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Retirement and Savings Plan Information

Enrollment in the retirement program is available to all permanent, full-time and part-time employees. Eligibility for part-time employees varies based on position and pay schedule. Employees have 30 days from the first date of eligibility to select enrollment in either a state retirement program (SERS or PSERS) or to enroll in the Alternative Retirement Program (ARP), or the employee will be automatically enrolled in the SERS retirement plan. Once the retirement plan selection has been made, it cannot be changed. Questions regarding eligibility should be addressed to the university human resource office.

State Retirement Programs
The two state retirement programs offered to PASSHE employees (SERS and PSERS) are similar in that they determine the retirement benefit based on a fixed formula that considers years of service, age, and final average salary. The benefit amount is guaranteed and not affected by the investment earnings of the plan. Employees are 100% vested in a state retirement plan after 5 years of service (10 years if employment began after 1/1/2011). Visit the SERS or PSERS website for more information.

Alternative Retirement Plan
The Alternative Retirement Plan works very differently in the way it calculates retirement income. Employee and employer contributions are paid to the employee's retirement account and employees make investment decisions about their own account. The benefit is determined by the account balance, which is made up of all contributions plus any investment earnings. Employees may invest their ARP contributes with Fidelity Investments, TIAA-CREF, or VALIC.

Voluntary Supplemental Retirement Plans
PASSHE offers two additional options for retirement plans that are entirely optional to employees. PASSHE participates in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Deferred Compensation Plan currently administered through Great West. This program allows employees to contribute to a long-term savings plan on a pre-tax basis up to amounts allowed by the IRS. The other option open to PASSHE employees is the Tax Sheltered Annuity (TSA) program. The TSA program is a supplemental retirement savings plan under Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code. This voluntary program allows employees to contribute, on a pre-tax basis, a portion of your salary for retirement savings.