Human Resources > Benefits > 403(b) Retirement Plan > Plan Features

Retirement Plan Features

​​​Participation in the plan is voluntary, and all employee and university contributions are 100 percent vested effective with the date that funds are transferred into the plan.

Annual Contribution Limits for 2021:

  • General Employee Contribution: $19,500
  • Age 50 Catch-up Contribution: $6,500

Contributions are tax-deferred, which means they are not subject to state or federal income taxes at the time of the payroll deduction. Accumulations in the plan, including earnings on contributions, are tax-deferred until withdrawn from the plan.

DePaul Matching Contribution

Faculty and staff who are eligible to make salary deferrals are also eligible to receive the university matching contribution, which is currently 5 percent, upon meeting the following criteria:

  • Completion of one year of service (including 1,000 hours of work or the equivalent course load),
  • Attainment of age 21, and
  • Salary deferral of at least 5 percent to the plan.

Note: As announced on Oct. 25, 2021, the university matching contribution will be restored to 10 percent on January 1, 2022. Last year, DePaul reduced its 403(b) match from 10 percent to 5 percent effective Oct. 1, 2020, to address financial pressures tied to the pandemic.

Union employees may contribute to the plan but are not eligible for university matching contributions.

For full-time faculty and staff with previous experience at another institution of higher education, the one year of service may be able to be waived. (Documentation must be submitted within 90 days of hire; contact Benefits for details). 


University matching contributions and employee deferrals are fully and immediately vested. That is, 100 percent of the university contributions and related earnings are fully owned by the participant, and none are forfeited should the employee terminate employment.

Enroll or Change Your Elections

If you are a new employee, review the Enrollment Guide for details on making your 403(b) Plan elections. If you are a current employee who has not yet enrolled, or if you have already enrolled in the 403(b) but want to change your elections, review the DePaul 403(b) User Guide for instructions.


You may direct your own contributions, university matching contributions and related earnings to any fund offered by Fidelity Investments. (TIAA investment options are available to participants who had TIAA accounts as of 10/1/2017.) If you do not select an investment, your contributions will be invested in the appropriate Vanguard Target Retirement Fund, based on your date of birth.


It is important to review your beneficiaries to ensure your desired elections are in place. Beneficiary designations are completed separately for Fidelity and TIAA account balances by contacting the respective retirement provider directly. If you are married and do not make a valid designation, the default beneficiary is your spouse. If you are not married, the default beneficiary is your estate.

Loans and Withdrawals

As an active employee, you may be able to borrow or withdraw from your 403(b) account accumulations. Contact Fidelity or TIAA directly to obtain details on available amounts or to request a loan or withdrawal.

Loans are available from Fidelity and TIAA. Balances eligible for loans include employee contributions and related earnings other than those from the TIAA annuity products. Loans are regulated by the IRS rules and guidelines. See the Summary Plan Description for full details.

For in-service withdrawals and distributions, you must meet the following requirements: age 59 1/2, phased retirement, financial hardship, rollover contributions, or contributions prior to 1989. Please see the Summary Plan Description for more details.

Terminated employees may request a full distribution of available accumulations by contacting Fidelity or TIAA directly.