Retirement Plans

All benefit eligible faculty and staff will participate in the College's Retirement Plan after completing one year of employment. This waiting period is waived, however, if the faculty or staff member currently owns an annuity contract under a 403(b) plan or a custodial account under a 403(b) (7) plan from his or her previous employer. Generally, a 403(b) plan is offered to employees of an academic institutions, hospitals, or other non-profit organizations.

Participation in the Swarthmore plan is mandatory, and contributions to the plan continue as long as the employee is actively employed by the College. Employees are 100 percent vested in their accounts on the date participation begins. Contributions to this basic portion of the Retirement Plan are calculated according to the following schedule:

Contribution Schedule
  College Contribution Employee Contribution
First $20,000 of salary 10% 0%
Salary in excess of $20,000 10% 5.5%

The following information is meant to serve as a brief guide to upcoming changes in the College's retirement investment options. Please consult Fund Changes Coming to Your Retirement Plan [pdf], which further describes the changes and timing of the new retirement fund options.

How do I put more money into my retirement plan?

You need to complete a Salary Reduction Agreement [pdf]. Please note that you can make a change to your Salary Reduction Agreement once a quarter. When you complete the new Agreement, you must include the total of additional and/or supplemental contributions you wish to make as each agreement replaces the one on file.

If you have additional questions/concerns, contact John Cline at x8652.

Additional Basic Contributions

Employees are not limited to the above percentage levels. They may contribute additional sums on a voluntary basis up to a legally allowed maximum. However, the College will not make any further contributions on their behalf. Like basic contributions, additional contributions will be withheld from the employee's pay on a before-tax basis.

Supplemental Retirement Plan

A benefits eligible employee of Swarthmore College may also elect to have a portion of his or her salary, up to a legally allowed maximum, placed each year in a supplemental retirement account. Like contributions to the basic Retirement Plan, supplemental contributions are not subject to federal taxation until such time as it is received as income.