WHOI will make Base contributions into the Defined Contribution Retirement Plan for eligible employees. The amount of WHOI’s contribution is based on a ‘points system’ determined by a combination of ‘age + service.’ Both age and service will be tracked during the year to adjust for additional points and, if applicable, will automatically be upgraded to the next percentage tier (e.g., from 8% to 10% when an employee reaches 60 points).
Note: There is a maximum accumulated transition benefit amount of 36%.
*Includes base pay and overtime
For Employee Contributions:
Any employee who is paid by WHOI and receives a W-2 will be eligible to participate in retirement savings by making pre-tax and/or after-tax Roth 403(b) contributions into the Defined Contribution Retirement Plan. There is no waiting period for commencing employee contributions.
For WHOI Contributions:
Employees will become eligible for contributions from WHOI after completing one year of service with 1,000 hours worked (this waiting period was waived for regular employees who were hired prior to January 1, 2010).
There is a 3-year vesting period on all WHOI contributions made into the Defined Contribution Retirement Plan. This means that an employee who has received a contribution from WHOI must complete three (3) calendar years with 1,000 hours in order to own those employer contributions. For regular employee's, prior service is counted towards the determination of an employee’s vesting achievement.
Any contribution that an employee makes on their own into the Defined Contribution Retirement Plan is always 100% vested and owned by the employee. These contributions are not subject to vesting rules.
Under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), an employee’s own contribution (elected salary deferral) into the Defined Contribution Retirement Plan are subject to annual contribution limits. For 2015, the maximum amount an employee can contribute into a 403(b) plan is $18,000, or $24,000 if you are age 50 or older by December 31st.
It is important to note that these limits are inclusive of any contributions you make, or have made during the year, into any 403(b) or 401(k) plan – not just WHOI’s Plan. If you are making tax-deferred contributions through another employer’s retirement savings plan, you should speak with a qualified tax adviser to make sure that your combined contributions do not exceed the IRC limits. This can be especially important for those employees who are newly hired to WHOI and have contributed to another plan during the year, prior to commencing their employment with WHOI.
Effective January 1, 2011, employees who are eligible to participate in the Defined Contribution Retirement Plan will be automatically enrolled to contribute 4% of their salary if they are not already doing so. This applies to regular status employees only.
Although WHOI will be automatically enrolling employees to participate in the Defined Contribution Retirement Plan, employees will always have the option of opting out or electing a deferral amount less than 4%. Employee contributions will not impact the eligibility or amount of WHOI’s contribution.
Lifetime Annuity Purchase Plan (Available only to those employees who are also participants of the Defined Benefit Plan)
Employees who are also participants of the Defined Benefit Plan, which was closed to new participants as of January 1, 2010, may roll-over the WHOI-contributed portion of their Defined Contribution Retirement Plan account balance to the Defined Benefit Plan upon retirement as a way of receiving a single life annuity payment. In order to qualify for this option, the following criterion applies: