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Emory Employee Retirement Plan Guide


Discover your Retirement Options in the new Emory Employee Retirement Plan Guide.

Click here to start learning about the Emory Retirement plan on Emory's new web based guide.


403(b) Savings Plan

Emory's 403(b) Plan

Emory offers a 403(b) Saving Plan, and a 403(b) Roth. Employees earning 125% of the Highly Compensated Employee rate or more may be eligible for a 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan. Employees can make contributions to one or more of the following retirement vendors: Fidelity Investments, TIAA-CREF and Vanguard.

Please note that Vanguard is the default vendor for Emory.


Pre-Tax Contributions Only:
All full-time and part-time employees who are at least 21 years of age are immediately eligible to contribute to the Savings Plan using pre-tax dollars only.

Emory Contributions and Match:
All Full-time and part-time employees who are at least 21 years of age are eligible for Emory contributions to the Savings Plan after completion of 1 year of service, and 1,000 hours worked in a 12-consecutive-month period.

Eligibility for matching contributions becomes effective on the first month when you meet the eligibility requirement. You may certify to receive this when you are hired if you were contributing and receiving a contribution from a qualified plan.

You must be in an eligible employee category to enroll.

How To Enroll

  • Step 1: Complete the 2010 403b Retirement Authorization For Payroll Deduction & Vendor Selection Form. This form has your contribution percentage amount that is to be taken from your paycheck. Fill in the form and return it to the Benefits Department. This form will be processed as soon as administratively possible when received for the next pay period to be deducted.
  • Step 2: Complete an enrollment for each vendor you select either on their web site or by phone.
    • Fidelity: (800) 343-0860
      Under ACCOUNT ACCESS, select NEW USER; enter your SSN. From there, you are presented with a series of questions to set up the account. You then select your funds.
      • Loans are available with Fidelity and is subject to terms. Please contact Fidelity for information.
    • Vanguard: (800) 523-1188
      On the web site, go to PERSONAL INVESTORS; then SIGN UP FOR ACCESS. Check the box of Employer Sponsored Plan. The Plan number for Vanguard is 091326. From there, you are presented with a series of questions to set up the account. You then select your funds.
      • Beginning in the first quarter of 2010, all Vanguard Emory University Retirement Plan 403(b) participants will be charged an annual administrative fee of $10.  The administrative fee covers the costs associated with recordkeeping, account statements, participant education, postage, and other services for the Plan and its’ participants.
    • TIAA-CREF: (800) 842-2888
      For TIAA CREF go to  www.tiaa-cref.org/emory. Click on the ENROLL NOW button in the right corner. Next, select the link for the plan(s)* you wish to enroll in: (Do not change the access code)
    • From there, you are presented with a series of questions to set up the account.
    • Make sure to choose your funds as you walk through the enrollment

    * please note that the Emory Basic Plan is the first 1% and 2% and any matching contributions. This includes the Emory 6% contributions that Emory would contribute. The Group Supplemental Plans are above the 2% and are your voluntary contributions. No match or 6% monies go into these contracts for TIAA CREF.

      • Loans are available with TIAA-CREF on the GSRA contract only and is subject to terms. Please contact TIAA-CREF for information.

How to Make Changes to the 403(b) Plan

You can change your contribution amounts online through Employee Self Service. Use the Guide to Life Beneficiary and 403(b) Changes to assist you. To change your funds with your select vendors, go to your retirement vendor account online and you may change your allocations and funds.

If you have previously elected to contribute the IRS maximum  to the Emory Plan and want to change your election, you MUST complete a new 403b Retirement Authorization For Payroll Deduction & Vendor Selection Form to cancel  the maximum IRS amount.


Accessing Funds in your Retirement Plans While Employed

In the event you need a distribution from your Retirement plan while you are an employee of Emory and a participant in the Retirement plan, there are several options available to you.  You may elect to take a plan loan, a hardship withdrawal or an in-service withdrawal. 

The “Plan Loan” option enables a participant to loan themselves funds from their retirement plan to cover certain medical, educational or personal purchase items (ie. purchase of a home). Funds for a loan are available from your vested match employer money, employee basic and employee supplemental voluntary money contributions only. Plan loans are repayable through direct deposit repayment (ACH) over the timeframe of the loan and do not require participants to cease participating in the plan during the term of the loan.  In addition there are no penalties assessed to participants for accessing money in this manner.  Once all completed forms are submitted, this process typically takes 10 days. Loans require vendor approval.

The “Hardship Withdrawal” option enable a participant to withdraw funds to cover certain medical, educational, home purchase or repair items.  Funds for a hardship are available from your vested employer match, supplemental voluntary money and basic money employee contributions only. Hardship withdrawals do not require repayment, are subject to IRS penalties for early withdrawal, are taxable to the participant and do require that participants cease participation in the plan for 6 months.  Once all completed forms are submitted, this process typically takes 7 days. Hardships always require proof and documentation. Documentation must be provided to the vendor for verification. All loans must be taken before a hardship.

