A A Email Print Share

The Administrative Policies



This policy applies to all University employees.


Duquesne University sponsors Internal Revenue Code 403(b) Defined Contribution Retirement Plan (the Plan) for the benefit of its eligible employees. This plan is intended to help employees meet their financial needs during retirement.

I. Eligible Classes of Employees

All employees of the University are eligible to contribute to the Plan on a voluntary basis the first day of the month following their date of hire. The only class of employees that may not make any contributions to the Plan are student employees while receiving wages that are not subject to FICA taxation.

The information contained in this Policy represents only a portion of the actual provisions of the Plan. The complete terms and conditions concerning the discussed benefit are described in the actual Plan documents. Plan documents can be found on the Office of Human Resources website.

II. Contributions

To enroll in the plan, employees must complete and sign a Salary Reduction Agreement form and a vendor application. These items can be found on the Office of Human Resources website.

Contributions to the Plan are deducted before federal income taxes are calculated. IRS Regulations establish the retirement plan contribution limits each calendar year. Employees may not contribute more than these established yearly limits.

III. University Contributions

The University will make an additional contribution to the Plan equal to 8% of an eligible employee's compensation if an employee:

A. Contributes 5% of their compensation to the Plan,

B. meets the Plan's additional eligibility requirements, and

C. is not in a category excluded from University contributions.

Employees who are excluded from receiving University contributions include adjunct faculty, residents, post and pre-doctoral fellows, graduate assistants, student employees, "on call" employees and "special assignment" employees.

Eligible employees are required to participate in the Plan as a condition of employment once the following standards are met:

Employment Classification Must Participate No Later Than
Faculty Members, Executives, Administrators Upon completion of 1 Year of Continuous Service and attainment of age 35, whichever comes last.
Support Staff Upon completion of 5 Years of Continuous Service and attainment of age 35, whichever comes last.
SEIU, Local 32-BJ Upon completion of 1 Year of Continuous Service (unless you are grandfathered).
IUOE, Local 95 Upon completion of 1 Year of Continuous Service (unless you are grandfathered).
SPFPA, Local 502 Upon completion of 5 Years of Continuous Service and attainment of age 35, whichever comes last.
Teamsters, Local 249 No mandatory participation.

Newly-hired employees may waive the one year waiting period for University contributions if they have completed at least one year of qualifying service in an eligible status with an educational institution:

A. including primary and secondary schools as well as universities,

B. including the University in the case of a rehire, and

C. not including vocational or technical schools

Compensation refers to regular fiscal and academic year salaries and will not apply to over-time payment, bonuses, awards, summer, or over-load teaching salaries. University contributions and any investment earnings on such contributions are not subject to federal income taxes until they are distributed from the Plan.

Employees are 100% vested in University contributions and any earnings on such contributions at all times.

Mandatory participants that do not complete the paperwork to enroll in the Plan will have their contributions invested in the default fund with Fidelity.

IV. Leave of Absence

Employees on a paid leave of absence will continue their Plan contributions during leave, provided that they continue to make contributions to the Duquesne University 403(b) Defined Contribution Retirement Plan. No Plan contributions will be made during an unpaid leave. Employees absent during a period of qualified military service may be entitled to make-up Plan contributions upon return to employment with the University. Employees are to contact the Benefits Office for additional information if affected by this provision.

V. Investment of Accounts

Employees are responsible for directing the investment of their accounts under the Plan. They may choose from a diverse menu of investment options (funding vehicles) offered by the fund sponsors. The fund sponsors are:

• Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA)

• College Retirement Equities Fund (CREF)

• Fidelity Investments Tax-Exempt Services Company (Fidelity)

VI. Application for Benefits

Procedures for the receipt of benefits under the Plan may be initiated by contacting the appropriate fund sponsor. Benefits shall be payable by the fund sponsor upon receipt of a satisfactorily completed application for benefits and supporting documents. Application forms shall be provided to a participant (or his or her beneficiary (ies), if applicable) by the fund sponsor.

VII. Plan Amendment and Termination

The University reserves the right to amend the Plan at any time, for any reason, provided that no such amendment will adversely affect employees' vested benefits under the Plan. The University expects to continue the Plan indefinitely; however, in the unlikely event that the University decides to terminate the Plan, employees will be 100% vested in their accounts.

VIII. Plan Administration

The Plan Administrator has the sole discretion to interpret the provisions of the Plan and to determine all questions of fact arising under the Plan.
It is understood that these benefits are intended to comply with all existing federal or state benefit or tax regulations. The complete terms and conditions concerning the plan can be found in the plan document located on the Office of Human Resources website.

IX. Related Information

TAP No. 18, Retirement Benefits - All University Employees

X. Violations

Violations of this policy will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and are subject to formal disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

XI. History

Date of most recent revision: October 2012.

XII. Ownership of Policy

Office of Human Resources