Retirement Savings Plans Overview

Primary Plans

Benefits-eligible employees are automatically enrolled in a primary retirement plan based on their employee group.

View the plan comparison webpage to compare the two primary plans.


Faculty and P&A Staff

Faculty and Professional & Administrative (P&A) employees are invested in a defined contribution plan known as a 401(a) plan administered by Fidelity. If you started at the University after January 1, 2012, you contribute 5.5% of covered salary and the University contributes 10%. These are required contributions and participation is mandatory.

Visit the Faculty Retirement Plan webpage to learn more about the plan.

Civil Service and Labor-represented Staff

This is a defined benefit savings plan, commonly known as a pension, that provides a monthly benefit for life. You contribute 6% of covered salary and the University contributes 6.25% (vesting period: five years). These are required contributions and participation is mandatory. The plan is administered by Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS). 

Visit the MSRS webpage for more information about the plan.

Voluntary Retirement Plans

Faculty and staff can save additional money for retirement through one or both voluntary plans.

You are eligible to contribute to a voluntary plan if you are a Faculty, P&A, Civil Service, or Labor-represented employee paid on a continuous basis.


Optional Retirement Plan

The Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) through Fidelity offers pre-tax and post-tax (Roth) contributions to help you save more for retirement. 

More About the Plan

  • Contributions:
    • Pre-tax or post-tax (Roth)
    • IRS max.: $20,500 (2022)
      • Plus $6,500 if age 50+
  • Accepts qualified rollovers
  • Variety of investment options at Fidelity 
  • Allows for financial hardship withdrawal
  • Loans are allowed
  • If University employment ends, early withdrawals (before age 59½) are subject to taxes plus 10% IRS penalty
457 Deferred Compensation Plan

The 457 Deferred Compensation Plan (457 Plan) is a tax-deferred retirement option to help you save more for retirement.

More About the Plan

  • Contributions:
    • Pre-tax only
    • IRS max.: $20,500 (2022)
      • Plus $6,500 if age 50+
  • Hardship distributions for unforeseeable emergencies are permitted if specific requirements as defined by the IRS are met
  • No loans allowed
  • If University employment ends, early withdrawals are subject to taxes but not IRS penalty

Additional Resources for Voluntary Retirement Plans

You can explore which plan may be better for you using Fidelity's Traditional vs. Roth Retirement Savings Plan Modeler (click "Roth Contribution Modeler").

You can also set up a free NetBenefits account to explore more Fidelity resources or schedule a call with a Fidelity retirement planner to discuss your situation and whether or not you should open a voluntary plan. 

If you'd like to compare all primary and voluntary plans, visit the retirement plan comparison page.