Our Commitment to You
SMU is committed to providing an array of programs that benefit and protect you and your family throughout your working years at SMU, and during your retirement years after you leave SMU.
The SMU retirement plans are an important part of your future financial security and the University has done much to provide the resources, tools, and services that can help you determine how much income you will need for your retirement years, and develop a plan to achieve your goals and retire on your own terms.
The Retirement Plans Advisory Council (RPAC) is a group of dedicated faculty and staff helping the University administration with all things related to the SMU Retirement Plan.
403(b) Retirement Plan
Administered by Transamerica
Customer Service: 800-755-5801
The SMU 403(b) Retirement Plan is a valuable employee benefit and one of the most powerful ways to build your retirement savings. The plan is designed to help you actively save and invest in your retirement, and it is important to understand how the plan works so that you can reach your retirement income goals.
If you are a full-time or part-time (20+ hours/week) benefits-eligible employee, you may enroll in the SMU Retirement Plan as early as age 21 and will receive SMU matching contributions on the first 5% of your pre-tax contributions.
- The SMU matching contribution is 8% through age 40 and 10% after you reach age 41.
- Participation is required as a condition of employment for full-time employees age 36 or older.
Post Doctoral Fellows, Temporary employees working at least 20 hours per week, and Adjunct faculty are eligible to contribute on a voluntary basis, but are not eligible for SMU matching contributions.
On Campus Retirement Planning Consultant: Joe Valiquette
SMU's Transamerica Retirement Planning Consultant is Joe Valiquette. Joe is available on campus Monday - Friday to discuss your retirement planning needs, investment allocation, and any questions you have regarding your account.
Click here to access his calendar and schedule an appointment.
For more information about the Retirement Plan and to sign in to your account, visit the Transamerica Retirement Solutions Website.
The Transamerica Customer Care Center (800-755-5801) provides assistance with transactions such as loans and distributions.
Emeriti Health Account
TIAA-CREF: Record Keeper & Investment Manager
Customer Service: 866-363-7484
To help you save for your future health care needs, SMU provides the Emeriti Health Account, a tax-advantaged way to invest and accumulate assets to pay for your insurance premiums and other eligible health expenses in retirement. The Emeriti Health Account is not related to the SMU 403(b) Retirement Plan.
Following is a brief summary of the eligibility and participation requirements:
- If you are age 40 or older (full-time faculty or staff), you will automatically be enrolled in an Emeriti Health Account, and you will contribute $63.26 per month (prorated depending on your pay schedule) on a pre-tax basis during the 2014 calendar year. SMU will make equal matching contributions on your behalf as long as you remain an eligible employee - until you retire or for up to 25 years, whichever occurs first. Once enrolled, you choose how to invest contributions made by you and SMU, among several Fidelity investment options. Age 40+ mandatory contributions (including SMU matching contributions) will increase 4% each year. You may also make unlimited, voluntary contributions to your account on an after-tax basis. Please contact BenefitsU (214-768-2132) if you wish to make voluntary after-tax contributions.
- If you are under age 40 (full-time faculty & staff), you can enroll in and make voluntary, unlimited after-tax contributions to an Emeriti Health Account. Please contact BenefitsU (214-768-3311) if you wish to make voluntary after-tax contributions. Once you reach age 40, you will begin contributing on a pre-tax basis and SMU will begin making matching contributions on your behalf as long as you remain an eligible employee - until you retire or for up to 25 years, whichever occurs first.
- Your contributions to your Emeriti Health Account vest immediately. SMU's matching contributions to your account vest after you complete seven years of employment.
You can review your account activity by visiting the TIAA-CREF website. If you have never logged into your account, click on "New User? Register Online" and follow the New User Registration instructions.
Retiree Health Plans
As long as you have met the SMU eligibility requirements at retirement - at least age 60 and at least 10 years of SMU employment, you and your spouse or same sex domestic partner will have access to retiree medical insurance - either through BCBSTX or Emeriti, depending on your age and age of your spouse or domestic partner.
- If you and your spouse/domestic partner are age 65 or older when you retire, you may both enroll in the Emeriti Plan.
- If you are age 65 or older when you retire, but your spouse/domestic partner is under 65, you will enroll in the Emeriti Plan and your spouse/domestic partner will remain in the BCBSTX plan until they reach age 65.
- If your spouse/domestic partner is age 65 or older at the time you retire, but you have not yet reached age 65, you and your spouse/domestic partner will remain in the BCBSTX plan. When you reach 65, you will both have an opportunity to enroll in the Emeriti Plan.
SMU Premium Subsidy
As long as you have met the retirement criteria addressed above, and you were enrolled in the SMU Medical Plan during the consecutive 5-year period prior to your retirement, SMU will pay a portion of your medical premiums. This applies to your spouse or domestic partner as well, even if he/she was not enrolled in an SMU Medical plan during the 5-year period.
The amount paid by SMU is based on whether you and/or your spouse or domestic partner are enrolled in the Emeriti Health Insurance Plan or the BCBSTX plan.
- While enrolled in the BCBSTX Plan, the 2013 SMU premium subsidy will be 55% of the applicable monthly premium.
- While enrolled in the Emeriti Health Plan, the 2013 SMU monthly premium subsidy will be:
- age 65 - 69: $131
- age 70 - 74: $154
- age 75+: $184
- In the year 2023, SMU's premium subsidy will be frozen at the subsidy amount in effect in 2023.
What If I Meet the Age and Years of Employment Criteria But Was Not Enrolled in SMU Medical Coverage During the 5-Year Period Preceding Retirement?
- As long as you meet the age 60 and 10 years of employment criteria, you and your spouse/domestic partner will have access to SMU retiree health insurance, although you will not be eligible for the SMU premium subsidy. You will, however, have access to the contributions you made and the vested contributions SMU made to your Emeriti Health Account during your active years - to pay for premiums and other eligible expenses after retirement.
What If I Decide Not To Enroll In SMU Retiree Health Insurance When I Retire?
- Generally, if you decide not to enroll in SMU Retiree Health Insurance, you cannot enroll at a later time. However, if you decide not to enroll because you have coverage under spouse/domestic partner insurance, and he/she later loses coverage, you will have an opportunity to enroll in SMU Health Insurance, although SMU will not pay the premium subsidy.
Emeriti Dental Coverage
Emeriti Dental coverage is also administered by Aetna. If you are age 60 at retirement and have at least 10 years of SMU employment, you and your spouse or domestic partner may enroll in the Emeriti Dental Plan. If you are interested in Dental coverage you must enroll in Emeriti Medical and Rx coverage. SMU does not contribute to the cost of Dental coverage.
- Important: If you are not enrolled in a Dental Plan when you retire, there will be a six month waiting period before Major dental expenses are covered under the Emeriti Dental Plan. However, the waiting period will be waived if there is no more than a three month break in coverage and proof of prior coverage is provided.
Once you've made the decision to retire, there are many things to consider. Below you will find links to several helpful documents containing important information about the SMU retirement process.