Retirement Programs

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, if you meet SMU's retirement eligibility criteria, 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

Transamerica: Record Keeper & Investment Manager

Customer Service:  800-755-5801

The SMU 403(b) Retirement Plan is a valuable benefit and one of the most powerful ways to build your retirement savings. 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.
If you contribute 5% of your base salary on a pretax basis, you will receive SMU matching contributions. If you contribute less than 5%, you will not be eligible for matching contributions.


Participation (5% pretax contribution) 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.
Contributions to the Plan
If you contribute 5% of your base salary on a pretax basis, SMU will contribute 8% of your base salary until you reach age 41. SMU begins contributing 10% of your base salary the month following your 41st birthday. You may make additional pretax and/or after tax (ROTH) unmatched contributions up to IRS limits.
SMU matching contributions vest after three years of employment.
Beneficiary Designations
It is important that you sign into your Transamerica account and designate your beneficiaries and update your designations as needed.

Processing Fees

Transaction Processing Fees (deducted from the participant’s account)
Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) $250 per QDRO (deducted from the participant account when it is divided)
Loan Maintenance $6.25 per quarter (not charged in the quarter the loan is issued/refinanced or paid-off). This is not charged on loans in place prior to the effective date of this fee. The Loan Maintenance Fee is in addition to the Loan Set-up Fee.

Withdrawal Transactions

  • Full Distribution
  • Hardship Withdrawal
  • In-service Distribution
  • Contract Exchange
    (if applicable)
$25 per transaction
Note: These fees are waived when distributions are made due to the participant’s death or disability; from a beneficiary’s account; as a direct rollover to a Transamerica IRA; to purchase an annuity through Transamerica; or as a Required Minimum Distribution. The fee is also waived on unscheduled withdrawals by a former participant until the final distribution from their account.

Retirement Planning Consultant: Todd Hutson

SMU's Transamerica Retirement Planning Consultant is Todd Hutson. Todd 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. 

Email Us

Call Us 214-768-7504


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

    Record Keeper & Investment Manager: TIAA-CREF

    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 during your retirement years.

    Following is a brief summary of the eligibility and participation requirements:

    • Full-time benefits-eligible faculty and staff are automatically enrolled in an Emeriti Health Account at age 40. You will contribute $93.64 per month (prorated depending on your pay schedule) on a pre-tax basis during the 2024 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 investment options.

    • Age 40+ mandatory contributions (including SMU matching contributions) will increase 4% each year.

    • You can also enroll in and make voluntary, after-tax contributions to an Emeriti Health Account. Voluntary contributions are not matched by SMU. Please email if you wish to make voluntary after-tax contributions.

    • 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 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, you and your spouse, if eligible, will have access to retiree medical insurance - either through BCBSTX or Emeriti, depending on your age and age of your spouse.

    • Retirement Eligibility Requirements: You must be at least ago 60, employed by SMU for at least 10 years, AND enrolled in the SMU Medical Plan for at least 5 consecutive years immediately prior to retirement. 
    • Spouse Eligibility Requirements: Married to spouse for the five-year period immediately preceding your retirement.
    • If you and your spouse are age 65 or older when you retire, you may both enroll in the Emeriti Health Plan.
    • If you are age 65 or older when you retire, but your spouse is under 65, you will enroll in the Emeriti Health Plan and your spouse will remain in the BCBSTX plan until they reach age 65.
    • If your spouse is age 65 or older at the time you retire, but you have not yet reached age 65, you and your spouse will remain in the BCBSTX plan.  When you reach 65, you will both have an opportunity to enroll in the Emeriti Health Plan.

    SMU Premium Subsidy

    As long as you have met the retirement criteria addressed above, and you were hired prior to January 1, 2008 and at least age 40 on that date, SMU will pay a portion of your medical premiums.  This applies to your spouse as well, as long as he/she has met the criteria addressed above, even if he/she was not enrolled in an SMU Medical plan for the 5-year period preceding your retirement.

    The amount paid by SMU is based on whether you and/or your spouse are enrolled in the Emeriti Health Insurance Plan or the BCBSTX plan.

    • While enrolled in the BCBSTX Plan, SMU will continue to contribute an Employer Portion of the monthly BCBSTX medical premium for you and an eligible spouse.
    • While enrolled in the Emeriti Health Plan, the SMU monthly premium subsidy will be:
      • Age 65 - 69: $142
      • Age 70 - 74: $166
      • Age 75+ $198
      • As of January 1, 2024, SMU's premium subsidy will be frozen at the subsidy amount in effect in 2024.

    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 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 your spouse's 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 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.



    Retirement Resources

    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.

    Retiring from SMU
    How SMU's Medical Plans Work With Medicare
    Emeriti Health Plan Information
    Understanding Medicare
    Understanding Social Security

    ABCD's of Medicare