Skip navigation - Jump to main content
UWHR to launch new website at end of July! Learn more about the upcoming launch.

University of Washington Retirement Plan (UWRP)


The UW Retirement Plan (UWRP) is a tax-deferred defined contribution plan under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 403(b) that helps you save for retirement. Employees can start participating in the UWRP on their first day of eligibility in a UWRP-eligible appointment. The UW helps you save even more for retirement by providing 100% matching funds to your own contributions. Both the UW and employee contributions are immediately vested, and the plan is 100% portable if you leave the UW. For the UWRP plan, vested means you are eligible to receive both your and the UW's contributions if you terminate all UW employment. UWRP operates under federal tax law and the UWRP Retirement Plan Document.

UWRP Eligibility

Faculty, librarians, academic and professional staff employed at least 50% in an eligible job class, with an appointment that is ongoing or with a fixed duration of at least six consecutive months are eligible to participate in the UWRP until you retire or separate from employment with UW, or you move from an eligible position to an ineligible job class.

Changing positions at the UW?

If you move from a UWRP-eligible to a PERS-eligible position or vice versa, contact the UW Benefits Office to determine your retirement plan options.

Employee and Employer Contributions

The amount you can contribute through the UWRP is determined by your age and subject to contribution limits described below. The closer you are to retirement age, the more you can save:

Your Age Your Contribution UW’s Contribution Total UWRP Contribution
Under 35 5% 5% 10%
35+ 7.5% 7.5% 15%
50+ (optional) 10% 10% 20%

IRC Salary Maximums

Contributions for employees hired on or after July 1, 1996, are calculated on your actual salary up to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) established salary maximum of $265,000 for the July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016 plan year.

If you were hired on or after July 1, 1996, and your salary is above the IRC contribution salary maximum, your contribution is calculated based on the IRC maximum salary amount. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) periodically adjusts the salary maximum on which contribution calculations are based.

Employees hired before July 1, 1996, are not subject to the IRC salary limit for contribution calculation.

IRC Contribution Limits

The IRC sets annual limits on employee and employer contributions to defined contribution retirement plans such as the UWRP and VIP. For UWRP plan participants the limit includes both the UW and your UWRP contributions, plus your contributions to the VIP.


Enroll in UWRP

Eligible employees may enroll in the UWRP at any time during the first two years of plan eligibility. Enroll or make changes through the UW’s master administrator, Fidelity Investments at, or call 1-800-642-7131 for assistance. Also, update your beneficiary information here.

If you have not enrolled in the UWRP by the end of your two-year employment anniversary, you will automatically be enrolled, and your contributions invested in a Vanguard Target Retirement Date Fund which is the qualified default account for the UWRP. Participation in a retirement plan is a condition of your continued employment with UW.


Review your investment options, schedule a one-on-one consultation, and find out if you’re on track to reach your goals.

Fidelity Investments - Master Record Keeper

TIAA-CREF (for annuity contracts)
Group #100214

Deductions during a Paid Leave of Absence

Deductions continue while you are on an authorized, paid leave of absence.

Access Funds Upon Ending Employment (Before Retirement)

If you end employment at the UW, you keep all of the accumulations in your UW Retirement Plan—including the UW matching funds. You can contact your record keeper directly if you wish to roll your savings into another retirement plan or Individual Retirement Account (IRA). You will have the same income options as all retirees who actively participate in the UWRP. However only those retiring from active service in a UWRP-eligible appointment are considered to be retirees of the UW, with rights and privileges of UWRP retirement.

To access funds upon ending UW employment:

  1. You must be separated from an eligible position and no longer receiving ANY wages from the UW, except as explained below in number 2.
  2. If you are receiving retirement benefits from any other Washington state plan, contact the plan for terms and restrictions on re-employment.

These rules apply to any request for a distribution from the UWRP, regardless of whether money is rolled to another retirement plan or IRA, or any other distribution is made.

Contact your record keeper directly to roll your savings into another retirement plan or Individual Retirement Account (IRA).


Take advantage of the guidance, education, and tools that Fidelity offers to help you maximize your savings and plan for a successful retirement.

The Voluntary Investment Plan (VIP) is an optional, unmatched retirement savings plan available to most UWRP participants who wish to save a higher percentage of their salary than the UWRP offers. Learn about the VIP.

The Washington State Deferred Compensation Plan (WSDCP) is an additional tax deferred retirement savings plan that can, under some circumstances be combined with the UWRP and/or VIP. Learn about the WSDCP.

The UW Supplemental Retirement Plan (UWSRP) is available only to those who were active participants in the UW Retirement Plan (UWRP) on February 28, 2011. It is closed to UWRP participants who were not active participants on the date it closed or who enrolled in the UWRP on or after March 1, 2011. Learn about the UWSRP.

Disclaimer: If there are any discrepancies between this website and the provisions of the UWRP, the Plan Document will prevail.

UWRP Topics

Individual Appointments Available
Visit or call 800-642-7131 to schedule a individual appointment with a Fidelity Workplace Planning and Guidance Consultant to discuss your investment options.

Were you a member of the UWRP on February 28, 2011? If so, you may be eligible for a calculation of the supplemental retirement benefit after you retire. Learn more.