Western Washington University Retirement Plan

Western Washington University Retirement Plan (URP)

The Western Washington University Retirement Plan (WWURP) is a tax-deferred defined contribution plan that helps you save for retirement. Employees can start participating in the URP on their first day of eligibility in a URP-eligible appointment. WWU helps you save even more for retirement by providing 100% matching funds to your own contributions. Both WWU and employee contributions are immediately vested, and the plan is 100% portable if you leave Western Washington University. For the URP plan, vested means you are eligible to receive both your and WWU's contributions if you terminate all WWU employment. URP operates under federal tax law and the URP Retirement Plan Document.

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URP Eligibility

Faculty and professional staff employed at least 40% in an eligible position, with an appointment that is for five or more months are eligible to participate in the URP until you retire or separate from employment with WWU, or you move from an eligible position to an ineligible position.

Changing positions at WWU?

If you move from a URP-eligible to a PERS-eligible position or vice versa, contact the WWU Benefits Office to determine your retirement plan options.

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Employee and Employer Contributions

The amount you can contribute through the URP is determined by your age and subject to contribution limits described below. The closer you are to retirement age, the more you can save:

Your Age Your Contribution WWU’s Contribution Total URP Contribution
Under 35 5% 5% 10%
35 - 49 7.5% 7.5% 15%
50+ 10% 10% 20%

IRC Salary Maximums

Contributions for employees hired on or after July 1, 1996, are calculated on your actual salary up to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) established salary maximum of $260,000 for the 2014 tax year, and $265,000 for the 2015 tax year.

If you were hired on or after July 1, 1996, and your salary is above the IRC contribution salary maximum, your contribution is calculated based on the IRC maximum salary amount. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) periodically adjusts the salary maximum on which contribution calculations are based. Employees hired before July 1, 1996, are not subject to the IRC salary limit for contribution calculation.

IRC Contribution Limits

The IRC sets annual limits on employee and employer contributions to defined contribution retirement plans such as the URP and VIP. For URP plan participants the limit includes both WWU and your URP contributions, plus your contributions to the VIP.

  • The IRC limit is $52,000 for tax year 2014 and $53,000 for tax year 2015.

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Enroll in URP

Eligible employees may enroll in the URP at any time during the first two years of plan eligibility. Enroll or make changes through WWU's master administrator, Fidelity Investments at, or call 1-800-642-7131 for assistance. Also, update your beneficiary information here.

If you have not enrolled in the URP by the end of your two-year employment anniversary, you will automatically be enrolled, and your contributions invested in a Vanguard Target Retirement Date Fund which is the qualified default account for the URP. Participation in a retirement plan is a condition of your continued employment with WWU.

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Review your investment options, schedule a one-on-one consultation, and find out if you’re on track to reach your goals.

Fidelity Investments - Master Administrator

TIAA-CREF (for annuity contracts)
Group #

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Deductions during a Paid Leave of Absence

Deductions continue while you are on an authorized, paid leave of absence.

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Access Funds Upon Ending Employment (Before Retirement)

If you end employment at WWU, you keep all of the accumulations in your WWU Retirement Plan—including the WWU matching funds. You can contact your fund sponsor directly if you wish to roll your savings into another retirement plan or Individual Retirement Account (IRA). You will have the same income options as all retirees who actively participate in the URP. However only those retiring from active service in a URP-eligible appointment are considered to be retirees of WWU, with rights and privileges of URP retirement.

To access funds upon ending WWU employment:

  1. You must be separated from an eligible position and no longer receiving ANY wages from WWU, except as explained below in number 2.
  2. If you are receiving retirement benefits from any other Washington state plan, contact the plan for terms and restrictions on re-employment.

These rules apply to any request for a distribution from the URP, regardless of whether money is rolled to another retirement plan or IRA, or any other distribution is made.

Contact your fund sponsor directly to roll your savings into another retirement plan or Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

Take advantage of the guidance, education, and tools that Fidelity offers to help you maximize your savings and plan for a successful retirement.

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Additional Savings Plans

The Voluntary Investment Plan (VIP) is an optional, unmatched retirement savings plan available to most URP participants who wish to save a higher percentage of their salary than the WWURP offers. Learn about the VIP.

The Washington State Deferred Compensation Plan (WSDCP) is an additional tax deferred retirement savings plan that can, under some circumstances be combined with the URP and/or VIP. Learn about the WSDCP

The WWU Supplemental Retirement Plan (WWUSRP)is available only to those who were active participants in the WWU Retirement Plan (URP) on June 30, 2011. It is closed to URP participants who were not active participants on the date it closed or who enrolled in the URP on or after July 1, 2011. Learn about the WWUSRP.

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Page Updated 12.04.2014