Retirement Plan Highlights

The following is a brief outline of certain highlights of the College's Retirement Plan. You should not rely on these highlights as a complete description of the Plan. Rather, you should take the time to read the Summary Plan Description and keep it with your other important papers.

The Berea College Retirement Plan is a defined contribution plan that operates under Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Plan was established on October 1, 1922, for the purpose of providing retirement benefits for participating employees. 

Benefits are provided through: 

  1. Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA) and
  2. College Retirement Equities Fund (CREF), a companion organization providing variable annuities.



All full time and part time regular employees working 24+ hours per week are eligible for this benefit.  Temporary employees are not eligible for participation. You will begin participation in the Plan on the first day of the month after you fulfill the following requirements: 

  • You complete one year of service at the College;
  • Years of service with other educational organizations will be counted for satisfying this requirement. 
  • Former College employees who are reemployed, and who previously completed the service requirement for Plan eligibility prior to terminating their employment, will begin participation in the Plan immediately after re-employment if working in a full time or part time regular position.

Participant Contributions

  • For 2013, pre-tax contributions may not exceed $17,500. (Employees who are over age 50 are eligible to contribute up to an additional $5,500 annually.)
  • Participants may make after-tax contributions in addition to pre-tax contributions.
  • Participants may also make qualifying rollover contribu­tions.
  • Contribution amounts may be changed once per month.

Employer Contributions

When you begin participation in the Plan, contributions will be made automatically to the funding vehicles that you’ve chosen. The contributions are based on a percentage of your compensation, according to the schedule shown below. If you participate in the Plan for only part of a year, your allocation will be based on the portion of compensation earned during the period in which you participate.

Plan Contributions as a Percentage of Compensation

By the College       8%


 You are fully and immediately vested in the benefits arising from contributions made under this Plan. Such amounts are non-forfeitable.     


Loans from the Plan are permitted. Contact your TIAA-CREF representative at 1-800-842-2776 for more information about securing a loan and your responsibilities for repayment. 

Revised: 2/2013


All distributions of Plan funds are governed by the Summary Plan Description. The normal retirement age under the Plan is age 65. You may begin to receive retirement income at any time, which may be either earlier or later than the normal retirement age. If you begin receiving benefits under this Plan before termination of employment, no further contributions will be made on your behalf.


The Plan is administered by the College through the Office of Human Resources and is responsible for Plan operation. 

This summary contains only highlights of the Plan and is not intended to constitute a summary plan description. You should refer to the Summary Plan Description for further detail regarding the Plan.

Revised: 2/2013