Retirement Plans

Retirement Plan Options

Mandatory Retirement Savings Plan

New permanent part-time and full-time employees, as well as Pre/Post Doctoral Associates, are eligible for the Iowa State University retirement plans.

  • Participation in the Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System (IPERS) is mandatory except for employees who elect TIAA..

Non-benefits eligible employees who earn $1,000 in two consecutive quarters of employment are automatically enrolled in IPERS. If you have questions regarding your eligibility, or why you are required to participate, please contact the Iowa State University Payroll Office:

  • Phone: 515-294-6556
  • Email:

Voluntary Retirement Savings Plan

This option is available for eligible active employees to start avoluntary retirement savings planthrough payroll deduction. These accounts allow you to contribute additional funds to your retirement on a tax-deferred or after-tax (Roth) basis.

IPERS is a defined benefit plan. The retirement income is determined by a formula based on years of service and the salary earned. Defined benefit plans are sometimes called traditional pension plans.

TIAA is a defined contribution plan. The retirement income will be determined by the amount of monthly contributions and your investment performance. This type of defined contribution plan is also known as a 403(b) tax-sheltered annuity.

Need help choosing between IPERS and TIAA?

Your mandatory retirement plan choice between IPERS and TIAA is IRREVOCABLE. The initial election of IPERS or TIAA may only be changed following a qualifying break in service (4 months or longer) from Iowa State University. The following resources will help you with your decision:

Remote video URL

Investments and Fees

Iowa State University sponsors a participant-directed Defined Contribution Retirement Plan that meets the requirements of Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 2986, as amended through July 1, 2000, for the benefit of its employees. Plan contributions are invested in one or more of the funding vehicles available to you. The plan is sponsored to assist you with the long-term accumulation of retirement savings through a combination of your and Iowa State University contributions.


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