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Plan Eligibility: Faculty

Contribution Levels

  • Mandatory. As a new faculty member you will be automatically enrolled in the Vanderbilt University Retirement Plan at the mandatory level. This level is required as a condition of employment and contributions must be made on a pre-tax basis (not Roth). The contribution is fixed at 3% of your salary and Vanderbilt will make a contribution of 3% of your eligible salary. If your appointment date is the first of a month, your enrollment begins that month; if your appointment date is any other day of the month, your enrollment begins on the first of the month following your appointment date.
  • Voluntary (formerly basic and supplemental). You may choose an additional pre-tax or Roth contribution percentage up to the annual limit set by the Internal Revenue Service. The first 2% of your voluntary contributions are matched 100% dollar-for-dollar by Vanderbilt as long as you contribute at least 2%. You must take action and enroll in the voluntary level to receive these matching dollars. For current IRS limits, please see the Investment Limits section. Due to IRS regulations, before voluntary contributions (and any corresponding match) can be calculated, any mandatory contribution amounts are to be deducted from salary, and then voluntary contributions are calculated on that resulting amount. 

Note: Effective in April 2015, deductions for both basic and supplemental contributions will be combined and listed as voluntary contributions on pay statements. 

For More Information

Please contact the Human Resources. For complete details of the Retirement plan, refer to the Retirement Plan Summary Plan Description.


*For faculty and executive administration members: If your gross compensation exceeds $120,000 by December 31 of your first year working at Vanderbilt, you will be deemed a highly compensated employee for that plan year and your match will stop until you reach the one-year anniversary of your appointment date. At that time, matching contributions will resume. A highly compensated employee is defined by the Internal Revenue Code Section 414(q) as a specified indexed amount ($120,000 for 2016). This is a requirement of the Plan to meet non-discrimination regulations. See the Faculty Manual for a full explanation.