Retirement and Tax-Deferred Savings Plans

Retirement plan

Western Michigan University's retirement plan for eligible new employees and most current employees is administered by TIAA. It is a defined contribution plan, in that contributions to the plan are a defined percentage of the employee's base wages.

  • For participating employees hired on or after Jan. 1, 2013, WMU contributes 9 percent of total gross earnings to the employee's retirement account. WMU’s contribution increases to 10 percent if the employee tax-defers at least 1 percent but less than 2 percent; to 11 percent if the employee tax-defers 2 percent or more. For participating employees hired before Jan. 1, 2013, WMU contributes 11 percent of total gross earnings to the employee's retirement account without the employee participating in the Tax-Deferred Savings Plan.
  • This plan is also self-directed, in that the employee decides how the funds in the account are invested among several options. The income received at retirement is based on the value of the account.
  • Vesting and eligibility vary by employee group.
  • For more information, please visit TIAA.

Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System

The University is not enrolling new employees in this plan. WMU only allows new employees to participate in MPSERS if they were participating members while working for Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Ferris State University, Lake Superior State University, Michigan Technological University, Northern Michigan University, or Western Michigan University, before Jan. 1, 1996.  

For more information, employees who were hired in the past and who actively participate in this program may visit the state of Michigan's Office of Retirement Services. A number of tutorials, webinars and seminars are offered by the Office of Retirement Services. Questions may be directed to the Office of Retirement Services at (800) 381-5111.

Tax-deferred savings plans (optional)

Employees may add to their retirement savings by contributing to the optional 403(b) and/or the 457(b) tax-deferred savings plans through payroll deduction. These contributions are invested through TIAA.
For more details, please review this year's Tax-Deferred Savings Plan Enrollment Information.


Schedule an appointment - Private consultations for investment or retirement planning are available on campus. If you are unable to register online, call the scheduling group at (800) 732-8353. 

Need more information?

Please contact Human Resources.

The WMU Board of Trustees has delegated oversight of the defined contribution investment offerings to the WMU Foundation Investment Committee. The annuities offered are contractually required by the recordkeeper, TIAA, and are not necessarily endorsed by the Investment Committee.  

Investing involves risk, including risk of loss. Western Michigan University does not provide legal, tax, or investment advice. The information herein is general in nature and should not be considered legal, tax, or investment advice. Consult an attorney, tax professional, or professional investment adviser regarding your specific situation.