FAQ About Saving for Retirement


    Can I save more money from my paycheck for retirement?
    Any Iowa State University employee with a budgeted salary commitment is eligible to participate (casual hourly employees are not eligible). Even if your basic retirement plan is Iowa Public Employees Retirement System (IPERS), Federal Retirement System, or any other substitute basic annuity plan (other than TIAA), you can participate in a voluntary elective salary reduction savings program.

    What is an SRA or GSRA?
    An SRA is Supplemental Retirement Annuity and a GSRA is a Group Supplemental Retirement Annuity with TIAA or an alternative approved retirement plan vendor. Currently GSRAs are available for active employees starting voluntary retirement savings through payroll deduction. These are accounts that allow you to contribute additional funds to your retirement on a tax-deferred or after tax basis. Even with Social Security, pension plans, and savings accounts it can be difficult to save enough for retirement. SRAs and GSRAs can be a good asset in helping you prepare for retirement.

    How much can I contribute to a GSRA or SRA?
    All contributions to a GSRA must be made by payroll deduction. The minimum contribution is $20.00 per month. During the 2018 calendar year, most employees can contribute up to $18,500 to their GSRA.
    Those who will be 50 or older in 2018 may be eligible to contribute an additional $6,000. Certain employees who have been in Iowa State for at least 15 years may be able to contribute an additional $3,000.
    These maximum amounts apply only to the additional voluntary contributions by the employee, not your required contributions or the University contributions. To see how much you are eligible to contribute, contact the Division of Finance by calling 515-294-8772 or fbac@iastate.edu to have your maximum calculated.

    Will the University match my GSRA contributions?
    No. GSRAs are for additional voluntary employee contributions only. The university matching is automatically calculated and contributed to the "basic" (or mandatory) annuity along with the employee's required portion. These required amounts cannot be changed by the employee.

    How often can I change the amount of my GSRA contribution?
    Changes can be made to your contribution amount at any time. You can also start or stop contributions at any time. All changes must be made at least two weeks before payroll by completing the GSRA Change Request Form.   

    Can I put "extra" money into my "basic" retirement annuity?
    No. Additional tax-deferred contributions must be put into a GSRA or other Tax Sheltered Annuity (TSA) with TIAA or VALIC while still employed with the University. These are the only types ISU offers.

    What is Roth Savings?

    The Roth feature to a supplemental retirement account provides the capability to make after-tax contributions to your retirement savings.  These savings and any earnings are not taxed when qualified distributions are made.  Voluntary retirement savings can be pre-tax or Roth.  Visit with your tax advisor or TIAA or VALIC.


    Approved Vendor List (Providers of the Basic Annuity, Supplemental Tax Sheltered Annuity and Roth 403(b))

    2713 Stange Road, Suite 105, Ames, IA 50010
    Enrollment:  ask for Paige Cook or Jay Albrecht
    515-268-8600 Ames Office
    800-732-8353 TIAA National Appointment Scheduling Service for the Ames Office

    950 Office Park Rd, Suite 328, West Des Moines, IA 50265
    Enrollment:  ask for Daniel Allen or David Dystra
    913-402-5000 District Office


    UHR Service Center