Support Staff - Voluntary Retirement Savings Programs (VRSP)

The VRSP is a defined contribution 403(b) plan that lets you contribute from 1% to 80% of your eligible pay on a pre-tax and/or Roth basis, in half percentages, through convenient payroll contributions.

  • Eligibility begins on date of hire.
  • You are always 100% entitled to the value of your own contributions.
  • The IRS sets a maximum contribution limit each year, which applies to combined contributions, pre-tax and Roth:
    • The 2022 maximum contribution is $20,500 (plus $6,500 if you are age 50 and over, for a total of $27,000).
  • The Social Security wage base will increase for 2022 from $142,800 to $147,000.

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

Remember: Save a dollar amount closer to your desired annual retirement savings goal. VRSP elections can be made in half percentages. 

Make Sure You Are Signed Up. Not sure if you are participating in the VRSP today? The simplest way to check is to look at your payroll statement.


Contributions: The Columbia University Retirement Plan—Local 241, Transport Workers Union of America is a Defined Benefit Plan. The University makes contributions to the Plan for you as soon as you become eligible.

If you do not select your investment funds for the VRSP, your contributions will be invested in the appropriate Qualified Default Investment Alternative (QDIA) with TIAA and Vanguard. You may change your investment fund options at any time. If you do not select an investment carrier, your funds will be invested with Vanguard.

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 age 50 or older, you may contribute an additional amount—up to $6,500—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 the CUBES to make this election.