Retirement Savings Plan

Welcome to the Brandeis University Defined Contribution Retirement Plan! Start investing in your future - and yourself - today. Brandeis offers Fidelity Investments® as your retirement service provider. This User Guide (pdf) will walk you through how to enroll in your Brandeis Retirement Plan online and how to make changes to your account

Automatic Enrollment

You will be automatically enrolled to make 403(b) Supplemental contributions in the retirement plan at a pretax rate of 5% if exempt, paid semi monthly or 3% nonexempt, paid weekly. Your contributions will be invested in the Target Date Fund that's closest to your anticipated retirement date (assuming retirement at age 65).

If you wish to waive your enrollment in the Plan, you must change your contribution rate to 0% within the first 30 calendar days from the date indicated on your automatic enrollment notification in the mail.

We encourage you to choose a contribution rate and investment options that are appropriate for you. You may change your elections at any time by logging in to your account with your username and password. See  how to enroll instructions

New Plan Features January 2024!

403(b) Retirement Savings Plan - Addition of Roth Source 01/2024

Brandeis University is pleased to offer a new Roth 403(b) contribution source effective January 1, 2024. Roth 403(b) option offers the potential for tax-free retirement income.

An additional way to save in the Plan

Unlike a traditional pretax 403(b) the Roth 403(b) allows you to contribute after-tax dollar and then withdraw tax-free dollars from your account when you retire.*

How the Roth 403(b) compares with a traditional pretax 403(b)

Just as with a traditional pre-tax 403(b):

You elect how much of your salary you wish to contribute.

  • Your contributions to a Roth 403(b) and traditional pretax 403(b) cannot exceed IRS limits.
  • Your contribution is based on your eligible compensation.
  • If eligible you may receive university matching contribution based on your Roth 403(b) election.
 Unlike a traditional pretax 403(b), the Roth 403(b) allows you to withdraw your money tax free when you retire.* But it will also require you to make after-tax contributions now.

Who might benefit from a Roth 403(b)?

  • Younger employees who have a longer retirement horizon and more time to accumulate tax-free earnings.
  • Highly compensated individuals who aren’t eligible for Roth IRAs, but who want a pool of tax-free money to draw on in retirement.
  • Employees who want to leave tax-free money to their heirs

Taxes: Pay now or pay later


Traditional Pre-tax 403(b)

 Roth 403(b)

Employee contributions

 Pre-tax dollars

After-tax dollars

Employee withdrawals

Taxable upon withdrawal

Tax free upon withdrawal*

*In the event of either retirement or termination, your earnings can be withdrawn tax free as long as it has been five tax years since your first Roth 403(b) contribution and you are at least 59½ years old. In the event of death, beneficiaries may be able to receive distributions tax free if the deceased started making Roth contributions more than five tax years prior to the distribution. In the event of disability, your earnings can be withdrawn tax free if it has been five tax years from your first Roth 403(b) contribution.

Deferral election changes are made on Fidelity’s NetBenefits (User Guide, page 7) or by calling the Retirement Service Center at 800-343-0860. 

We encourage you to consult with a tax professional, financial advisor or retirement specialist to optimize your retirement savings strategy. They can provide personalized guidance based on your individual circumstances and goals.

2024 Source:

403(b) Pre-tax Employee contributions (prior name 403(b) Supplemental)

  • Pre-tax employee deductions
  • University matching contributions are based on your mandatory contribution rate, exempt (paid semi monthly) employees 5% and non-exempt (paid weekly) employees 3%.
  • Can be changed (increased, decreased or stopped) at any time
  • Election changes become effective in the pay period following election date

403(b) Employer Basic - University matching contribution

  • 8% of your eligible compensation, plus 2% contribution on the July 1 following attainment of age 50 - (semi-monthly paid)
  • 6% of your eligible compensation, plus 2% contribution on the July 1 following attainment of age 50 - (weekly paid)
Employee Status

Required % of Base Salary

Employee Deferral

% of Base Salary

University Match

After Age 50 Contributions
Non-Exempt Staff 3% 6% University contribution increases to 8% on the July 1 following age 50 and at least 1 year of benefit eligible service
Faculty and Exempt Staff 5% 8% University contribution increases to 10% on the July 1 following age 50 and at least 1 year of benefit eligible service

Website User Guides

Contribution Limits for 2024

  • Employees 49 or younger: $23,000 for combined 403(b) Employee Basic and Employee Supplemental contributions.
  • Employees 50 or older: $30,500 for combined 403(b) Employee Basic and Employee Supplemental contributions, the latter of which includes a maximum $7,500 "catch-up" contribution.

IRS Contribution Guidelines for 2024 (pdf)

Important Reminders

  • You must contribute a minimum Employee Contribution of 5% if paid semi monthly, 3% if paid weekly to qualify for the university match. Your employee contribution can be one or a combination of Pre-Tax Basic Deferral and/or ROTH After-Tax Contributions. Any deferrals below the 5% or 3% threshold will not be eligible for the University's matching contribution.
  • Updates to 403(b) Employee Contributions are made on NetBenefits or by calling the Retirement Service Center 800.343.0860.
  • Employee contribution elections become effective in the pay period following election date.
  • University matching contributions become effective the first of the following month of eligibility.
  • Workday will not permit you to make contributions above the IRS maximum contribution limit
  • You are responsible for monitoring your annual contribution amounts, which are reflected on your pay slip.
  • You may seek assistance in determining your contribution amount from representatives at Fidelity (800-343-0860) or your tax advisor.

Meet With a Retirement Planner

To help you plan for your future, Retirement Planners from Fidelity Investments are on campus regularly to provide one-on-one guidance appointments. Consultations may be conducted in person virtually or over the phone.

To schedule your confidential consultation, please visit:

Work-Life Balance-Financial Well-Being

Visit the Financial Well-Being page for additional information.


If you have additional questions about this service, contact Fidelity Investments at 800-343-0860 or online at