Retirement Benefits

UALR employees on half time (50%) or greater appointment are eligible for retirement benefits under the University’s 403(b) defined contribution plan. If your initial appointment with the University started on or before January 1, 1994, you are included in the University’s plan, unless you specifically elect, within 31 days of your appointment, the alternative coverage offered by the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System (APERS). The choice you make within 31 days of your appointment is irrevocable. It cannot be changed at a later date. You must complete enrollment documents for the plan you choose.

The current funding sponsors for the University’s 403(b) defined contribution plan are Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF) and Fidelity Investments. Funds are transferable within and among several investment fund choices. Specific information is available from Department of Human Resources during benefits orientation.

The University will contribute an amount equal to five percent of your regular salary to the retirement vehicle you choose. At no time can the combined employee and employer contribution exceed the limitations established by the Internal Revenue Code. In addition, if you choose to contribute in excess of five percent of your salary, the University will match your contribution up to ten percent. If you elect to contribute to the Plan, the University will make additional contributions of percentage of your regular salary, according to the following schedule:

Retirement Contribution Schedule
Employee University Total Contribution
0% 5% 5%
1-5% 5% 6-10%
6% 6% 12%
7% 7% 14%
8% 8% 16%
9% 9% 18%
10% 10% 20%

You may elect to make your retirement contributions in pre-tax or after-tax dollars by completing a salary reduction/deduction agreement form that designates the percentage of your regular salary you choose to contribute to your retirement account. Contributions are subject to limitations under the Internal Revenue Service code.

Benefits from both you and the University’s contributions are vested immediately if you are a faculty member or a non-classified employee. If you are a classified staff member whose initial employment was before January 1, 1985 and you made any contributions prior to that date, you are vested immediately. For all other employees, vesting occurs after you have completed three consecutive years of service, reach age 65, or have contributed at least five percent of your salary for six consecutive months, whichever comes first. Employees who work for the University in positions not normally eligible for benefits, except undergraduate students taking 12 hours or more, may participate in the retirement plan, but they will not receive matching contribution from the University. Contact Department of Human Resources for additional information.

(Board Policy 425.5)

Please note: UALR is a campus of the University of Arkansas System. The University of Arkansas System is not a post secondary or higher education employer as provided in Act 513 of 2011, and will enroll no new employees in Arkansas Teacher’s Retirement System (ATRS) after June 30, 2011.