Retirement Video Tutorials

Your Retirement Savings Plans - Faculty & Officers

Learn about Columbia University's two retirement plan options for Faculty and Officers.

Your Retirement Savings Plans
Whether you’re new to the university or
looking to enhance your retirement savings,
there’s a lot to cheer about, including
a host of great benefits like the
Columbia University Retirement Savings Programs—an easy way to save for your future.
The university offers two retirement plans
to help you plan and save: The Columbia University
Voluntary Retirement Savings Plan, or VRSP, and the Officers’ Retirement Plan.
You are eligible to participate in the VRSP
beginning on your date of hire.
To start participating, you must be employed by and receive a paycheck from Columbia University.
You can contribute from 1% to 80% of your eligible pay on a pre-tax and/or Roth basis,
in half percentages up to the IRS annual contribution limit, in addition to catch-up contributions
The IRS limit applies to your combined pre-tax and Roth contributions.
For new hires, the university will match yourpre-tax and Roth savings combined
to a maximum of 3% of eligible pay.
For all participants in the VRSP, you are always 100% entitled to the value of your own contributions.
If you are a benefits-eligible officer of the university,
you will be eligible for the Officers’ Retirement Plan.
The university makes all of the
core contributions to this plan
based on your age and service with the university.

The university’s retirement savings programs are designed
to supplement retirement income,
along with your additional savings, investments and
Social Security benefits.

Whenever you want, you can change your contribution level,
your retirement provider and your investments
simply by logging in to the Columbia University Benefits
Enrollment System, also called CUBES,
or contacting the Columbia Benefits Service Center
at (212) 851-7000.

You have a wide range of funds to choose from
for investing the university’s core and
matching contributions through the provider
you select, either TIAA or Vanguard.
Contributions are invested through your choice
of the two companies, each with a variety of investment
options. You are always entitled to the full value
of the university’s matching (if applicable)
and core contributions.

Let’s look at each of your choices, starting with TIAA.
For over 100 years, TIAA has provided financial
services exclusively to not-for-profit institutions.
TIAA offers a range of investment products,
including fixed and variable annuities that
can provide guaranteed lifetime income.
As a new hire, TIAA will offer you access
to a financial consultant who can work with
you over time to plan out your financial future
at no extra cost.

TIAA financial consultants provide one-on-one
counseling on campuses, by phone or online
video conference, as well as at local office
locations in New York City. Your other option is
The Vanguard Group.Vanguard is one of the world’s
largest investmentmanagement companies with more
than $5.7 trillion in
assets under management.

Vanguard offers quality investments, dedicated
client service and competitive costs.
To make an appointment with Vanguard for a
review of your personal situation on one of
the university’s campuses, visit
Both TIAA and Vanguard have dedicated customer
service and provide vital tools, guidance
and education to help you make important decisions
about your financial journey.

We hope this video has been helpful in introducing
you to your two retirement provider choices.
Whether you’re just starting your adventure,
or you’re already down the path,taking steps to reach
your financial goals is an
important part of the journey.

Visit the university’s human resources website to learn
more about the program and each provider’s offerings.
You should consider the investment objectives,
risks, charges, and expenses carefully before investing.
Go to for current product
and fund prospectusesthat contain this and other information.
Please read the prospectuses carefully before investing.

Real Talk about Saving

People share their personal stories about how they started saving for retirement early in their careers and participated in retirement plans.

Real Talk about Saving for Retirement
I was like wait I need to save money to retire when I got my first job out of college is when I realized this is
really important to start saving for retirement one day we're gonna wake up and we're gonna be like how much money today I was in my 20s it was all about going out and spending every dime I made it was about having you know the coolest shoes and the most fun car instead of getting the sports car now I've gotten you know the regular sedan and really concentrated on getting money into that 401k I started saving in my employer sponsored plan from day one goes right into that retirement account if I never see it into my checking account nice can't spend it my employer is also
matching the contribution towards thatso that's like a pretty money in my opinion now that I've been doing it for some time and I've been able to see that nest egg grow now I feel really accomplished and really proud and committed it's really an amazing opportunity and I honestly wouldn't understand why anybody would not contribute to their employers plan that money is going to compound and you'll never miss it it's one of those things where you just want to prepare now before it's too late and it might not seem that a few dollars here and there is gonna get you anywhere but when you want to start to see your savings grow and compound over time you'll realize that the choices you made 15 years ago will really pay off I'm not looking for any yachts or you know fancy Shore houses I want to enjoy my retirement I don't want to have to be on an overly tight budget the more you can put in the better off it is do not let money control your life you control money.

Target Date Investing

What is Target Date Investing and how does it work?  This video reviews how to make the best retirement investing choices for your needs.