Retirement Plan Comparison (After 2011)

Please Note: The following SERS information pertains to employees who were hired after January 1, 2011 and have never made contributions to State Employees' Retirement System (SERS) prior to their hire date.

If you were hired prior to January 1, 2011 or paid and withdrew contributions to SERS, your benefit is the plan which was in effect prior to 2011.

Retirement Plan Comparison (Hired After 2011)
Type of Annuity Fixed

Once your retirement amount is determined, it will not change except by legislative action

Fixed annuities remain fixed except for special dividends.

Variable annuities vary depending on the performance of the stock account, bond fund or money market, global equities, growth account, equity index account, social choice, CREF Inflation-Linked Bond, and TIAA Real Estate
Contribution Rate* Employee contributes: 6.25% of gross earnings

University contributions: are determined by the State Retirement Board, as prescribed by state law
Employee contributes: 5% of gross earnings

University contributes: 9.29% of gross earnings as prescribed by state law
Income Tax on Contributions Contributions are not subject to federal income tax unless they are returned to the employee Contributions are not subject to federal income tax unless they are returned to the employee
Administrative Charges None None
Interest on Paid Contributions 4.00% annually The rate of return you receive will vary based on the underlying investments you choose. Please refer to the "Plan Performance Card" on the left in this TIAA website.
Qualifying to Receive Retirement Income a. Full retirement income at age 65 with at least 3 years of credited service, or any age with 35 or more years of credited service, and your age plus years of credited service equals 92 or higher.

b. Reduced retirement income with 10 or more years service and under age 65
Retirement income may commence at any age. No minimum length of membership is required
Amount of Retirement Income a. Full retirement = 2% x years of service x average earnings for 3 highest years

b. Reduced retirement = same as (a) x actuarial age reduction factor
Retirement income depends on age at retirement, the total member and University contributions, and the earnings experience of the TIAA fund
Adjustments in Retirement Income May be provided by legislation Fixed annuities may be increased by dividends.

Variable annuities are adjusted annually (may decrease)
Vesting Rights Ten years of credited service, or age 65 or over with three or more years of credited service Available immediately
Disability Benefit Annuity payable after 5 years of service based on years of service, age, and earnings for highest 3 years No disability. Annuity payable immediately or at a later date as determined in section above
Death Benefit to a Beneficiary Less than 10 years of service: member's contributions plus accumulated interest.

More than 10 years of service: amount determined by formula
Full current value of account based on employee and University contributions. A lump sum refund or various payment options are available.
Purchase of Additional Credit The following credits may be purchased:

a. Service with any PA state agency

b. Up to five years of military

c. Up to ten years out-of-state teaching service
A member may make additional contributions directly to TIAA at any time through a supplemental retirement plan.
Refund Provision at Termination Refund of employee's contributions plus accumulated interest if member has fewer than 10 years of service Employee is entitled to the full value of the account. Restrictions apply to funds in a TIAA Traditional Annuity that exceed $2,000. All other amounts are cashable. Employees are not required to transfer funds at termination of their employment.
Portability or Transferability May be transferred if employed by a state agency participating in SERS Transferable if employed by another participating TIAA institution

*  Max annual earnings considered for retirement plan contributions in 2017 is $270,000