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 Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America.


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


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 deferral 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. Please read about current maximums for retirement plan contributions. 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 our online 403(b) Salary Deferral 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. 

    Meeting with a TIAA financial consultant is included as a benefit of your retirement plan at no additional cost. Take advantage and schedule a virtual one-on-one session today.

    Schedule an appointment:  

    • Click this link to schedule a date and time: TIAA online scheduling tool
    • Click the Select State button
    • Choose "District of Columbia" from the state of residence dropdown list
    • Use the calendar to select a date and time that is convenient for you
    • Select “Consultant” if you would like to meet with a specific financial consultant
  • 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.