Officers - Voluntary Retirement Savings Program (VRSP)

The VRSP is a 403(b) retirement plan that lets you contribute from 1% to 80% of your eligible pay, on a pre-tax (deducted along with any other taxes) and/or Roth after-tax (deducted from take-home pay) basis, up to the annual IRS limit. 

  • Eligibility begins on date of hire.
  • You are always 100% entitled to the value of your own contributions.
  • In 2019, the maximum contribution is $19,000 (plus $6,000 if you are age 50 and over, for a total of $25,000).
  • The IRS limit applies to combined contributions, pre-tax and Roth.
  • IRS limits may change for 2020.

You have a wide range of funds to choose from for investing your savings, available through TIAA and/or Vanguard.

Information Notice icon

Make Sure You Are Signed Up

Not sure if you are participating in VRSP today? The simplest way to check is to look at your payroll statement.


Notices

You will be automatically enrolled to contribute 3% of pay on a pre-tax basis if you do not make a contribution election. You can opt out or change this automatic election at any time.
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Columbia University will match your pre-tax and Roth savings combined to a maximum of 3% of eligible pay, once you have met the eligibility requirements (matching contributions are allocated to the Officers’ Retirement Plan).

It is your responsibility to ensure that your annual contributions do not exceed the IRS limit for the calendar year.

If you have already contributed to another qualified pre-tax retirement plan this year, please be sure to review those contributions so you can elect the appropriate per-paycheck percentage.

Your Contributions

Contributions deducted from your pay before federal income taxes (and, in most areas, state and local income taxes) are applied. Your pre-tax contributions and their investment earnings will not be subject to taxes as long as they remain in your VRSP account.

After-tax contributions, which means you pay taxes on Roth contributions along with the rest of your current pay. Because you pay taxes on your Roth contributions when they go into the VRSP, you’ll pay no taxes on Roth contributions when they are paid out to you from the Plan, subject to certain rules.

If you are an Officer who is hired after July 1, 2013, and you do not make an election to contribute on a pre-tax and/or Roth basis to the VRSP, you will automatically be enrolled to contribute 3% of your eligible pay on a pre-tax basis 60 days following your hire date.

For those Officers hired after July 1, 2013, the University will match your pre-tax and Roth contributions to the VRSP, up to a maximum of 3% of eligible pay, when you become eligible for University contributions to the Officers’ Retirement Plan. If you are a full-time Senior Officer, the University’s contributions begin on your date of hire. If you are a full-time or part-time Junior Officer, the University’s contributions begin after you complete two years of eligible service.

If you are age 50 or older, you may contribute an additional amount—up to $6,000 in 2018 and 2019—on a pre-tax and/or Roth basis to your VRSP. You become eligible for catch-up contributions on January 1 of the year you turn 50.

Log in to CUBES to make this election.