Retirement Plans

Mandatory Retirement Plans

All benefits-eligible employees of Wichita State University are required to participate in a mandatory retirement plan. The employee classification dictates the type of plan in which they are enrolled.

University Support Staff Employees:

University Support Staff Employees participate in Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS).

  • KPERS is a defined benefit plan (pension).
  • For KPERS Tier 1 & 2 participants, the benefit after retirement is determined based on years of service or earned credits, and salary while working at WSU or the State of Kansas.
  • For KPERS Tier 3 participants (hired after 2015), the benefit after retirement is determined based on the total employee contributions made throughout the career, as well as retirement credits earned and interest accrued.
  • USS employees do not serve a wait period prior to enrollment. Employee contributions begin immediately upon hire into a KPERS- or KP&F-covered position.
  • Employee contribution of 6% of base annual salary each payroll cycle.
  • After 5 years of service, participants are vested at 100%, meaning that a benefit is guaranteed to be paid upon retirement. Prior to reaching 5 years of service, vestment is 0%.

Unclassified Professionals and Faculty

Unclassified Professionals and Faculty participate in Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR).

  • KBOR mandatory retirement plan is a 403(b) defined contribution plan. Read more about this plan in the KBOR Retirement Plan Guide
  • A 1 year enrollment waiting period is required. If, in at least 1 full year (365 days) in the preceding 5 years, a new employee has (1) prior State of Kansas service, (2) been a contributing participant in KPERS, or (3) been a contributing participant in an employer-contributing retirement plan as an employee of a US institute of higher education, they are eligible to request and may be approved a waiver of the waiting period.
    • To request waiver of the 1-year waiting period, the Immediate Participation Form, completed by the new employee, and the Documentation of Service Form, completed by the new employee's previous employer verifying previous state service, KPERS participation, or higher education retirement plan participation must be submitted to (and approved by) no later than 90 days after the date of appointment.
  • Contributions are set at 5.5% employee contributions and 8.5% employer contributions. Percentages are based on the employee's base salary.
  • Once the wait period has been served or waived, participants are immediately vested at 100%.
  • Participants will be notified near the end of their one-year wait period that their Investment Agreement election form is due to Human Resources. Participants will be asked to select either TIAA-CREF or Voya as their investment provider. Both providers follow the same plan rules. If no election is made, participants will be defaulted into participation with TIAA-CREF.
  • Financial Counseling/Assistance is available!

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Voluntary Retirement Options

The mandatory plans do not allow for additional contributions on top of the mandatory minimums. Employees who wish to contribute more than their minimum mandatory amounts may do so by establishing a voluntary retirement plan account with any of our investment providers. Two basic types of voluntary plans are available - a voluntary 403(b) plan or an IRS 457 plan.

There is no wait period required for contributions to a voluntary retirement plan, and contributions are 100% vested as of enrollment. Plan rules vary for each plan type, and different investment options are available within each plan type. Annual contribution limits are imposed by the IRS, but are separate for each account, allowing employees who wish to contribute heavily may diversify their contributions to maximize their annual contributions.

Voluntary 403(b) Plan

  • Available to USS, UP, and Faculty employees in a benefits-eligible position.
  • Multiple investment providers are available. Many participants elect to use the same investment provider they will use for their KBOR mandatory plan, or to use an investment provider they have worked with in the past. Before submitting the Investment Agreement Form to HR, participants must contact their selected investment provider directly to establish the investment account.
  • Pre-tax and after-tax (Roth) options available
  • Participants can contribute a minimum of 1% of their base annual salary, up to the current IRS annual limit.
  • There is no employer contribution under the voluntary 403(b) plan.
  • Start, stop, or change contributions at any time - by completing the appropriate Investment Agreement Form and returning it to
  • Financial Counseling/Assistance is available!

IRS 457 Plan

  • Available to all employees, including: students, non-benefits-eligible, etc.
  • Contributions are managed directly by KPERS as the administrator of this plan option. Employees do not need to be in a KPERS-covered position to be eligible for the KPERS 457 plan.
  • Pre-tax and after-tax (Roth) options available
  • Participants can contribute a minimum of 1% of their base annual salary, up to the current IRS annual limit.
  • There is no employer contribution under the IRS 457 plan.
  • Start or stop contributions at any time through your online portal at KPERS 457 Website or by contacting our campus representative or KPERS 457 Customer Service - online enrollment and contact information available here.
  • Financial Counseling/Assistance is available with the campus representative!

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Revised: 4/22/2021 TG