Every employee dreams of a secure, enjoyable retirement.  Planning ahead financially can help you achieve your goals. Employees can build and protect their futures financial security by taking advantage of the opportunities available through Marshall University’s retirement programs. Experts estimate that individuals will need at least 70% of their annual income for each year of retirement. To build enough protection for your financial security, it is important to save as much as you can consistently over time!” For a one-on-one consultation, please contact Lisa Henry, Benefits Coordinator at 304-696-6240 or

Types of Retirement Plans
There are *two retirement plans offered and benefits-eligible employees are required to select one. 

Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA) – A major financial services organization with a longstanding reputation for service and value.  This nationwide retirement system for people working at education, research, and healthcare institutions offers high quality investment management at expense  levels that are among the lowest in the insurance and mutual fund industries.

Empower Retirement (Formerly Great West) – Through a singular focus on income replacement, the Empower experience is one that can take people on a successful journey to and through retirement. We offer market leadership and scale. As the second-largest retirement services provider in the U.S., we’re fully committed to the retirement services industry, with expertise and diversification across all plan types, company sizes and market segments.

*Some current employees have been grandfathered into the State Teachers Retirement program. However, it is no longer an option for new employees.

Who is Eligible

  • Full-time benefits eligible employees which are defined as below must participate in the mandated retirement plan (401(a))
    • 9 month faculty:  working a minimum of nine months of a twelve-month period on continuous basis
    • 12 month faculty/Staff:  working at least 1,040 hours (.53 Full-Time Equivalent [FTE]) per year on a continuing basis
    • Non-tenure track faculty who are hired in a full-time position but who work as a temporary for one academic year or one semester
  • All benefit eligible employees also have two voluntary retirement programs (mentioned below) available through TIAA and Empowered Retirement
  • Any employee of Marshall University is eligible to contribute into the 403(b) Retirement Savings plan offered by TIAA or Empowered Retirement.

  • Employee Contribution – Employees must contribute 6% of their gross salary to the retirement plan of their choice. Contributions begin on the date of employment and are vested 100% immediately. Employees may allocate monthly contributions to a variety of investment options available in their plan of choice.
  • University Contribution – The University will match the employees 6% of their gross salary.
  • Contribution Limits – According to the IRS, there are limits to how much employers and employees can contribute to a plan (or IRA) each year. The plan must specifically state that contributions or benefits cannot exceed certain limits. The limits differ depending on the type of plan.
Voluntary Retirement Programs
Additionally, both retirement plans have two voluntary retirement programs available in the form of a 403(b) tax-sheltered annuity plan and a 457(b) deferred compensation plan.  Deductions may begin or end at any time. These two plans are optional to the required 6% contribution by the employee and are NOT matched by the institution.
Retirement Checklist
To plan your retirement, please follow our Retirement Checklist. The list will provide you with the resources you need and the time-frame for your process.
How to Enroll
The enrollment process will take place during your Benefits Enrollment Session which is scheduled upon employment.

  • You should have completed a Vendor Selection Form during your Benefits Enrollment Session to select your plan of choice.
  • Enrolling in TIAA:
      • Paper Form Enrollment –   You will complete the paper enrollment form and submit it to the Benefits Coordinator during your benefits session.
      •  Online Enrollment – You will go to their website at There you can see all the options available for the university. You will follow the screen as instructed.
  •  Enrolling in Empower Retirement:
    • Paper Form Enrollment –  You will complete the paper enrollment form and submit it to the Benefits Coordinator during your benefits session.
Emeritus Status

Emeritus Status is potentially available to faculty, nonclassified, and classified who meet the requirements set forth in policy. Emeritus status must be requested by your Dean, Director, or Vice President and approved by the President. Once approved, Human Resource Services will generate the information needed to generate the Emeritus ID Card and any other entitlements.

Empower Retirement Resources

Empower Retirement Contact Information:

Empowered Retirement.   866-467-7756 ext. 87157
Feedback is welcomed on your service experience
Please contact Tom Lysinger — Vice President, Participant Services
844-804-8989   Email:
* Please do not put any confidential or personal account information in an email request

IRS Resources

Retirement Planning:

Contributions and Withdraws:

IRS Contact Information:

Contact your local IRS office.
IRS Office Huntington, WV
845 5th Ave, Huntington, WV 25701
Phone: (681) 203-2120

Social Security Resources

A federal program that provides retirement income, disability benefits, and health care for people 65 and older.  For every dollar withheld from an employee’s pay check, the University contributes an equal amount.  Detailed information about particular benefits can be obtained by contacting the Social Security Office.

Social Security Contact Information:

Phone – 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
TTY 1-800-325-0778)
Automated Service – 1-800-772-1213
Email – 
Local Office –
Mail –
Social Security Administration
Office of Public Inquiries
1100 West High Rise
6401 Security Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 21235

TIAA Resources