Retirement Plan Change for Select Staff* Hired After June 30, 2015

*These changes do not apply to faculty, executive or senior staff appointments effective July 1 or later.

  • Why is the university making this change?

    Case Western Reserve competes for talented employees within the Northeast Ohio region and across the nation. The university’s ability to recruit and retain outstanding faculty and staff depends on the stability of its overall finances and the appeal of its compensation and benefit packages.

    To that end, the university closely follows employment-related trends within higher education – in particular with regard to peer institutions within the American Association of Universities (AAU). Administrators also track compensation and benefit developments within this region for campus positions that draw significant numbers of candidates from the immediate area.

    Through this ongoing benchmarking, we recognized local and national trends away from defined benefit plans – the existing Plan B – and toward defined contribution plans – the new 403(b) model, which the university will call Staff Non-Contributory Retirement Plan "Plan C". The latter option gives employees the opportunity to make their own retirement savings investment choices, rather than the university as sole managers of their funds. In addition, the structure of the 403(b) option gives the university greater ability to plan long term, in that the university’s costs fluctuate far less.

  • So does this announcement mean that current employees face no changes just for next year, or is this the only adjustment to retirement offerings for the foreseeable future?

    The university has no immediate plans to make changes to other retirement offerings. That said, officials will continue to monitor employment trends in higher education nationally and the local market. In addition, changes to federal law also can affect what moves the university must or should make. Any future changes at Case Western Reserve, then, will depend on developments across top colleges and universities, relevant local industries, and within Congress

  • How can I learn more about my retirement options?

    You can direct initial questions to the benefits office of Human Resources at call l 216.368.6781 or e-mail

    You also can meet directly with representatives of TIAA and/or Vanguard. Their schedule of on-campus availability can be found at

  • What if an individual hired after June 30 worked previously at the university and was enrolled in Plan B then? Does he or she go back into Plan B or into Plan C?

    Those who worked at the university previously and have returned after more than an extremely brief absence will be enrolled in the new Plan C.

    Those employees now in Plan B who are laid off or whose positions are eliminated under a reorganization may remain in Plan B if they return to a university position within 12 months.

  • What is the difference between “executive and senior staff” and the staff now in Plan B or, for those hired after June 30, in Plan C?

    Executive and senior staff are those in positions with grades 18 and higher. Staff in Plan B or C are in grades below 18.