NDSU employees participate in either the TIAA defined contribution plan or the NDPERS defined benefit plan based on the type of position they have.  Each plan includes both employer and employee contributions.  Additionally, employees may elect to participate in supplemental retirement plans and can contribute via payroll deduction.

NDPERS Retirement - Defined Benefit Plan

The total contribution to the NDPERS retirement account is 15.26%.  The contributions are calculated as a percentage of your pay. For full details on this plan, please refer to the NDPERS Retirement Plan Handbook.

NDSU Percent12.26%
Employee Percent        3.00%



To be vested in a defined benefit program means that you have become legally entitled to a monthly benefit from NDPERS when you reach retirement age and terminate employment.

Under NDPERS, you become vested at the earlier of:

  • 36 months (3 years) of service credit
  • Attaining 65 years of age while employed with a participating employer

The account earns interest at a guaranteed 7.5% rate.

Beneficiary Change

Use the Beneficiary Change Form to make changes or update your NDPERS beneficiary information.

TIAA Retirement - Defined Contribution Plan

Contributions to this plan are shared by NDSU and the employee based on the schedule below.  This plan features immediate vesting.

Category 1

Teaching and research faculty with ranks of professor or associate professor and executive and administrative staff

Years of Service     NDSU Contribution %    Employee Contribution %
0 - 1012.5%4.5%
Category 2

Teaching and research faculty with rank of assistant professor, instructors, lecturers, extension agents and professional staff

Years of Service     NDSU Contribution %    Employee Contribution %
0 - 27.5%3.5%
3 - 1012.5%4.5%

TIAA Website

NDSU TIAA: Get to Know Your Retirement Benefits  (online enrollment available) 

Supplemental Retirement Accounts 403(b) & 457(b)

Employees can start, stop or make changes to the contributions they are making to their supplemental accounts anytime by completing a new salary reduction agreement.  Forms for both the 403(b) and 457(b) are available on the NDSU forms page.  For employees participating in the 457(b) deferred compensation account through NDPERS (or one of the vendors available through NDPERS), the changes can be made online using NDPERS member self service.

Limits are set by the IRS based on a calendar year.  For information on your maximum contribution limits, please contact the Benefits Specialist at

Contribution Limits

Each year, your contribution amounts to the 457(b) and 403(b) Plans are limited to a maximum dollar amount specified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). For 202, the IRS limit is $19,500 for each plan. This amount is in addition to the contribution you and NDSU contribute to the 401(a) Plan.  You can contribute up to $39,000 by maxing out both plans for 2021 — or, if you turn 50 in 2021 or are older, may contribute up to $52,000

457(b) Limit

  • $19,500 for 2021
  • Plus an additional $6,500 for 2020 if you are age 50 or older

403(b) Limit

  • $19,500 limit for 2021 for all 403(b) accounts including Roth after-tax contributions
  • Plus an additional $6,500 if you are age 50 or older
  • Plus an additional $3,000 if you have more than 15 years of service and average less than $5,000 of contributions per year of service, up to a lifetime cap of $15,000

Other Vendors

NDSU has payroll deduction services set up with the following vendors:

  • Ameriprise Financial              
  • TIAA
  • AXA Equitable Life
  • NDPERS (options listed below)
  • Fidelity
         1. NDPERS Companion Plan (administered by TIAA)
  • Putnam
         2. Bank of North Dakota
  • Thrivent
         3. Nationwide
  • TIAA
         4. Waddell & Reed
  • Vanguard
         5. American Trust Center
  • Waddell & Reed
Only available for current
participants, no longer accepting     
new enrollments as of 1/1/2021
Only available for current
participants, no longer accepting     
new enrollments as of 1/1/2021
  • AXA Equitable Life
  • Mass Mutual
  • Jackson National Life
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