5.13 Retirement Plans
(revised July 2000) (revised July 2010)
The College's retirement program is underwritten by the Teacher's Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA) and the College Retirement Equities Fund (CREF). TIAA/CREF is the largest retirement system in the United States, offering an array of high-quality financial products and retirement planning services. Participants have the right to determine how all contributions are allocated between available funds. Ownership of the annuities, including all College and employee contributions plus accumulated earnings, is fully and immediately vested to the employee.
This information is designed to be an overview of the retirement plan. A more detailed explanation can be obtained by calling the Office of Human Resources at PBX 5173 or TIAA/CREF at 1-800-842-2776, visiting the TIAA/CREF website or by reading the summary plan description, a copy of which can be obtained from the Office of Human Resources web page. In addition, representatives from TIAA/CREF visit Kenyon on a regular basis providing retirement account planning services to employees.
The minimum employee contribution is 5 percent of gross earnings (excluding overtime).
The College contribution for faculty, administrators, and non-union, non-exempt staff members is 9.5 percent of the employee's gross earnings (excluding overtime).
Employees can opt to contribute more than the required minimum contributions. The Internal Revenue Code limits the amount each employee can tax defer under a salary reduction agreement. Individuals can determine the maximum they can contribute by contacting TIAA/CREF. Additional contributions can be made to the Supplemental Retirement Annuities (SRA).
Employees have their contributions deducted from their pay under a salary reduction agreement. Under this salary reduction agreement, the gross pay is reduced by the employee's retirement contribution amount and the remaining pay is taxed. Taxes on the annuity are deferred until the employee begins receiving benefits.
When employees leave Kenyon, they can choose to either continue paying into the plan or withdraw their funds. Withdrawals are possible as follows: The TIAA annuities can be withdrawn over a ten-year period, 10 percent per year. Monies invested in CREF accounts can be withdrawn in a lump sum. Early withdrawal (prior to age 59 ½) will be subject to a mandatory 20-percent tax. This will be withheld by TIAA/CREF before the monies are disbursed. There are some exceptions to this ruling; consult with TIAA/CREF directly for more information.
Eligibility to receive the College's contributions occurs after one year of eligible employment. The one-year waiting period is waived if the employee met the one year of eligible employment in another institution of higher education in the year immediately preceding the date they joined Kenyon College. Enrollment is mandatory for faculty, administrators and non-union staff.
Employees who must wait for one year before receiving the College's contributions may opt to enroll and contribute on their own during the first year of employment.
Retirement benefits can begin any time after the date of retirement (but no sooner than age 59 ½), which may be before or after the normal retirement age of 65. In most instances retirement benefits must begin no later than April 1 of the calendar year following the year in which the participant reaches age 70 ½. There are many retirement options available to participants. Single life annuities pay benefits for the life of the annuitant. A survivor annuity pays lifetime benefits to the participant, and if the spouse or second annuitant survives the participant, they receive an income for life. Ten, fifteen, and twenty-year guaranteed payment periods are also available. For more information about retirement income options, call TIAA/CREF.
The spouse of an employee who is participating in the TIAA/CREF Retirement Annuity program has, by law, a claim on a portion of those annuities. Benefits may be paid to married participants only after the spouse has signed a consent form.
Supplemental Retirement Annuities or SRAs are annuities that are purchased in addition to regular retirement annuities. They provide a choice of lifetime income, a fixed-period payout, a partial withdrawal of the accumulated cash value, or a full surrender of their total accumulated value in cash. Such payouts or partial withdrawals may be subject to both the 10-percent penalty for early withdrawals and federal regulations that define spousal rights to retirement benefits. They can be purchased only through a salary reduction agreement. They are fully vested in the owner and portable among institutions making them available to employees. The College does not make contributions to SRA. These are offered through TIAA-CREF.
TIAA/CREF mutual funds, IRAs and Roth 403b accounts may be purchased on an after-tax individual basis. Contributions may be automatically made through payroll deduction, or individuals may initiate direct withdrawals from their personal bank account. Please contact the Office of Human Resources for a prospectus and information on these investments, or contact TIAA/CREF directly.
As a participant in the Kenyon College Employees' Retirement Plan, you are entitled to examine the plan documents, the annual report, and the summary plan description filed with the U.S. Department of Labor. This inspection may be made during normal business hours; please contact the Office of Human Resources.