The “In-Service Withdrawal” option, also called a "pre-retirement cash withdrawal," is available to those employees who have reached 59 ½ years of age. This is available on supplemental contributions only.  Withdrawal requests do not have to meet certain reason requirements, they are not subject to IRS penalties for early withdrawal and they do not require participants to cease participation in the plan.  Withdrawals are taxable to the participant at the time they are received.  Once all completed forms are submitted, this process typically takes 7 days. "In-Service" must be taken before hardships.

Please contact the Benefits Department to learn more about the options available to employees to access their retirement funds while they are an active employee.  Accessing funds while employed will require you to complete forms and submit them to the Benefits Department for approval.


*This is meant to be a summary of options. Please refer to the Summary Plan Description for further information and the Plan Document will govern all administration of the plan.


How to Change Your Beneficiaries

Contact your retirement vendor(s) for changes to the beneficiaries.

Vendor Contacts

Fidelity Investments
800) 343-0860

800) 523-1188

TIAA CREF Financial Services
(800) 842-2888

Employee Contributions

An employee can elect to make a BASIC contribution to the plan up to 2% of regular salary.  This basic contribution will be matched by Emory (see Employer Matching Contributions).  If an employee elects to make a contribution over the BASIC 2% of regular salary it is called a SUPPLEMENTAL contribution.  Employees can contribute from 1% to 100% of regular salary in any increment, subject to IRS maximum deferral limits. 

The maximum deferral limit for 2010 is $16,500 per calendar year with a $5,500 catch up if 50 or older.  Employee contributions are always immediately vested at 100%.

Employees may make additional supplemental contributions to either TIAA-CREF, or to mutual funds offered by Vanguard or Fidelity Investments up to the IRS limits.

Employer Matching Contributions – up to 3%

If an employee elects to make a BASIC contribution to the 403b Savings plan, Emory will match the employee contribution as follows:

Employee contributes 1% of regular salary - Emory matches it with a 1.5% contribution
Employee contributes 2% of regular salary - Emory matches it with a 3% contribution

Any matching contributions made by Emory on behalf of an employee are vested once the employee completes 3 years of service (ie. eligible employment) with Emory. 

Review the Retirement FAQs for the elimination of the 1 year wait period for Employer contributions and if you qualify.

Employer Basic Contribution – 6%

In addition to Emory Matching Contributions to the 403b Savings Plan, Emory also provides an Employer Basic Contribution of 6% towards an eligible employees retirement.  Employees are eligible to receive this 6% contribution once they have completed one year of service with Emory.  Effective 1/1/2006, newly hired employees joining Emory may be eligible to waive the one year service requirement and the basic employer contribution can begin prior to the elimination of the one year service requirement. 

If, as a new hire, you participated in your prior employer's sponsored retirement AND received employer contributions (ie. 403b, 401k, etc.) in the plan immediately prior to joining Emory, you may qualify.  If this is the case, please complete and submit a Certification of Participation Form to Emory’s Employee Benefits department.  If you qualify, your 6% Emory Employer Basic Contribution to your retirement savings can begin the next month after your Certification of Participation Form has been approved.


New Schedule January 1, 2007

You are always 100% vested in your own contributions, but become vested in matching contributions and employer contributions over time.

For New & Existing Employees:  Effective January 1, 2007, the vesting schedule for new 6% employer contributions was changed.   Participants in the plan now become 100% vested in both Employer Basic (6%) and Employer Matching (Up to 3%) contributions after completing three years of service with Emory.  Any 6% employer basic contributions made on or before December 31, 2006 will become vested after completing five years of service.

Effective January 1, 2003: A Vesting Program Implemented

  • After completion of 1,000 hours worked in a 12-consecutive-month period, attainment of age 21 and one year of service, Emory contributes 6% of regular salary for eligible employees. These contributions vest after 5 years of employment.
  • Effective January 1, 2007 the 6% contribution vests going forward after 3 years. The 6% contributions that are within the years January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2006 remain on the 5 year vesting schedule. The 6% contributions starting on January 1, 2007 is on a 3-year vesting schedule.

Vesting Requirements Only Apply to Employees Hired After 12/31/2002.

  • Post-Docs are always vested in the plan.

Plan Information Documents

Investment Performance Chart Retirement Plan FAQs
Retirement Counseling Guide to Life Beneficiary and 403(b) Changes
Take Care - Four Ways to Invest Take Care - Investment Changes
Emory Retirement Plan Funds List Emory Employee Retirement Plan Guide.
Emory University Retirement Plan Document Emory University Retirement Plan Amendment #1

Plan Forms

2010 403b Retirement Authorization For Payroll Deduction & Vendor Selection Form  

Emory University Benefits

Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
1599 Clifton Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30322
(404) 727-7613


Emory reserves the right to terminate, suspend, withdraw, amend or modify the Plan in whole or in part at any time. Further, Emory reserves the right to terminate or modify coverage for any group of employees, active or retired and their dependents or a class of dependents at any time.