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2018 Deferral Limits for Voluntary Retirement Savings
The annual deferral limit for 403(b) and 457(b) retirement savings plans will increase to $18,500 in 2018 (from $18,000 in 2017). 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 2018.

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 Salary Reduction Agreement 2018 (PDF) . 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 Thursday, January 4, 2018.
  • 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 29, 2017 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 15, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.

These limits apply to all 403(b) and 457(b) plans in which a person participates during 2018.  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.

Filling out your Salary Reduction Agreement

Approximately 735 employees received letters requesting an updated Salary Reduction Agreement for the TDA. The letter explains that new agreements are needed to continue contributions after the November 1, 2017 pay date. If you are electing the same contributions going forward, see SRA example one. If you want to change your TDA amount, see SRA example number two.

SRA example number one

SRA example number two


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. 

2017 Tax-deferred annuity limits remain unchanged
For more information about VCU's tax deferred annuity, read "retirement savings limits." 

Earn Your Premium Reward 
Please note: If you recently completed and submitted your health assessment questionnaire but have not yet seen a premium reward reflected in your paycheck, your reward may still be processing at the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM). VCU deducts from your pay the premium amount billed by DHRM and cannot adjust the amount of your premium deduction unless and until DHRM approves a discounted amount. Processing time can be 6-8 weeks from the time your health assessment questionnaire is accepted by Active Health. Rewards are not retroactive. View when your premium reward takes effect based on your health assessment completion date.

How you can earn a premium reward
Employees and/or their eligible enrolled spouses in COVA Care and COVA HealthAware can earn premium rewards at any time during the July, 2017 – June, 2018 plan year. To earn the reward, complete or update your health assessment questionnaire at View premium reward program details here. Premium rewards from the plan year ended June 30, 2017 have expired and are not renewed. To qualify for a premium reward in the July, 2017 – June, 2018 plan year, you must have a completed health assessment questionnaire on file with Active Health dated May 1, 2017 or later.

Reminder: Your Employee ID for registering with is 00+ the seven numerals in your health plan ID number. For example, if your health plan ID number is YTX1234567XU, your Employee ID for is 001234567. For COVA HealthAware members whose health plan numbers already begin with 00, simply use your health plan ID number. Enrolled spouses use the same health plan ID number but must register at the site separately. Review the Premium Reward frequently asked questions for more information. Questions? Contact VCU Benefits at (804) 827-1723 or

Visit or follow the VCU Human Resources Benefits blog for all benefits-related announcements.