Human Resources
Finance & Administration

The Lehigh Retirement Plan

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Plan Basics
  1. TIAA is the record-keeper for the Lehigh University Retirement Plan. The investment funds available, however, include a range of providers and are selected based on performance in their asset class and cost.
  2. Investment Funds - The Lehigh University Retirement Plan features 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:

    Newly Updated for 2021 Investment Structure and Funds 
    Newly Updated for 2021 List of Funds With Full Names and Ticker Symbols
  3. Vesting – an important note: Eligible employees begin to participate in the plan as soon as they are hired. Employees who begin working in a pension eligible position on or after January 1, 2014 will become fully vested after three years of service. This means after three years, you will have full ownership of any contributions made by Lehigh as well as the earnings associated with them. You have immediate ownership of your own contributions to the plan and the earnings associated with those contributions.
  4. Matching Incentive - Lehigh will match a portion of your voluntary contribution of up to 6% at a rate of 50%. This will allow you to increase Lehigh's total overall contribution. 
  5. Making Investment Choices - You can change where your savings are invested at any time. If you don’t elect specific funds for your money to be invested in, 100 percent of your funds will be deposited into a target date retirement fund based on your age. However you can change where your money is invested at any time.
  6. 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 do you pay tax on account earnings. There are benefits and limitations to each saving method depending on your tax situation and personal goals.
  7. Auto-Enrollment - Newly hired benefits eligible staff and faculty (as of January 1, 2014) will be automatically enrolled in the matching program at a rate of three percent of pay. New hires have 60 days from the start of their employment at the University to opt out of auto-enrollment.
  8. 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.




Years of Service Lehigh Contribution *Suggested Employee Contribution Lehigh's Matching 50% Total Employee and Lehigh Contribution
Less than 3 years 4.0% 6.0% 3.0% 13.0%
3 to 5 years 6.0% 6.0% 3.0% 15.0%
5+ years 8.0% 6.0% 3.0% 17.0%

*Employees are auto-enrolled with an employee contribution of 3.0%. Employees can change their level of voluntary contributions at any time. 
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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