Maximize your retirement benefits

Retirement Guidance for New Employees


Following is a brief checklist of essential information. You can find additional details and resources further down the page.


    Review resources below to make an informed decision, and enroll in Workday. While you have 30 days to make your health plan election, you have 60 days to make your retirement election.
    Explore retirement plan details


    Take time to meet with account advisors and explore the resources available to you.


  1. CONTRIBUTE TO A 403(B) or a 457

    Maximize your optional voluntary contributions to a 403(b) and/or a 457. 
    Learn details about these savings plans


    For assistance in choosing a retirement plan, employees may schedule an appointment with a UVA HR benefits counselor by contacting the HR Solution Center.

Learn more

Click on a topic below for details in guiding you to maximize your retirement benefit as you begin your career.

  • Choosing a Retirement Plan

    Choosing a retirement plan is mandatory. Here are resources to help you make an informed decision. 

    Complete the VRS-65: Optional Retirement Plan for Higher Education form and return it to the HR Solution Center

    Review Virginia Retirement Systems plan information

    Find Answers to Your Questions

    Invest your retirement funds wisely. Carefully consider “life cycle” or “target date” funds so your investments automatically rebalance as you age. You may request assistance from the representatives of your chosen provider via the numbers listed below.

    1. Fidelity: 1-800-343-0860
    2. TIAA: 1-800-842-2252
    3. MissionSquare (formerly known as ICMA-RC): 1-877-327-5261

    Watch Making the Most of Your Meeting with a Financial Advisor on YouTube.

    If you need additional help, UVA HR benefits counselors are available to assist you. You may schedule an appointment with a UVA HR benefits counselor by contacting the HR Solution Center.

  • Enrolling in a Retirement Plan in Workday

    The following resources may help you in making your benefit elections in Workday:

    To Enroll in the Commonwealth of VA 457

    • Enroll online through MissionSquare and create a user ID and password.
    • Make your investment decisions online at Mission Square's Plan Investment Elections.
    • Call Mission Square at 877.327.5261 to enroll and to discuss investment choices on the Plan Information Line (UVA will not make retroactive changes to excess contributions or deductions).
  • Maximize your optional voluntary contributions to a 403(b) and/or 457

    As a University employee you are eligible to enroll in one or both of the additional retirement savings plans known under IRS regulations as 403 (b) and 457 programs.

    Employees enrolled in a VRS Hybrid plan can only enroll in 403 (b) and 457 programs after maxing out their VRS Hybrid plan by contributing the maximum voluntary 4% to the defined contribution portion of their VRS Hybrid plan.

    In 403 (b) and 457 programs you can set aside funds after tax under a Roth provision or defer a significant amount (the maximum changes yearly) on a tax deferred basis.

    The graph below shows how much more you accumulate by investing 8% or 10% of your income versus 6% at different salary levels.










    In the graph below, you can see the power of compounding. The earlier you begin contributing to your retirement, the more time that money has to grow. 

    compounding graph








  • How to Use a FSA or HSA

    Flexible Spending Accounts:

    To help UVA employees maximize their money for medical, pharmacy, dental, vision, and dependent-care expenses, the University has two options: Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Dependent Daycare Reimbursement Accounts.

    • The Health Care FSA can be used to pay medical, pharmacy, dental and vision expenses 
    • The Dependent Care Account FSA can be used to pay dependent care expenses 

    FSAs make it possible for you to pay for certain expenses on a pre-tax basis. 

    All Health Plan participants may have some form of an FSA, but Basic Health participants may only have a Limited FSA for eligible dental and vision expenses. 

    See more on the FSA webpage.

    Health Savings Accounts: 

    Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are available to those who are enrolled in Basic Health. They can be used for eligible health care, dental, and vision expenses. Balances roll over each year and accrue interest; you get to keep the balance even if you leave UVA.

    Both employees and employers can make pre-tax contributions up to the IRS annual limit. For those age 55 and older, there is an additional catch-up amount allowed.

    They can be used with a dental/vision-only Limited Flexible Spending Account (LMT).

    Once your HSA has a balance of $1,000, you may invest it in mutual funds; any growth from the investment is tax-free, so long as it is used on eligible medical expenses.

    View details on the HSA webpage. 

  • How to Consolidate Retirement Accounts

    Generally, you can leave your retirement assets in the plan at your previous provider, move them to your current retirement plan, roll to an IRA, or take a cash distribution. 

    See a helpful comparison chart to consider what option might be right for you.  

    Learn more about how to consolidate retirement accounts

  • Become Familiar with Commonly Used Financial Terminology

    Learn important financial terms

Resources to help you Maximize Your Benefits

Click to watch videos below.

Advantages of Having a Health Savings Account

Understanding the Flexible Savings Account

Investment for Beginners Series