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How Your JHU Retirement Plans Compare

Understanding your retirement plans is important, particularly for support staff, who will need to make an informed decision during our upcoming Retirement Choice period – March 18 to April 15, 2011. Take a look at this side-by-side comparison of the key plan features of all of our retirement plans.

If you are eligible for Retirement Choice, you have the option of moving from the Support Staff Pension Plan and Staff Voluntary 403(b) Plan to the new Johns Hopkins University 403(b) Plan effective July 1, 2011. (If you are not sure if you are eligible for Retirement Choice, click here to learn more.) This table provides a helpful side-by-side comparison of the plans.

JHU Retirement Plans
At-A-Glance
  Support Staff
Pension Plan
Staff Voluntary
403(b) Plan
403(b) Retirement Plan
(effective7/1/2011)
Faculty and Senior
Staff 403(b)
Retirement Plan
Who is eligible Support staff with at least two years of service Support staff Support staff All Sr. Directors, Sr. staff, Faculty, Deans and Executives
How your benefit is determined Based on a formula that takes into account your length of service, earnings/salary history, and your age when retirement income payments begin Account balance includes: Your contributions PLUS university matching contributions (after two years of service, 20% of the first 3% of base salary that you contribute) PLUS investment returns* Account balance includes: Your contributions PLUS university contributions (4% of base pay, if you are under age 35 and have two years of service; and 8% of base pay, if you are age 35 or older) PLUS investment returns* Account balance includes: Your contributions PLUS university contributions (6% of base pay, if you are under age 35 and have two years of service; and 12% of base pay, if you are age 35 or older) PLUS investment returns*
How your benefit is paid when you retire You may choose to receive your benefit as a monthly payment or as a lump sum** You may choose to receive your benefit as a lump sum, installments, or purchase an annuity You may choose to receive your benefit as a lump sum, installments, or purchase an annuity You may choose to receive your benefit as a lump sum, installments, or purchase an annuity
Who makes investment decisions Johns Hopkins University You do You do You do
When you are vested (own your benefit) If you were first employed prior to July 1, 1993, you are fully vested after five years of service; if you were hired on or after July 1, 1993, you are fully vested once you become a plan participant (usually after two years of service) You are immediately 100% vested in contributions made by you and the university You are immediately 100% vested in contributions made by you and the university You are immediately 100% vested in contributions made by you and the university
When contributions are made to your account Annually Your contribution is made every pay period; the university contribution is made monthly Your contribution is made every pay period; the university contribution is made monthly Your contribution is made every pay period; the university contribution is made monthly
Your contributions None – fully paid by Johns Hopkins University You may contribute from $7.50 per pay pre-tax up to the IRS limit, which is $16,500 in 2011, if under age 50; or $22,000 if age 50 or older You may contribute from $7.50 per pay pre-tax up to the IRS limit, which is $16,500 in 2011, if under age 50; or $22,000 if age 50 or older You may contribute from $7.50 per pay pre-tax up to the IRS limit, which is $16,500 in 2011, if under age 50; or $22,000 if age 50 or older

*The rate of return on 403(b) retirement plan investments will depend on the performance of the investment options you select. Like other stock-based investments, a positive return on your investment is not guaranteed.

**A lump sum is only available if the benefit amount is under $1,000. If the amount is between $1,000 and $5,000, it can be transferred to a Prudential IRA.

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