403(b) Retirement Plan

The George Washington University 403(b) Supplemental Plan allows you to make Pre-Tax or Post-Tax Roth contributions. 

Whether you enroll in the Pre-Tax or Post-Tax Roth 403(b) Plans, contributions will share the Annual Contribution Limit. In 2017, this annual limit is $18,000; in 2018, the limit will increase to $18,500. Employees age 50 or older may contribute an additional $6,000, for a total of $24,000, in 2017 and a total of $24,500 in 2018.

Pre-Tax 403(b) Plan

The 403(b) Summary Plan Description (PDF) can provide you with a general understanding of this plan.

Pre-tax Contributions

You contribute a specified amount or percentage of your pay, by payroll deduction, before income tax withholding is calculated. This reduces your current taxable income and lets you save money that otherwise would have gone toward income taxes.

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Please Note: Investment values will fluctuate so that an investor's units, when withdrawn, may be worth more or less than the original cost.

Post-Tax Roth 403(b)

A Post-Tax Roth 403(b) option is also available for retirement savings. Participation in this plan enhancement is optional.

Contributions to the Post-Tax Roth 403(b) are included in the taxable income reported on your paycheck and subject to state and federal taxes. Qualified distributions are tax free. 

The Fidelity Roth 403(b) Resource Website and Fidelity Roth 403(b) Calculator (xls) may help to answer questions you have.

Enrollment

Enrollment in Retirement Savings is available online through one of our investment providers. Once enrolled, you can continue access your account online in order to monitor your savings or make changes to investment amounts. Please review these instructions (PDF) for assistance in making changes to your deferrals.

Loans

If you need to access your 403(b) savings while you are still working, the plan allows for loans from your account. Employees with an account at Fidelity may be eligible for a loan of up to 50% of their 403(b) account balance, not to exceed a maximum loan amount of $50,000. Participants with an account at TIAA may be eligible for a loan of up to 45% of their 403(b) account balance, not to exceed a maximum loan amount of $50,000. 

To request a loan from your Fidelity account, please call (800) 343-0860. To request a loan from your TIAA account, please call (800) 842-2776.

Hardship Withdrawals

Under certain circumstances, hardship withdrawals are available from your 403(b) account, to help you met an immediate and heavy financial need. The withdrawal amount is limited to the amount of funds needed to cover the expense, or your total plan contributions, whichever is lower. You may request a hardship withdrawal to pay for the following expenses:

  • Medical expenses for yourself, your spouse, children, or dependents
  • Costs directly related to the purchase of your principal residence (excluding mortgage payments)
  • Tuition, related fees, and room and board expenses for the next 12 months of postsecondary education for yourself, your spouse, children or dependents
  • Payments necessary to prevent eviction from your principal residence or foreclosure on the mortgage for that residence
  • Funeral expenses for your spouse, children or dependents
  • Certain expenses to repair damage to your principal residence

To request a hardship distribution from your Fidelity account, please call (800) 343-0860. To request a hardship distribution from your TIAA account, please call (800) 842-2776.