Office of the Provost

Retirement Program

The University of Pittsburgh Retirement Program, established under the Internal Revenue Code, allows employees to elect from two pension plan options: a Contributory Pension Plan (TIAA-CREF/Vanguard) and a Noncontributory Defined Benefit Pension Plan.  After the initial enrollment election, employees may terminate participation in the Noncontributory Defined Benefit Pension Plan and become participants in the Contributory Pension Plan if they meet the eligibility requirements.  Employees may change plans only once during their careers at the University of Pittsburgh.

Noncontributory Defined Benefit Pension Plan

The retirement benefit under this plan is determined by a set formula which takes into account salary and years of participation in the plan and age at retirement.  The Noncontributory Defined Benefit Pension Plan is funded totally by University contributions.  The plan does not require employee contributions.

Benefits may be available on the month following the last day of work if the age, service, and vesting requirements are fulfilled and the employee did not enroll in one of the contributory tax-deferred plans. Under this plan, separation from employment at 65 years of age is considered normal retirement. Early retirement, at a reduced benefit, is permitted on or after age 55, with at least 10 years of service.

Contributory Pension Plan

Full-time faculty, librarians, and research associates, as well as part-time tenured or tenure-stream faculty and part-time faculty librarians with the expectation of continuing employment, may make an elective tax deferred retirement contribution and receive a University matching contribution.  Within the limits permitted by tax regulations, supplemental contributions without a match may also be made.

Employees who are not eligible for a University matching contribution may make personal elective tax deferred contributions, known as supplemental contributions, within the limits permitted by tax regulations.

Booklets and other documents issued by TIAA/CREF and The Vanguard Group explain in detail the investment, annuity, and benefits provisions of the Contributory Pension Plan.  To speak with a counselor regarding specific investment or distribution options, employees may reach either vendor as follows:

TIAA/CREF 1-800-842-2776
The Vanguard Group 1-800-523-1188

When a faculty member separates from University employment, regardless of age or official University retirement status, he or she may allow the retirement accounts to stand in full or in part until a future time and continue to make deposits to the accounts, or to access all or part of the accounts through a variety of cash and/or annuity options. If a faculty member’s participation is fully vested, the funds, including all matching contributions made by the University, remain in the account. If a faculty member’s participation is subject to delayed vesting and University employment is ended prior to the vesting of the University's contributions, only the faculty member’s portion of the funds remains in the account(s) with the carrier(s).

Information pertaining to participation in these plans is available from the Benefits Department of the Office of Human Resources.