Retirement Income

Your OU Retirement benefits include the on-campus benefits and insurance programs below. Review eligibility requirements for OU Retirement here. 

Retiree Insurance & Benefits

You may have retirement savings in investment accounts through OU. These savings plans are 401(a) defined contribution plans or 403(b) and 457(b) voluntary savings plannings. Throughout your career, OU may have contributed to a 401(a) plan on your behalf and you may have saved your own money for retirement through a 403(b) or 457(b) plan.

Rules for the distribution of your savings depend on age, continued employment at OU, and vesting in the plans. Employees are vested in the 401(a) plan and own the savings after three years of participation in the plan. Vesting in the 403(b) and 457(b) plans is immediate.

Retirement Income 

You can receive a retirement estimate from Fidelity or TIAA-CREF at any time by contacting the companies or logging in to their websites and using the income estimating tools. 

When you retire from the university, you can keep your full balance in your account or receive a portion of your retirement funds through an income arrangement made with the investment company. You have many income options to choose for your retirement funds.

Taxation of Benefits

Federal and state taxes will be withheld from the retirement income distributed to you from your investments.  If you make a withdrawal before age 59½, you may pay an additional tax of 10%. This tax is 10% of the part of the distribution that is considered gross income for tax purposes. It is in addition to any regular income tax owed on the gross income amount.

Federal tax regulations may subject you to tax penalties if you are age 70 ½ or approaching age 70 ½ and have not started receiving income from your investment savings. Your retirement company can provide you with further information.

Cash Withdrawal Policy

Cash withdrawal is available following termination or retirement.  If you would like to receive a lump-sum payment from your retirement funds, you must request, complete and return the appropriate form to your retirement company.  If you have funds in the TIAA Traditional fund, restrictions apply if the withdrawal request is received after 120 days from your last day at work.

Transfer Policy

OU permits the transfer of your savings to other retirement investment accounts such as a private IRA or a Roth IRA when an employee leaves OU. 

Early in your career you may have made a choice to contribute a portion of your paycheck to the Oklahoma Teachers' Retirement System (OTRS). You can find the contribution noted on your paycheck earnings statement if you're still employed. Review eligibility requirements for OTRS benefits here. 

OTRS provides a defined benefit while you're in retirement, like a pension plan. It's a life-time, guaranteed dollar amount. The amount of your benefit is based on the formula below. You can get an estimate of your benefits at any time by contacting the Oklahoma Teachers Retirement System.

Full Years of Service x 2% x Average Total Compensation for your five highest-paid years = Your OTRS Retirement Benefit

In addition to the retirement benefits you earn as an employee of OU, both you and OU pay into the Social Security system on your behalf. You should consider your Social Security benefits when evaluating your sources of income during retirement. You can request a statement from the Social Security Administration that shows your projected Social Security retirement benefits. To request a statement and learn more about Social Security benefits, visit Social Security Administration's web site.