Benefits Summaries & Orientation
Grand Valley State University
Get the Summary Plan Description. This document provides further details of the Base Retirement Plan and an example of how benefits are calculated.
Participation and Vesting:Eligible faculty and staff will begin participation in the retirement plan upon employment with the University. Participants are vested 100% upon completion of two calendar years of employment. The vesting period is waived for those with a minimum of two years experience as a faculty or staff member in a governmental or private institution of higher education.
University Contribution:The University contributes an amount equal to 12% (effective July 1, 1996) of a participant's base salary plus commissions if applicable. Contributions are made to the investment options of the participants choice on a bi-weekly basis.
Participants may choose the retirement planning option that they feel best matches their goals. Participants may direct all or part of their retirement contributions into any combination of the following alternatives:
1. Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA) and /or College Retirement Equities Fund (CREF)
Tax Free-Fund Transfer:The University will allow a participant to transfer any portion of their accumulated retirement fund to another approved retirement fund to the extent permitted by law and the companies involved.
Retirement Benefits:Upon retirement at any age, death or total disability, a participant will be entitled to receive monthly or periodic income in accordance with the payment options available by the investment company, subject to any legal requirements. There will be no requirement to select an annuity payment option.
Availability of Withdrawals:
The University will permit retirement plan withdrawals on/after age 59 for current faculty and staff. Withdrawals, transfers and rollovers are also available to those who retire or terminate employment. Borrowing from the base retirement plan (University contributions) is not permitted.
Investment and Retirement Counseling:
This retirement plan will require an increased level of personal planning and counseling. The University has made arrangements to make these services available. Each participant should meet with an approved retirement counselor prior to retirement from the University and preferably no later than age 60. Retirement counselors from TIAA-CREF and Fidelity are on campus semi-annually and are available for personal appointments.
Supplemental Retirement Accounts
Supplemental Retirement Accounts
Faculty and Staff are encouraged to make a pretax contribution to a supplemental retirement account to supplement their retirement income and reduce their current tax burden. Participants can contribute up to the maximum permitted by law to any of the approved retirement investment options.
Faculty and Staff have the opportunity to participate in a 403b or 457b tax-deferred compensation plan. You can view the comparison chart below to assist you in determining which account(s) are most appropriate for your investment plans.
Get the 403b v. 457b Comparison Chart
Additional information and supplemental retirement account applications for each vendor are available in Human Resources.
If you are a current GVSU faculty or staff member with an existing supplemental retirement account and wish to change your contribution amount, forms are available online.
If you are a current GVSU faculty or staff member with an existing supplemental retirement account and wish to change your asset allocations, you must change those allocations directly with your vendor.
Financial Planning Approved Investment Firm Vendor List
403(b) and 457(b)
Fidelity Investments Tax-Exempt Services
Compounding Interest Calculator
Tax Savings Calculator