Supplemental Retirement Options

Kent State supports the efforts of all employees to plan a fulfilling and secure retirement. As part of the total rewards for Kent State employees, the university offers several options to assist with meeting your financial goals.

Employees of Ohio public colleges and universities do not participate in the federal Social Security system, other than contributions to Medicare. 

Full-time classified and unclassified employees may elect to participate in either the Ohio Public Retirement System (OPERS) or an Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP).  Full-time faculty members may elect to participate in either the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) or an ARP.  Part-time classified and unclassified employees must participate in OPERS and part-time faculty must participate in STRS. There is no ARP option available for part-time employees.

If you are eligible for a Social Security benefit from other employment in addition to your OPERS/STRS/ARP benefit, there may be a reduction in your Social Security benefit due to the Windfall Elimination Provision. Learn more about the Windfall Elimination Provision (PDF) notice from the Social Security Administration, which contains more information on this adjustment, and the Earnings Not Covered by Social Security (pdf).

Supplemental Retirement Options

Kent State University offers supplemental savings options to help employees plan for retirement by setting aside additional money through pre-tax contributions to a 403(b) and/or 457(b) plan. When making your selection, remember to consider fees, surrender charges, and investment returns.

To review the approved 403(b) and 457(b) providers with contact information, please visit the approved vendor list (PDF). Once you are ready to enroll in your supplemental plan, you may use the Retirement@Work website to complete your enrollment and choose your investment options. You may make changes to your supplemental retirement plan election at any time through Retirement@Work.

Retirement@Work

Use Retirement@Work to elect and manage your investment options for the Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP), or to enroll, update, make plan deduction changes, terminate, or manage your investments for your 403(b) or 457(b) plan. When making your vendor selection for any plan, fee structure (PDF) is an important consideration.

To elect an Alternative Retirement Plan as a newly eligible employee, you must:

  • Complete the Retirement Plan Election Form (PDF) and submit it to the Human Resources Employee Benefits Office within your 120 calendar-day deadline.  Once you have newly elected the ARP, Human Resources will notify you when you can then access Retirement@Work to select your investment options.
  • Establish an account with one of the approved vendors (PDF). Contributions which would normally be made to the state retirement system are deposited into the employee's ARP account instead (less any allocation for unfunded liabilities in the state system, if applicable).
  • Use Retirement@Work to elect and manage your investment options for the Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP), or to enroll, update plan deductions, manage investment options, or end your 403(b) or 457(b).  Again, when making your vendor selection for any plan, fee structure (PDF) s an important consideration.

Remember, after you elect an ARP, the KSU Employee Benefits Office will notify you when you can access Retirement@Work to select your investment options.

For assistance with Retirement@Work, please review the Quick Start Guide or contact TIAA Customer Service at 1-844-567-9090 weekdays 8 am to 10 pm, and Saturdays 9 am to 6 pm (ET).

If you would like to participate in the 457 program with Ohio Public Employees Deferred Compensation Plan, you may contact Ohio Deferred Compensation directly at 1-877-644-6457 or view their website.

Contact the Benefits Department at 330-672-3107 or benefits@kent.edu for more information.