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Tax-Deferred 403(b) Plan

Learn about the 403(b) plan, part of the UC Retirement Savings Program.

The 403(b) plan is a voluntary savings and investment plan designed to provide supplemental retirement benefits. Fidelity Retirement Services maintains administrative records for the plan.

How it works

Contributions to the plan are made on a pretax basis; income taxes are calculated on remaining pay, thus reducing your taxable income. Tools to help estimate tax savings are on the Fidelity Retirement Services website. Contributions and earnings are taxed when you withdraw the money.


All university employees (except students working fewer than 20 hours per week) can participate.

Contribution limit

For active employees, the contribution limit for the current year can be found on the UCnet website.

Designating beneficiaries

Review your beneficiaries regularly and update them if you experience a major life event such as marriage, divorce, birth of a child, or a death. To designate or change, log into Fidelity Retirement Services website, or contact them at (866) 682-7787.

Catch-up provision

If you have at least 15 years of employment with UC, you might be eligible to participate in the Special Catch-up Provision. Read the information on page 4 of the Summary Plan Description (PDF). If you think you are eligible, contact contact Fidelity Retirement Services, (866) 682-7787 for assistance.

Investment options

403(b) participants can choose from a group of UC selected and monitored CORE funds. These Core Funds provide participants with a full menu of asset classes. For details on fund choices, contact Fidelity Retirement Services, (866) 682-7787.

Account management

Employees can enroll in the plan, change contributions or fund allocations, or cancel the account by logging in to Fidelity's NetBenefits website.

Distribution of funds

In general, active participants cannot take a distribution of plan funds they have accumulated after Dec. 31, 1988, unless they have attained age 59 1/2, have become permanently disabled, or have financial hardship. If you are over 59 1/2, log into the Fidelity website or call Fidelity Retirement Services, (866) 682-7787. For hardship or disability reasons, the transaction is not available online and you must call Fidelity Retirement Services, (866) 682-7787.

Loan program

As an active employee, you may borrow your money under the 403(b) Plan Loan Program before retirement. Refer to the Fidelity Retirement Services website, or call Fidelity at (866) 682-7787 for more information.

Leaving UC employment

Participants who leave UC employment or retire have several options for their 403(b) plan money, including: inactive participation (leave money in the plan with a balance of $2,000 or more); a full distribution (payable to the participant or directly rolled over to an IRA or employer-sponsored plan); or a partial distribution. For details, visit the Fidelity Retirement Services website, or call (866) 682-7787.


Contact Fidelity Retirement Services, (866) 682-7787, or your Benefits representative.
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Notice: The information on this page summarizes provisions of university policies and/or collective bargaining agreements. Refer to the Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM) and local implementing procedures or applicable collective bargaining agreement for full text of referenced information.