Wheeling Jesuit University

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Email: hr@wju.edu
Phone: 1-304-243-8152

Benefits: Retirement Savings Account

Date approved:
August 2011
Approved by:
Date to be reviewed:
March 2016
Reviewed by:
Director of Human Resources
Date revised:
March 2015
Revision number:
Compliance Committee:
As Scheduled


In keeping with the values stated in the Mission, Wheeling Jesuit University has implemented a retirement savings benefit for employees.


2.1 Policy Statement

The University will provide all benefit-eligible employees with the option to invest a portion of their salary into a 403(b) retirement program in complete compliance with the existing Internal Revenue Service (IRS) codes and ERISA regulation. The University will also contribute a set amount as a match to the employee's contribution in recognition of the employee's service to the University.  

2.2 Definitions

  1. "403(b)" - A retirement plan similar to a 401(k) plan, but one which is offered by non-profit organizations, such as universities and some charitable organizations, rather than corporations. Contributions can grow tax-deferred until withdrawal at which time the money is taxed as ordinary income. The advantages to 403(b) plans are: contributions lower taxable income, larger contributions can be made to the account, earnings can grow tax-deferred, and some plans allow loans. The University uses TIAA-CREF as its investment vehicle.
  2. "Summary Plan Descriptions" - Commonly referred to as "SPD"s, these are condensed versions of the University Plan which every employee who participates in the programs receives. The University reserves the right to amend the Plans and SPD's as it deems appropriate; the website will contain current versions.
  3. "Benefits-Eligible" - Full-time employees (Faculty, Staff, and Administration) are provided, as a part of their overall package, access to health and welfare benefits for themselves and for qualified dependents. Participation is optional with some costs being shared by both the University and the employee through payroll deductions as premium contributions. Full time is defined in the policy "Types of University Employment."

2.3 Waiting Period

There is no waiting period and new employees may begin contributing to an account established in their name through the University's payroll deduction process beginning immediately with their start date. The employee has the option to contribute any amount of his/her salary up to the limits imposed by the IRS.

2.4 Matching Contributions 

  1. Administrative employees (referred to as "salary employees" in the SPD): After one year of continuous employment, and the employee having reached the age of 23:
    • The University will begin contributing a match equivalent to 1% of the employee's salary for every 1% the employee contributes up to a maximum of 6% of the employee's base salary.
    • Contributions will be made on the employee's behalf and into the employee's account.
    • The employee may elect to contribute beyond 6% of his/her salary up to the limits imposed by the IRS, however, andy amounts over 6% will not be matched by the University.
  2. Staff employees (referred to as "hourly employees" in the SPD): After one year of continuous employment, and the employee having reached the age of 23:
    • The University will begin contributing, on the employee's behalf and into the employee's account, 6% of the employee's salary.
    • May begin contributing up to the max permitted by the IRS into the account on their own behalf (the amounts contributed by the employee will not be matched. The University's automatic contribution noted above will be made regardless of whether or not the employee contributes).

2.5 Vesting

All employee and employer contributions are vested immediately.

2.6 Changes and Options

  1. Employees may change their investment options at any time by notifying TIAA-CREF of the changes.
  2. Employees may change their monthly deductions or amounts in excess of the match at any time by notifying the Human Resource Department. Such changes in amounts must be in compliance with IRS guidelines.
  3. Employees may elect to borrow from their accounts under the terms and conditions established by TIAA-CREF according to IRS guidelines.
  4. Employees may elect to take hardship withdrawals in advance of their retirement days; however, such withdrawals are strictly governed by the IRS and all hardship withdrawals must comply with IRS guidelines.
  5. The University, through the Board of Directors, reserves the right to change the contributions it makes into the employee's accounts.

2.7 Disagreements

In any situation where there is a disagreement between this policy and the summary plan description, the summary plan description will prevail.


The Director of Human Resources, in conjunction with the Controller, has the authority to change, modify or approve exceptions to this policy at any time with or without notice, and in compliance with the Plan and IRS guidelines, with the approval of the Board of Directors through the University President.


Types of University Employment

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