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Your USNH Retirement Benefits

April 14, 2010

The University System of New Hampshire (USNH) offers its benefits-eligible faculty and staff the opportunity to participate in a defined contribution 403(b) retirement plan.  Within the plan a variety of investment opportunities permit employees to take greater personal control of their retirement program while setting aside tax-deferred dollars.  Employees may participate with one or both of the defined contribution providers, TIAA/CREF or Fidelity Investment Corporation.

USNH and the faculty/staff member contribute a fixed percentage of regular budgeted salary to the retirement plan on a bi-weekly basis.  There are two levels of contributions to choose from:

Employee contribution                                      USNH contribution
2 ½ percent of salary                                       5 percent of salary
6 percent of salary*                                         6 percent of salary*

* After one full year of the participation at the 6 percent level, the USNH contribution will increase to 11 percent.

Supplemental Retirement Contributions –

Per the IRS, employees under 50 years old can tax-defer up to $16,500 and employees 50 years old and over can tax-defer up to $22,000 in their 403(b) plan annually. This can be achieved by contributing to a supplemental retirement account. As long as the employee is already contributing to the retirement plan at the 6 percent level, additional funds can be added to a Regular Investment Contribution (RIC) account or a Supplemental Retirement Account (SRA). These accounts have no employer match. 

While the USNH 403(b) plan only allows withdrawals upon termination or retirement, the SRA has a loan and hardship feature which, under certain circumstances, may allow access to the funds in the SRA only.

Some of the benefits of enrolling in the USNH retirement program are:

  • Contributions are deducted from your pay on a pre-tax basis.  You will not pay federal income tax on the funds until they are withdrawn.
  • Contributions are deducted directly from your pay and transferred to your retirement account.
  • Online access to your account.
  • Vendor representatives are available on campus for individual consultations.
  • Ability to contribute supplemental funds to achieve maximum allowable IRS annual limits.
  • When participating at the 6 percent level for a year, USNH increases their contribution to 11 percent.

Enrollment –

To enroll, sign in at www.myusnhbenefits.net and enroll in or change retirement benefits.  If enrolling in the USNH retirement plan for the first time an account with TIAA-CREF and/or Fidelity will need to be opened as well. Instructions for enrolling at the vendor sites can be found at http://www.unh.edu/hr/retire.htm .

Additional information is available on the Human Resources website at http://www.unh.edu/hr/retire.htm or by contacting Kristie Camacho at 2-0509 or Sue Nolan at 2-0504. We strongly encourage employees to take advantage of this benefit so please enroll today.  We are happy to provide enrollment assistance and to answer any questions you may have.

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