the University.


Employees are also eligible to participate in the pre-tax deferral voluntary portion of the plan, referred to as the Group Supplemental Retirement Annuity Plan (GSRA).  This would be an additional dollar amount deducted each per pay period, remitted to the employee's TIAA account.  The GSRA plan has no age or years of service requirements for deferring compensation as pre-tax into this plan. There are no employer contributions to the GSRA plan.  Please note:  Participants who contributed to the Retirement Annuity plan prior to January 1, 2009, can continue to contribute to this plan in addition to the Group Supplemental Retirement Annuity plan.  


The amount of the salary reduction will produce a total Institution contribution that does not exceed the Employee’s statutory exclusion allowance under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 403(b), the limitations of IRC Section 415, or the limitations of IRC Section 402(g), whichever is least. The maximum deferral limits for 2020 are $19,500 for all employees and an additional $6,500 for those who are 50 or older. The maximums apply only to employee contributions, so contributions Catholic University made to the 403(b) plan do not count for purposes of calculating this limitation.   If you have worked at The Catholic University of America for 15 years or more, you may be eligible to contribute an additional $3,000 per year. You must contact TIAA at 800-842-2776 and request a calculation and present the calculation to the Office of Human Resources Partners team to qualify for this additional amount.
  • Forms

    To enroll or change your employee contributions, please complete the 403(b) Salary Reduction Form.

    Note: For all forms received by the 15th of the month, the earliest effective date you may select is the first pay period of the month in which the form is received. For example, for semi monthly employees, if the form is submitted by August 15th, semi monthly employees may select August 1st or August 16th; monthly employees may select August 1st.  You may also select a later pay period as the effective date.  Once the form is submitted, a representative from the Office of Human Resources Partners team will be in touch to confirm your request and the effective date of your elections.  

    To apply for a waiver of the one year of service requirement, please complete the following form and submit to the HR Partners team:  Waiver form.

  • TIAA Retirement Planning Counseling Sessions

    Virtual one-on-one counseling sessions are being offered by our retirement provider, TIAA.  To schedule an appointment with our TIAA representative, Jonathan Imber, please call the TIAA Scheduling department at 1-800-732-8353 or use the TIAA online scheduling tool (directions below).  The sessions are free, however, an appointment is required.

    Please note - The following dates have been reserved for Catholic University employees for virtual one-on-one sessions this fall: September 16, October 19, November 12 and December 8.  Please ensure to schedule an appointment.  

    • Open the scheduling tool by clicking on the following link: TIAA online scheduling tool
    • Click the Select button
    • Choose "District of Columbia" from the State dropdown list and then click Select
    • Choose "THE CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMER." from the Employer dropdown list and click Select
    • Use the calendar and follow instructions on the screen to schedule an appointment
  • Resources

  • Questions

    •  Inquiries regarding your TIAA account or assistance with calculating your employee contributions in order to reach the IRS yearly maximum, please call TIAA's National Contact Center at 1-800-842-2252.

    •  For support with the 403(b) Retirement Savings form or general questions, please contact the HR Partners team.