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2019 Deferral Limits for Voluntary Retirement Savings
The annual deferral limit for 403(b) and 457(b) retirement savings plans will increase to $19,000 in 2019 (from $18,500 in 2018). These limits apply to pre-tax and after-tax (Roth) contributions combined in the following plans:

Note to Hybrid Plan participants: Voluntary contributions to the VRS Hybrid Plan are made to the VRS Hybrid 457.  These contributions count toward the same 457(b) limit as contributions to the Commonwealth of Virginia 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan (“DCP”).  Combined contributions to both plans may not exceed the 457(b) limit.

Employees eligible for the age 50+ catch-up may defer an additional $6,000 to 403(b) and/or 457(b) plans in 2019.

Employees who wish maximize the new limits in VCU plans may make contribution election changes as follows:

  • Contribution changes for the VCU 403(b) Tax Deferred Annuity Plan (“TDA”) are made using the . Return the completed form to VCU Payroll as instructed on the form. For changes to be effective with the first January paycheck, the form must be received by VCU Payroll no later than Monday, January 7, 2019.
  • Contribution changes for the Commonwealth of Virginia 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan (“DCP”) are made online at or by phone to (877) 327-5261. For changes to be effective with the first January paycheck, changes must be completed by December 31, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.
  • Voluntary contribution changes for the VRS Hybrid Plan are made online at or by phone to (877) 327-5261. For changes to be effective with the first January paycheck, changes must be completed by December 17, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.

These limits apply to all 403(b) and 457(b) plans in which a person participates during 2019.  If you participate in plans outside of VCU that fall under the same limits, it is the employee’s responsibility to ensure that your combined contributions to VCU plans and all like plans outside of VCU do not exceed the limits.

Questions? Email or call (804) 827-1723.

VCU benefits announcements on social media will come only from VCU social media accounts

VCU Human Resources has become aware that some social media users who have identified themselves as VCU employees may be receiving offers from “Virginia Insurance Review” on Facebook and other platforms.  VCU Human Resources does not endorse or recommend this service.  For information about insurance provided to salaried employees at VCU, please see life insurance and disability insurance.

VCU retirement plans administered by TIAA

VCU Human Resources is closely following news regarding TIAA, one of VCU's approved retirement plan investment providers. Please be reminded that the individual products and services discussed in the news coverage (managed accounts, Wealth Management services, individual brokerage accounts) are not components of VCU's retirement plans. The investment options and share classes available to TIAA participants in the VCU Optional Retirement Plan and the VCU Cash Match Plan include both TIAA and non-TIAA funds that are selected and negotiated by the university in consultation with our independent investment adviser, CAPTRUST, and the the Investment Policy Advisory Committee. The guidelines for fund selection are published in the university's Investment Policy Statement

Health benefits elections and changes
The state's Employee Direct system is currently unable to process health benefits elections and changes. Please use the health benefits enrollment form to submit changes or make elections to the state health plan. 

Premium rewards
Premium rewards for the current plan year end in June. To earn a premium reward for the next plan year (July 2018-June 2019), employees must complete or update a health assessment in the Active Health portal. Employees who participate in a COVA Care or COVA HealthAware health plan can earn a $17 per month ($8.50 per paycheck) discount on health plan premiums beginning in July if their health assessment is completed by May 15th. Spouses enrolled on a plan can earn an additional $17 monthly discount by completing the assessment, making the total monthly discount $34 ($17 per paycheck). The single COVA HealthAware premium for basic coverage is $17 per month, making this health plan free for employees who earn the premium reward.

For full instructions on how to complete the health assessment, see:

For COVA Care participants, your Employee ID for Active Health is 00+ the seven numbers in your COVA Care Member ID. For COVA HealthAware participants, your Employee ID for Active Health is your Member ID starting with 00. If your enrolled spouse is completing the assessment, a separate Active Health account must be set up by your spouse using your Active Health Employee ID number.

If you and/or your enrolled spouse do not complete the health assessment by May 15, it can still be completed later but the premium reward(s) will also start later in the plan year. Completing the health assessment is voluntary. If you decide not to participate, you will pay the regular premium for your plan with no discount.