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New Retirement Plan Announced

On January 18th, we announced a new 403(b) plan for support staff. This announcement was distributed via email and a home mailing to support staff members. Here's a recap of what's new, who's affected, why we're introducing a new plan, and how you can learn more.

What's New?

  • A new retirement plan introduced. A new Johns Hopkins University 403(b) Plan is being introduced on July 1, 2011. The current Support Staff Pension Plan and Staff Voluntary 403(b) Plan will no longer be available to new support staff members effective July 1, 2011.
  • What the new 403(b) Plan offers. For support staff members working at least 19 hours per week, this new plan will provide a university contribution of 4% of pay, if you are under age 35 and 8% of pay if you are age 35 or over. Support staff under age 35 will become eligible for the university's contribution after two years of service, or when they turn 35, whichever comes first.
  • Current support staff hired prior to July 1, 2009 must choose one plan or the other. We are offering Retirement Choice—it's a one-time opportunity to choose how you wish to accrue future retirement benefits. You may either stay in the current Support Staff Pension Plan and Staff Voluntary 403(b) Plan or move to the new 403(b) Plan.
  • Eligible support staff hired between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2011 go directly into the new plan on July 1, 2011. You can begin making voluntary contributions immediately and will receive the university's contribution once you have completed two years of service or reach age 35, whichever comes first.
  • Support staff hired July 1, 2011 or later go into the new plan. New hires will become eligible for the new plan on their date of hire and receive the university's contribution once they complete two years of service or reach age 35, whichever comes first.

Who's Affected?

To see how this new retirement plan could affect you, review the chart below.

Your JHU Employee Status & Service Impacted by retirement changes? Eligible for Retirement Choice?
Support Staff hired prior to July 1, 2009 Yes Yes. You will be asked to choose between your current retirement plan and the new 403(b) Plan.
Support Staff hired between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2011 Yes No. You will become eligible for the new 403(b) Plan on July 1, 2011. You will begin receiving the university's contribution once you complete two years of service or reach age 35, whichever comes first.
Support Staff hired July 1, 2011 or later Yes No. You will become eligible for the new 403(b) Plan on your date of hire. You will begin receiving the university's contribution once you complete two years of service or reach age 35, whichever comes first.
Current Senior Staff No No
Current Faculty
Current Bargaining Unit Members

Why Introduce a New Plan?

The introduction of the new 403(b) Plan supports the university's goals of providing all employees with a competitive defined contribution plan (or 403(b) plan) for retirement savings. The new defined contribution plan offers you the ability to contribute directly to the growth of your retirement benefit, manage your investments and take your plan accounts with you should you choose to leave the university. Additionally, it encourages shared responsibility in saving for retirement, and offers more predictable retirement plan costs for the university.

How to Learn More

The myChoices website will be your primary destination for information about the new retirement plan. Here's a preview of the information that will be made available to affected employees:

  • More newsletters focusing on retirement benefits and making your choice
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Town Hall meetings (spouses and domestic partners are invited, too)
  • Retirement Choice Fairs
  • Decision toolkits mailed to homes
  • One-on-one investment vendor meetings
  • Access to an online plan comparison tool that offers support staff personalized data for making their choice during the Retirement Choice period

More information will be coming in the weeks ahead. If you have questions, please contact the Benefits Service Center at 410-516-2000 or email our Benefits team at retirementchoice@jhu.com.

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