IMPORTANT: You have 30 days from the effective date of your appointment to choose your retirement plan.  If you do not make your decision within that time period, state regulations require that you automatically be enrolled in SERS.   Once you choose a retirement plan, it is irrevocable. You may not change retirement plans.  However, you may enroll in a TIAA-CREF supplemental retirement plan at any time.

Regardless of the plan you choose, you are required to contribute a percentage of your income to the retirement plan. All Penn State retirement plan contributions are tax deferred.

Selection of a retirement plan is part of your on-line benefits enrollment through ESSIC, and is the first of a two-step process. You also must complete an enrollment form for your chosen retirement plan.

TIAA-CREF

This is a defined contribution plan. Retirement income is determined by the amount you contribute (5%), the amount contributed by Penn State (9.29%), and the performance of the investments you choose. Therefore, there is no rule of thumb for calculating, far in advance, the amount of TIAA-CREF benefit that you might receive at time of retirement.

All questions regarding the Penn State TIAA-CREF Retirement and/or Supplemental Retirement plans should be directed to TIAA-CREF at 1-800-842-2252, Mon through Fri, 8 am - 10pm and Sat from 9 am - 6pm.

SERS

This is a defined benefit plan; members contribute 6.25% of their gross salary per pay period. Retirement income is determined by:

  • Your length of service
  • Your average salary for the three highest years of earnings

You can estimate the amount of annual retirement benefit by applying the following formula:

2% x Your Participating Years of Service x Your Average of the Highest Three Years of Earnings*

*Employees who were hired prior to January 1, 2010, or have participated in SERS before 2010, your formula is that which was in effect in 2010.

If you would like to enroll in this plan, SERS will provide enrollment form materials needed.

Presentations

Additional Resources