Human Resources

Retirement Plans

Matching Retirement Plan

The College provides retirement benefits through a 403(b) tax-deferred defined contribution plan. Eligibility criteria and waiting periods for the College’s matching contribution vary by classification of employment. An employee who meets the eligibility requirements must contribute, as a condition of employment, 3% of base salary on a pre-tax basis to receive the College’s 9% match. Upon enrollment, all contributions are 100% vested.

You may elect to direct your contributions to accounts with Fidelity, TIAA-CREF, or VALIC. Your election may include one, two or all three of these vendors.

In order to the vendor to receive these funds, you must establish an account with the vendor(s) of your choice.

You will need to complete the appropriate fund application(s) and the Salary Reduction Agreement form to complete your enrollment.

Voluntary Tax-Deferred Annuity Plan (TDA)

The College offers a 403(b) tax-deferred annuity plan that allows employees to make voluntary, tax-deferred contributions through payroll deduction to either supplement or initiate their retirement savings. Employees may make pre-tax voluntary contributions to this plan up to the annual limits allowed for 403(b) plans according to the IRS code. No matching contributions are made by the College into the TDA plan.

For the 2015 calendar year, the IRS general limit is $18,000. Employees age 50 and older can contribute an additional $6,000 under the "catch-up" provision.

In both plans, employees may direct their contributions and those of the College (if applicable) to be invested in funds offered by TIAA-CREF, Fidelity, or VALIC.

To enroll in these plans, an employee must complete the appropriate application and a Salary Reduction Agreement between the employee and the College before deductions can be made. A new agreement is required for each salary deduction change.

Employees may increase, decrease or stop Voluntary Contributions once per calendar quarter by completing and submitting to Human Resources a new Salary Reduction Agreement form. Changes will become effective as soon as practicable after, but not later than, the first day of the calendar month after you submit your form.

Verification of Service Credit

Emerson provides credit towards participation in its matching retirement plan based on previous employment at other accredited, degree-granting colleges and universities. The new employee must fill out a Verification of Service Credit form, verifying that he/she has been employed by another higher educational institution for at least two years, at at least 1000 hours per year, and that this employment immediately preceded their employment at Emerson College (within 120 days).

Fee Disclosures

In accordance with federal fee disclosure reporting requirements, the attached documents related to the Emerson College Defined Contribution Retirement Plan (Summary of Plan Services and Costs and the Investment Options Comparison Chart) are provided for newly hired employees to the College. If you have any questions concerning this information, please contact Crystina Hammond in Human Resources via e-mail ( or by phone at 617-824-8583.

2014 Fee Disclosure

On-Site Counseling Sessions

Financial consultants from Fidelity, TIAA-CREF, and VALIC come on-site monthly to meet individually with employees. For more information, including the current year's schedule of on-site meetings and information on registering for these meetings, select the vendor link below:

Fidelity On-Site Counseling Sessions

TIAA-CREF On-Site Counseling Sessions

VALIC On-Site Counseling Sessions