The VIP is an optional, unmatched retirement savings program, operating under Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). VIP participants have the option of making pre-tax 403(b) contributions, after-tax Roth 403(b) contributions, or a combination of the two. Pre-tax contributions and earnings grow tax-deferred until you withdraw income. After-tax Roth contributions and earnings grow tax-free and future qualified distributions are not subject to taxation.
It is not necessary to be in one of the basic retirement plans to participate in the VIP; you may enroll in the VIP at any time. The UW does not match employee contributions.
The VIP is available to any UW employee except students (whose wages are exempt from FICA), and nonresident aliens (who receive no U.S.-source of earned income).
Money contributed to the VIP should be regarded as unavailable until you reach age 59 1/2. While you are still employed, the IRS limits access to these accounts except under IRC "hardship" rules.