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Retirement Plan Eligibility

All employees of the University are eligible to participate in the Retirement Plan. Enrollment begins after the date they commence employment with the University, except for the following individuals:

  • A student, post-doctoral fellow or trainee performing services that are exempt from social security taxes;
  • A nonresident alien described in Section 410(b)(3)(C) of the IRC; and
  • Newly hired faculty who are not highly compensated and who are eligible to participate in the Vanderbilt University New Faculty Plan.

The following categories of University employees are eligible to participate in the Plan by making voluntary elective deferrals after the employee commences employment with the University, but they are not eligible to receive University Matching Contributions:

  • Employees who have not attained age twenty-one (21);
  • Employees in a collective bargaining unit who participate in a union-sponsored plan;
  • Temporary Employees, including those in Vanderbilt Temporary Services;
  • Part-time faculty members (except those designated as “full-status, partial-load”);
  • Full-time temporary faculty members; and
  • Faculty members whose positions include the term “adjunct,” “adjoint,” “visiting,” “emeritus,” or “in-residence.”

As of June 1, 2023, full-time regular non-union staff are eligible to receive University matching contributions and participate in the mandatory 3% contribution immediately upon hire. Additionally, all full-time regular non-union recent hires (hired June 2, 2022, and after, non-union) will also be eligible to begin receiving University matching contributions and participate in the mandatory 3% contribution.

As of January 1, 2024, newly hired or rehired full-time regular non-union staff and faculty and part-time regular non-union staff will be automatically enrolled in a 3% pre-tax contribution. For eligible employees, this 3% voluntary contribution will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Vanderbilt, along with the 3% mandatory contribution. Vanderbilt will match up to 6% of contributions to the plan (3% mandatory and 3% voluntary contributions). New hires and rehires have 35 days to make changes or opt out of the automatic deferral enrollment before contributions begin. Eligible employees can make changes to their voluntary contributions at any time during the year.

Employees are immediately vested 100% in their contributions and in the University's matching contribution upon their eligibility for participation. This means an employee immediately owns their contributions and Vanderbilt's contributions upon eligibility and may take them at the time they end employment with Vanderbilt.