Retirement Information

The University of Delaware is committed to assisting employees with saving for retirement and providing retirement benefits through two retirement plans.  

Benefits eligible Faculty and Exempt Staff participate in the TIAA 403(b) retirement plan and Nonexempt staff and hourly employees participate in the Delaware State Employee Pension Plan.

Wherever you are on your employment journey – new employee, existing employee or current retiree – please refer to the resources provided below.

Effective January 1, 2024

Retirement Eligibility Criteria Enhancement

for Faculty and Staff

403b Retirement Savings Plan Eligible Employees*

The University is pleased to share an enhancement to retirement eligibility criteria. Effective January 1, 2024, the retirement criteria will shift to Rule of 75. This change will not negatively impact UD faculty and staff’s retirement eligibility, in fact the change will reduce the time an employee needs to retire.


Read more

Faculty and staff who are primary in the 403(b) Retirement Plan will be subject to the following age/service eligibility criteria:

  • any age and 30 benefits-eligible years of service

  • age and service when combined equal 75 (must be at least age 55 when combined with service; must have at least 10 benefits-eligible years of service when combined with age)

* Participants in the State Employees’ Pension Plan (SEPP) are subject to the age and service criteria requirements of the SEPP, through which they receive their monthly pension and health insurance coverage in retirement.  Employees who also meet the University’s retirement eligibility have access to additional university benefits, including retiree-paid University group life insurance, educational benefits, University ID card, Wellness Dollars and parking privileges for University retirees.  The Rule of 75 retirement criteria change may affect eligibility for these benefits. 

If you have additional questions, contact


To provide income in retirement, the University contributes to the 403(b) Retirement Savings Plan for faculty and exempt staff, and the State Employees’ Pension Plan for most non-exempt staff.  


If you have already retired from the University of Delaware visit our Current Retiree's page to obtain benefit information, access retirement webviews and our special benefits offered after retirement.  


If an employee and/or spouse is turning age 65 while currently active and benefits-eligible at UD, they are not required to enroll in Medicare Part B (Medical). They can retain UD benefits as their primary coverage at the current rates. However, it is recommended that they enroll in Medicare Part A (Hospitalization) upon turning age 65, but UD benefits remain primary. If the spouse is not yet Medicare-eligible, they can remain in the active employee plan as well.

If an active and benefits-eligible employee/spouse elects to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B as their primary coverage, their UD coverage will be terminated.  They will not be eligible to enroll in the Medicare Supplement plan until they retire.  Therefore, they will have to seek supplemental coverage externally, including prescription coverage. It is important to note that if this option is selected, they will no longer have coverage through UD/State of Delaware.

About 3 months prior to an active employee and/or spouse turning age 65, the UD Retirement Team sends a notification to the employee/spouse called the TEFRA/DEFRA notification. We are required to inform employees/spouses of the opportunity to 1) retain enrollment in the current health care plan as provided by the University of Delaware/State of Delaware Group Health Insurance Program (GHIP) or 2) enroll in Medicare as the primary insurer. The employee should complete the TEFRA/DEFRA letter indicating that they want to stay on UD’s coverage and return it to

When an employee age 65 or older is planning to retire, they should apply for Medicare Part B about 90 days prior to their scheduled retirement date. Medicare Parts A and B will become primary upon retirement. If the spouse is age 65 or older, they are also required to apply for Medicare Parts A and B. When the employee retires, our office will provide verification that the employee and/or spouse have been on UD’s active coverage, so no penalty will be assessed. The State of Delaware and UD offer an optional Medicare supplemental plan which can include prescription coverage (Medicare Part D).

If the retiring employee or spouse is under age 65, they would be offered the opportunity to remain in the non-Medicare plan at the current rates.

Additional information on Medicare can be obtained at your local Social Security Administration Office, on Medicare’s website, or by contacting the State of Delaware, Department of Insurance’s Delaware Medicare Assistance Bureau (DMAB), or at 1-800-336-9500.

Meet with a TIAA financial consultant at UD

No matter where you are in life—just getting started or planning for retirement—a session with a TIAA Financial consultant can help you create a plan for your goals. And, it’s at no additional cost as a part of your retirement plan. You’ll get answers to these questions and more:

  • Am I invested in the right mix of investments to help meet my goals?
  • Am I saving enough to create the retirement income I need?
  • How do I take income from my retirement account once I stop working?

 Register for sessions at or by calling 800-732-8353, weekdays, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET). We look forward to working with you.

Attention UD retirees, the Talent Encore Program, designed exclusively for you, lets you return to work part-time to meet short-term needs of all UD departments. You’re invited to put your skills and rich UD knowledge back to work with part-time, temporary assignments. If you’re interested, please complete this survey and a member of the Talent Acquisition Team or a specific department will contact you if an assignment becomes available in your area of interest. If you have questions about the program, email Lori Koval, Director of Talent Acquisition and Employment.

PLEASE NOTE: Retirees of pension plans administered by the Delaware Public Employees’ Retirement System (DPERS) are limited in their ability to return to work for an organization while continuing to receive a monthly pension. To determine if working for the Talent Encore Program will impact you, please review the information.

Share your thoughts about your working experience at UD by completing the exit interview online survey or for an in-person interview, please call 302-831-2171 or email,

The Roth contribution option: Another way to save for retirement

In the University of Delaware 403(b) Retirement Savings Plan, your pretax contributions accumulate tax deferred, and withdrawals are taxable.1 With the “designated Roth” option, your after-tax, Roth contributions also accumulate tax deferred, but may be taken tax free in a qualified distribution.


A qualified distribution is one that occurs at least five years after the year of your first Roth contribution and is made either on or after attainment of age 59½, on account of disability, or on or after death. These potentially significant tax benefits are similar to a Roth IRA. However, Roth contributions have higher contribution limits than a Roth IRA. Read more.

1 Distributions from 403(b) plans before age 59½, severance from employment, death, or disability may be prohibited, limited, and/or subject to substantial tax penalties. Different restrictions may apply to other types of plans.