401(a) Retirement Plan

The George Washington University 401(a) Retirement Plan for Faculty and Staff (commonly referred to as the Employer Base Plan) governs the university base and matching contributions. You are eligible for the university base and matching contributions upon two years of service. Once you are eligible to participate in this plan, GW will contribute 4% of your eligible annual compensation automatically into this plan. The IRS limits compensation that can be taken into account when determining your retirement plan contributions; for 2018 the limit is to $275,000.

If you participate in the GW 403(b) Plan, GW will also contribute an amount equal to 150% of the first 4% of your eligible compensation that you contribute to the 403(b) Plan. The maximum match is 6% of your eligible compensation.

The 401(a) Summary Plan Description (PDF) can provide you with a general understanding of this plan.

Tax-Deferred Accumulation

Current taxes on contributions to your account, and on interest and earnings from the account, are deferred until withdrawal or when you begin receiving regular payments. Tax-deferred earnings, coupled with the power of compounding, can provide greater growth than might be possible with taxable savings methods.

Please Note: Investment values will fluctuate so that an investor's units, when withdrawn, may be worth more or less than the original cost. You can manage your account, including making changes to investment amounts, at any time throughout the year. 

Prior Service

The two years of service required for participation in the 401(a) Plan may be satisfied in whole or in part by service at another college or university. Complete the 401(a) Prior Employment Verification form (PDF) to submit your prior service for review.