Human Resources
Finance & Administration

The Lehigh Retirement Plan - Employees Hired Prior to January 1, 2014

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Plan Basics for Employees Hired Prior to January 1, 2014

  1. The new Lehigh University Retirement Plan  replaces both the previous Lehigh University Retirement Program for Faculty and Staff (funded by Lehigh) and the Voluntary Retirement Savings Plan (funded only by employee contributions).

  2. We eliminated the inequalities between older and younger employees. Now, regardless of age, all employees will receive the same base contribution to their retirement account from Lehigh. In addition, there will no longer be a two-year waiting period for current employees under the age of 35.

  3. In order to make it economically feasible to eliminate the age inequality, we transitioned to a base contribution of 8 percent. 

  4. All employees hired prior to January 1, 2014 were immediately fully vested in the new plan.  

  5. Lehigh now matches a portion of your voluntary contribution at a rate of 50%. This will allow you to increase Lehigh's total overall contribution.

  1. If you maximize Lehigh's matching contribution by putting aside 6 percent of your income in your retirement account, you will realize a ten percent increase in Lehigh's contribution (from 10 percent to 11 percent total).

  2. If you maximize Lehigh's matching contribution by putting aside 6 percent of your income, you will be saving a total of 17 percent of the value of your pay for your retirement.

  3. You have a menu of funds from which to select your investments. These funds are structured so that you can access the types of investments you believe are best for your circumstances. Here are two charts outlining the funds:

  1. You can change where your savings are invested at any time. If you haven’t yet elected specific funds  in which to invest your money, 100 percent of your funds will be deposited in a target date retirement fund based on your age. However you can change where your money is invested at any time.

  2. The Roth Option - You can choose to set aside savings from your salary pre-tax or post-tax (Roth). Pre-tax savings lowers your income and provides tax savings to you in the current tax year. In the case of Roth retirement savings, because you have already paid tax on the money as income, you will not pay tax on the deposit amount when you withdraw it to spend in retirement, nor will you pay tax on account earnings. There are benefits and limitations to each saving method depending on your tax situation and personal goals.

  3. Employee Eligibility - All faculty and staff members employed in benefits eligible positions who are scheduled to work, or who actually work, a minimum of 1,000 hours in a 12 consecutive month period are eligible for the plan.

Here is a chart explaining how the new contribution and matching amounts are being phased in over the next several years.  If you are under age 30 now, and reach age 30 during the first three years of the transition period, the Lehigh base contribution will be increased to the “Age 30+” level at that time.

Base and Maximum Matching contributions
for lehigh employees hired prior to january 1, 2014
Base Lehigh Contribution Employee
Eligible for
Match (Maximum)
Lehigh's 50%
Matching (Maximum)
Maximum Lehigh Contribution
8.0% 6.0% 3.0% 11.0%

Making Changes to Your Employee Contributions or Investment Options

If you wish to make a change to your salary deferral or adjust your investment options, go to the TIAA website, either through or  Once you have logged in, you can get to your personal account. If you need assistance with this process, or would like to make the change by telephone instead, contact TIAA at 800-842-2252.

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