Marquette University offers employees the opportunity to save for retirement on a tax-advantaged basis through the Marquette University Retirement 403(b) Plan. While 401(k) Plans are offered to those working at “for-profit” organizations, 403(b) retirement plans are offered to those working at certain “tax-exempt or not-for-profit organizations” such as educational institutions. TIAA administers the Retirement Plan on behalf of Marquette University.

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Employee Contributions

As a Participant under the Plan, you may elect to reduce your compensation by a specific percentage (up to the annual IRS dollars maximums) and have that amount deposited in your Marquette University Retirement Plan. For 2022, the maximum you can contribute is $20,500. If you will attain age 50 or older in 2022, you can contribute an additional $6,500 in catch-up contributions. TIAA will direct you to the number of investment options you can choose from. If you made contributions to another qualified plan in the year you joined Marquette University, your total contributions among all plans cannot exceed the IRS limits.

There are two types of deferral options:

  • Pre-Tax Deferrals. If you elect to make Pre-Tax Deferrals, your taxable income is reduced by the percentage you elect less federal income taxes. Later, when you elect to take a distribution, you will pay the taxes on those deferrals and earnings.
  • Roth Deferrals. If you elect to make Roth Deferrals, the elective deferrals are subject to federal income taxes in the year of the deferral. However, the elective deferrals and, in certain cases, the earnings on the elective deferrals are not subject to federal income taxes when you take a distribution from the Plan.

Marquette University’s 403(b) plan allows for rollovers from previous employers if you wish to consolidate your retirement funds. Please contact TIAA to initiate that process.

You will always be 100% vested in your elective deferrals, as stated in Article V of the Marquette Retirement Plan Summary Plan Description.

Employer-Matching Contributions

In order to be eligible for the Marquette University employer-matching contribution, you will need to be at least age 21 and have two years of completed service with a minimum of 1,000 hours worked or at least twelve credits taught per year.

You may be eligible to receive past service credit towards the two-year waiting period for the employer-match with appropriate proof of qualified past employment with an eligible employer, such as an educational/teaching or research institution whose major function is teaching or research. You must submit a completed request for Past Service Credit, which requires verification from the past employer(s)’ custodian of records or HR department. Marquette’s HR department will verify all requests. Please contact for more information

Once you meet these requirements and contribute a minimum of 5% of your base salary, you will receive Marquette’s 8% employer-matching contribution. All contributions are immediately 100% vested to the employee.

If an employee’s request form is verified and the employee is determined to be eligible for the past service credit, HR will process the employee’s eligibility as soon as practicable but cannot guarantee matching contributions for forms completed (received by HR and verified with the former employer) less than three weeks before the next payroll date. Retroactive contributions are not allowed. Please contact for more information.

How to Enroll

You can enroll any time after the first of the month following your eligibility date by using the TIAA’s/Marquette website. If you are a first-time user, click “Register with TIAA-CREF” to set up your user ID and password. If you are a returning user, enter your user ID and click “Log in”. It will take one payroll cycle for you to be recognized in TIAA’s system. For additional assistance, call TIAA at 800-842-2776 or read more tips on how to enroll.

Impact of Starting to Save Early

To maximize your retirement savings potential, you may want to start once you are eligible. As you’ll see in the example below, the impact of starting early is dramatic. By starting to put away money earlier, a 25-year-old investing $75 per month accumulates more assets by age 65 than if he or she had started to invest $100 per month at age 35 — despite investing less each period.

Rate of Return Earned Example

This example is hypothetical and does not represent the performance of a particular investment. 

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More details are shown in the Marquette Retirement Plan Summary Plan Description.

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