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Staff Retirement (403b)

Employee Contribution

RISD offers staff employees (student employees excluded) the ability to contribute toward retirement by contributing pre-tax dollars to RISD’s retirement plan.

Employee Contributions: Employees may elect to contribute pre-tax dollars up to the IRS determined annual limit. Employees ages 50 and over by December 31 of the plan year who elect to contribute the IRS determined annual limit may contribute an additional catch-up amount.
Start date: First of the month coinciding with or following the date of hire.
End date: Employees may also elect to stop contributions at any time. Coverage ends on the last day of active employment.
Changes: Employees may elect to make changes to their fund allocation at anytime by logging into their TIAA account. Employees may also elect in Workday to change their contributions for the next pay period. For more info please see instructions for changing contributions in Workday.

Employer Contribution

RISD’s employer contribution is 8% of a staff employee’s gross earnings up to the social security (FICA) maximum. In addition, RISD contributes 13% of gross earnings above the social security (FICA) maximum, but not to exceed IRS compensation limits. Employees are eligible to participate in the plan after two (2) years of service with at least 1,000 hours worked in each year and upon attainment of age 21. Years of full-time continuous service at another institution of higher education may be counted towards the two (2)-year waiting period by providing appropriate verifications to Human Resources by no later than the first of the month for which the contribution is to be effective. Verifications received after the first of the month will be effective the beginning of the next month following receipt of the verification. 

For more about appropriate verification, please contact Human Resources at 401 454-6606.


To help RISD employees understand, navigate, and pursue generous federal programs, such as reduced student loan payments and forgiveness, RISD has leveraged our relationship with TIAA to offer access to Savi Services. Savi can help employees in one of two ways:

  • Through a self-directed and no – cost tool, employees can assess their situation and obtain information on options/opportunities that may exist. The tool may be accessed at www.tiaa.org/risd/student.
  • By opting to voluntarily enroll in and purchase Savi’s Essential Service.  With the Essential Service, Savi will administer the program’s ongoing paperwork requirements including annual re enrollment, employer certification, and filings.

More information on Savi Services may be found at www.tiaa.org/risd/student or by calling 1-833-604-1226. Additionally, their schedule of free semi-monthly webinars can be found here.

403(b) Educational Materials and Resources

TIAA provides the following educational materials and resources to help you get the most out of your retirement benefits: