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403(b) Retirement Plan

Your retirement plan through Linfield University is an important part of your total compensation package. As a valued employee, we want to help you build a more financially secure future. Please see the questions below and the plan document for more information about your retirement plan.

Retirement Plan Forms

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the University contribute towards my retirement?

Effective October 1, 2021, Linfield University will contribute 3%* of your eligible gross wages into your 403(b) retirement plan the pay period following your one (1) year anniversary with the University. Employer contributions to the 403(b) -retirement account are subject to a 5-year vesting schedule, 20% per year beginning from date of hire. Anyone hired on or after July 01, 2019, will have a 5-year vesting schedule for all university contributions. Personal retirement contributions can begin at any time and are immediately 100% vested. 

*At this time, the 3% Linfield contribution is approved through June 30, 2023.

Who is eligible for the University’s contribution? You must be 21 years of age and complete one service period, which is measured by twelve (12) months have passed since your hire date.  You are not eligible if you are a temporary employee or adjunct faculty.

When do I start receiving the University’s contribution?

The University will make its first contribution toward your retirement plan the pay period immediately following the eligibility requirement above.  For example, if your hire date is July 15 the University’s retirement contribution will begin on the September paycheck of the following calendar year.

Am I eligible to have any portion of the one year of service waiting period waived?

Employees shall receive credit for service performed for an institution of higher education immediately prior to hiring by Linfield University, providing the Employee received Employer Contributions under the prior Employer's retirement plan in the twelve-month period immediately preceding the Employee's hire by Linfield University.  Sufficient verifying documentation is required.


Any time you were previously employed by Linfield University (not through a temporary employment agency or voluntary work) will count as credit toward the twelve (12) month service period as long as the previous employment was performed in the past twelve (12) months or less.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

 Your 403(b) retirement plan is carried by the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA).

 Please contact TIAA directly to:

  • Change your fund allocations
  • Change your address on your statements
  • Get a prospectus on an individual fund
  • Transfer money from one retirement account into another
  • Receive some investment advice or retirement counseling
  • Check on your online balance
  • Change the beneficiary on your retirement account
  • Get a pre-retirement illustration
  • Request a distribution (loan, hardship withdrawal or other distribution)

Do you have your online account?

It’s fast and easy to enroll and you can do so much online. You’ll receive instructions from TIAA about creating your online account upon enrollment. 

TIAA Contact Info

Phone Assistance: Call (800) 842-2776
Monday – Friday, 5:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Pacific Time
Saturday, 6:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Pacific Time
In-Person Assistance:  Call (866) 928-4221 x472649
Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Pacific Time

To sign up for an individual appointment for personalized advice

Online assistance at

  • Research information on new investment options
  • Click on the link to salary deferral tool
  • Click on the link to “Account Access” to submit asset allocation and beneficiary designation changes

Email: After creating your ID and password, log in to your account to send a secure email

Mailing Address: TIAA
P.O. Box 1259
Charlotte, NC 28201

When can I start contributing toward my retirement?

You can start contributing toward your retirement on your first paycheck. All Linfield employees are welcome to participate, including our adjunct faculty and temporary employees.

We make it very easy for you to contribute through payroll deductions. Please get started by completing a Retirement Contribution Form. Let us know how much you would like to contribute to your retirement account and your tax preferences (pre-tax or post-tax).


What Are the 403(b) Contribution Limits for 2022?

403(b) contribution limits consist of two parts: your contribution and your employer’s contributions. On your end, you can defer up to $20,500 from your salary to your 403(b) in 2022. If you exceed this contribution limit, the IRS will tax your funds twice.

There is an exception for employees over the age of 50. These workers can defer an extra $6,500 in 2022 as a “catch-up” contribution.

How do I make changes to my retirement contributions?

You can change your amount, start or stop your contribution at any time by completing a new Retirement Contribution Form.  Your changes are not official until your completed salary reduction form is turned in to the Office of Human Resources. Please keep in mind that your changes may be delayed by one month when your form is not submitted before the payroll deadline for that month.

What are my investment options?

You have a wide range of investment options covering different styles and risk levels enabling you to create a well-balanced portfolio. Please visit TIAA's website for more information about your investment choices and performance.

Simple Choice

TIAA’s LifeCycle Funds can help simplify your retirement investing. Life cycle funds are an alternative for those who don’t have the time, desire, or investment knowledge to research, create, and manage a well-diversified portfolio on their own. Each fund invests in a combination of well-established mutual funds and is professionally managed to provide a consistent retirement investment strategy over time.  This may be a good decision for you if you want to make a single decision based on your projected retirement age and have your portfolios automatically rebalanced and adjusted as you get closer to retirement.

Would you like your contributions to be Pre-tax or Post-tax?  With your retirement funds, you have the choice to contribute on a traditional pre-tax basis, on an after-tax basis, or a combination of the two as long as you don’t exceed the total IRS contribution limit for the year. In making this decision, you will want to consider what is best for your personal circumstances and savings goal.

Pre-tax: With a traditional pre-tax contribution, the money you invest is tax deductible, but the money you withdraw at retirement will be taxed at the then-current date.

After-tax: When you contribute on an after-tax basis your contributions will be taxed, but at retirement, your earnings can be withdrawn tax-free. You may want to contribute on an after tax basis if you wish to minimize taxable income upon retirement.

Combination: When you choose a combination, your money in an after-tax contribution is taxed at the front end, but your money in a traditional pre-tax contribution is taxed at the back end. This is another method that people use to diversify their retirement assets.

For more information, please see your TIAA representative. 

How can I build and protect my retirement savings?

Savings For Retirement Booklet (TIAA) – for tips to help you take advantage of the power of compounding, maximizing your workplace savings, and some ideas on where to find the extra money to save.

Retirement Estimator (Social Security Administration) – an online retirement calculator designed to help people plan for retirement. The SSA’s Retirement Estimator automatically pulls information from a person’s actual Social Security earnings record. In addition, TIAA offers a variety of calculators online.

What happens if I leave the University?

I am under 59 ½:   When you separate from the University and you are not age 59 ½ or older, please call TIAA at 1-800-842-2776 to discuss your distribution options with a plan representative. You have a few options to manage the funds on your retirement accounts, they are:

  1. Leave the funds with TIAA
  2. Roll the funds into an IRA
  3. Roll the funds into another tax-deferred retirement plan, such as a 403(b), 401(k), or 457(b)
  4. Make a cash withdrawal within 120 days of your termination date. There will be a 10-12.5% penalty incurred and a 20% withheld for federal taxes at the time of withdrawal. State income taxes would also be applicable

I am planning to retire:  Congratulations on your upcoming retirement!  Please contact the Office of Human Resources. 

Plan Documents