Tax-Deferred Annuity - 403(b)

A TDA is a supplemental account that offers employees the opportunity to make tax-deferred contributions. When combined with other retirement programs, a tax-deferred annuity enhances your ability to provide a solid financial foundation for retirement years.

The University of Alaska TDA plans are categorized as 403(b) retirement plans.

All University of Alaska employees, including students, adjuncts and other part-time workers, are eligible to participate.

Participation in this plan is voluntary. 

Contribution limits are set annually by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The 2020 contribution limit is:

  • $19,500

If you are over the age of 50 you are eligible to contribute an additional $6,500 catch up amount, bringing your total to $26,000 for 2020.

Enrollment:

Employees must follow these steps when signing up to contribute to a TDA. 

  1. Review the list of eligible fund sponsors (see TDA Fund Sponsors) and choose one to setup an account with. 
  2. Contact your preferred fund sponsor and open a 403(b) account associated with the University of Alaska. You must specify your account is associated with the University of Alaska. You cannot contribute to a previous employer's plan. 
  3. Once your account is setup, you will need to complete the Tax-Deferred Annuity Salary Reduction Agreement Form. On this form you will indicate a bi-weekly contribution as well as a calendar year goal. Both of these may be changed at any time during the calendar year. 

Please note: Employees are encouraged to speak with a financial advisor before opening a TDA account. 

While the University assists with the payroll deductions for this, the account and the funds are entirely managed by the employee.​

Employees may stop, start, increase, or decrease their biweekly contributions at any time during the calendar year. To make changes to your TDA election, please complete a new Tax-Deferred Salary Reduction Agreement form

To avoid additional tax penalties, it is recommended to wait to withdraw your retirement account until you have reached age 59-1/2. If you need to access your TDA funds prior to retirement or separation from the University, please see the planwithease.com section on how to access your money. 

Upon retirement or separation from the University, you will have different options to choose how you receive your account balance. Contact your fund sponsor directly to discuss these options. 

For additional information, review the Retirement Checklist, Offboarding, or contact ua-benefits@alaska.edu

The University of Alaska uses a third party administrator to manage most transactions under the voluntary TDA program. Planwithease.com offers administrative services for the plan, such as approvals for distributions, loans, qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs) and hardship withdrawals.

How to Access Your Money

You can access your funds in the TDA more easily than the UA retirement plans (ORP and UA Pension). Some providers allow you to borrow against your account in the form of a personal or residential loan. Please work with your fund sponsor and Planwithease for information on what they allow and what proof is required. 

Hardship distributions are available for an immediate and heavy financial need, such as severe medical debt previously incurred, risk of foreclosure or eviction, educational expenses, expenses to repair damage to your home and others. All applications for a hardship distribution must go through planwithease.com. 

You can also access your account after age 59 ½, even if you’re still employed. Options for taking your money once you retire or leave the university include rolling over to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), transferring to another employer’s 403(b), 401(k) or 401(a), providing those other plans accept transferred funds, and partial or total lump sum withdrawals. All distributions made directly to you (not rolled over or transferred) are taxable in the year you take them.

If your university TDA account is involved in a QDRO, please work with Planwithease and your fund sponsor to process the order. Use this guide to help you get started. 

You can request approvals for these transactions online at your convenience. To access Plan With Ease's online services, please follow the steps below:
  1. Go to www.planwithease.com
  2. Login using the information below 
    • User ID: Your SSN (no dashes)
      Password: University employees are directly mailed their unique password from planwithease.com. Contact their customer service if you did not receive a letter or need helping creating an account. You can also access the User Guide for help. 
      • You will be prompted to change both your username and password after you log into the site for the first time. 

If you have trouble logging in or need assistance with a transaction, you can contact them via phone at 855-464-6928, Monday through Friday 8 am to 6 pm Central time (5 am to 3 pm Alaska time).​ Or by email at customerservice@planwithease.com.

 

Planwithease.com is only used for the voluntary Tax-Deferred Annuity 403(b) program. It is not used for the UA Pension or ORP programs.