A A Email Print Share

Retirement Plan Frequently Asked Questions

I am not currently enrolled in the retirement plan. How do I know if I am eligible?

All employees (part-time and full-time; union and non-union, and students) have the opportunity to participate as a voluntary member of the plan immediately upon employment.  

The Duquesne University contributions to the plan do not begin until the employee meets the eligibility requirements. Please check with the Benefits Office staff for specific details of the plan as it might apply to your situation.  There are specific rules more fully explained in the plan document.

Selecting a Carrier

The selection of your retirement carrier is a personal decision.  Review the types of accounts offered, account performance, flexibility of transferring between accounts, expenses, retirement income options and portability.

Do I need to complete any paperwork?

A Salary Reduction Agreement and Application will need to be completed.  These forms are available from the Benefits Office at extension 5106.

How do I decide how much money to deposit with each carrier?

You may select one carrier, or a combination of both.  Review carrier information and account profiles to determine which funds are available to you.

How often may I switch between carriers?

You may select a change in carriers whenever you would like.

Can I change my allocations within my designated carriers?

Yes.  You can change your allocations as often as you like simply by contacting your carrier directly.  Refer to the toll-free numbers listed on the right.

 Are there any loan features associated with our plan?

Yes, employees may take a maximum of two loans based on all accumulations.  Contact the carriers directly for more information.

Receiving Your Funds

What happens if I change employers?

Because you are fully vested in these plans, you are able to maintain your existing accounts.  Should a future nonprofit employer offer these accounts, depending on their plan design, you may be able to resume tax-deferred contributions.  In any event, the funds and accounts are yours.

 When do I receive my retirement money?

Because the plan is designed to help you save for your retirement, current IRS regulations stipulate that you cannot take withdrawals from tax-deferred accounts until you permanently leave the University, or reach age 59 ½.  Withdrawals made before age 59 ½ due to separation from service, disability, or hardship are subject to penalties and taxes unless certain exceptions are met.  Contact the carriers directly for more information. 

Can I rollover monies from a previous employer into this plan?

Yes, the Duquesne University plan will accept rollovers from other pre-tax sources. Contact the carriers directly for more information.

What happens to retirement plan funds after I leave the University?

The money deposited with the retirement plan belongs to you and is immediately vested.  If you leave Duquesne University, you may:

  • Leave your contributions on deposit toward retirement at a later date, these funds will continue to earn interest and applicable dividends;
  • Arrange for a direct rollover of  your account accumulations to another qualified retirement account program, such as an Individual Retirement Account or an employer-sponsored retirement plan;
  • Request a distribution to be paid directly to you; or
  • Make application to begin receiving your retirement benefits, if eligible

NOTE: Any decision you make about funds in a retirement plan may have associated tax and penalty costs. You are strongly encouraged to consult with the retirement plan vendor or your financial advisor before making any decisions.

Voluntary Contributions

How do I change my voluntary contributions?

IRS rules allow you to increase or decrease your contribution by completing a new salary reduction agreement.  Salary reduction agreements are available from the Benefits Office at extension 5106 or from our Web site under “Benefits Forms” at www.hr.duq.edu.  You may complete a new salary reduction agreement as often as you would like.

How much can I contribute?

Federal tax law limits the maximum you can contribute.  The limit for calendar year 2013 is $17,500.

Can I ever contribute more?

Yes, individuals age 50 and above can contribute additional monies.  The limit for calendar year 2013 is $23,000.

Also, you may qualify for a “15 Year Rule” calculation (an extra $3,000 per year) if you have at least 15 years of completed service with Duquesne University and a maximum exclusion calculation indicates that you qualify for this maximum.  There is a lifetime limit of $15,000 under this Rule.

Why should I contribute on a voluntary basis?

Voluntary retirement contributions enable you to put aside savings for the future and reduce taxes now.  Your voluntary contributions are automatically made before taxes through the University payroll system.