Retirement Benefits Policy Highlights
UC Retirement Savings Program
Postdoctoral Scholar-Employees, Employee NEX, and Interim Employees, as Safe Harbor participants contribute 7.5% of gross salary to the University of California Defined Contribution Plan in lieu of Social Security taxes, and are not eligible for membership in the University of California Retirement Plan (UCRP). In addition, postdoctoral scholars pay Medicare taxes. Postdoctoral scholars may elect to make voluntary contributions to any of the Retirement Savings Program plans.
Defined Contribution Plan (DCP)
- Pre-Tax/Safe Harbor Account – Employees who are not in a UC- sponsored defined benefit retirement plan make mandatory contributions of 7.5% of earnings up to the Social Security wage base to the Pretax Account in lieu of paying the Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance portion of Social Security taxes (Safe Harbor contributions). Although payroll reductions default to the Savings Fund, participants are offered a mix of internally and externally managed investment options.
- After Tax Account – Voluntary participation in the After- Tax Account is available to all University employees except students who normally work less than twenty (20) hours per week. Payroll deductions may be invested in a mix of internally and externally managed investment options.
Tax-Deferred 403(b) Plan
Voluntary participation in the UCRS Tax- Deferred 403(b) Plan is available to all University employees except students who normally work less than twenty (20) hours per week. The Plan provides a mix of internally and externally managed investment options.
457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan
Voluntary participation in the UCRS 457(b) Plan is available to all University employees except students who normally work less than twenty (20) hours per week. The Plan provides a mix of internally and externally managed investment options.
Safe Harbor Contributions after Leaving the UC
Former employees may take a distribution of the vested portion of their Pretax Account balance at any time. Participants who leave University employment have the following payment options for vested assets in the DC Plan:
- Leave the assets in the Plan if the vested Plan balance, including any After-Tax Account balance, totals at least $2,000. Although participants may no longer contribute, they may transfer money among the investment fund options, subject to the transfer/exchange rules, and roll over money into the Plan.
- Take a full or partial distribution (payable to the participant or can be directly rolled over to a traditional IRA, Roth IRA or employer-sponsored plan).
- Arrange for systematic withdrawals. This option enables the participant to receive regular, periodic distributions without having to make a specific request for each one.
The following rules apply to distributions of small accounts after the participant has terminated UC employment:
- If the vested value of the participant’s accumulations is less than $2,000, but more than $1,000, and the participant fails to provide distribution directions, the participant’s vested accumulations will be rolled over to an IRA custodian designated by the Plan Administrator in an account maintained for the participant.
- If the vested value of the participant’s accumulations is $1,000 or less, and the participant fails to provide distribution directions, the participant’s vested accumulations will be paid directly to the participant at the address of record.
All distributions are subject to Fidelity Retirement Services and payroll deadlines. No distributions can be made until all payroll activity is complete, which can take from 30 to 60 days.
Prior UCRP Service
Postdoctoral scholars who held UCRP-eligible positions without a break in service immediately prior to Postdoctoral Scholar-Employees, Employee NEX, and Interim Employee appointments retain eligibility to participate in UCRP in accordance with UCRP Plan Documents and Regulations. When the University increases contributions to the UCRP, postdoctoral scholars shall contribute to the UCRP at the same time and in the same amount as other eligible represented academic employees.
- Retirement Savings Program Information for Safe Harbor Participants
For those postdoctoral scholars who contribute, learn how the UC’s Safe Harbor Retirement Savings Program works.
- Defined Contribution (DC) Retirement Plan Information
Information on UC’s defined contribution retirement plans, for postdoctoral scholars eligible to participate.
- Guide to ROTH IRA Conversion Rollovers
Information on how to rollover to a ROTH IRA from the DCP after-tax account, for postdoctoral scholars eligible to participate.
For more information about these plans, visit the myUCretirement website or call Fidelity Retirement Services at (866) 682-7787.
Access the UC-UAW PX contract for complete policy. For additional information about retirement benefits, including eligibility, please contact your department administrator.
Information on this website regarding postdoctoral scholar benefits are based on the previous UAW Bargaining Contract [ratified on 10/17/16]. For the most current information, please refer to the recently ratified contract: .