Retirement Plan Change FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions regarding changes to the College’s retirement plan. Leer en español

June 2020

Q. What is the current benefit that employees have?

A. The College contributes to a tax-deferred retirement plan in two ways:

  • a non-elective contribution to the employee’s account of 6% of gross eligible earnings
  • a “matching” contribution to the employee’s account of 100% of the salary deferral elected by the employee, up to a maximum matching contribution of 4% of gross eligible earnings
Q. What portion of the benefit is being affected?

A. The “matching” contribution (currently up to 4%) is being affected at this time.

Q. Will the College continue to contribute 6% of my gross eligible earnings, based on the plan rules?

A. Yes, the 6% College contributions are not being impacted through this action.

Q. I am currently making salary/wage deferrals based on the fact that the College is matching my contributions. Can I still continue to make salary deferrals?

A. Yes, you can continue to defer your salary to the retirement plan, even if the College is not contributing at this time.

Q. Does this affect the funds that I have already accumulated in my retirement plan?

A. No, this action is only for future funds. This does not impact the funds that are currently in your account and are fully-vested.

Q. Will the College’s matching contributions continue again?

A. The plan is for this to be a suspension of College contributions to the matching component through June 30, 2021. There has been no decision beyond that time.

Q. What was the thought process that went into the decision to suspend the employer matching contribution to the College’s 403(b) retirement plan?

A. It was chosen because it is a measure that affects everyone—staff, administrators, and faculty. It also was chosen because the estimated savings of $1.5 million would be difficult to generate in other ways. This was in keeping with our top goals of avoiding layoffs and salary cuts.

Q. Doesn’t the 4% cut hurt people who are closer to retirement?

A. This question is very much dependent on an individual’s personal strategy and their progress toward achieving their goals.

Q. At what time will the 403b match reduction be revisited?

A. The match will be suspended until June 30, 2021. It will be reviewed prior to that date.

Q. Is TIAA aware of Oxy’s retirement plan reduction?

A. The College has been working with TIAA on this amendment to suspend contributions but as this is not yet in place, the plan amendment may not yet be registered for TIAA consultants to see.