Retirement Programs

Harvard offers generous retirement benefits to help you build long-term savings and a source of income when you retire. These plans are fully funded by the University and you elect how to invest the contributions Harvard makes on your behalf (for all or part of your plan) from among a carefully selected menu of low-cost options.

Two months before your meet your plan’s participation waiting period, you will receive an information package from the Harvard University Retirement Center (HURC) with information on participation and investment options.

Summary of University-funded Retirement Plans

Depending upon your employment type, you may be eligible for:

The Faculty Plan: Harvard contributes, on a monthly basis, an amount equal to a percentage of your salary based on your age and earnings to the 1973 Retirement Income Plan for Teaching Faculty. You are enrolled automatically once you’ve completed a six-month waiting period, with retroactive contributions.

  • For those under age 40, the University contributes an amount equal to 5% of salary up to the Social Security wage base, and 10% of salary above the Social Security wage base ($127,200 in 2017).
  • For those age 40 and over, the University contributes an amount equal to 10% of salary up to the Social Security wage base, and 15% of salary above the Social Security wage base.

Who it’s for:    

* Those who are at least age 21 and hold a professorial appointment or, if your primary appointment is as a member of the teaching faculty, carry at least a half-time teaching appointment.

To learn more, please review the Faculty Retirement Plan information sheet.

The 2001 Staff Plan: Harvard contributes, on a monthly basis, an amount equal to a percentage of your salary based on your age and earnings. You are enrolled automatically. After six months of employment, you will receive contributions retroactive to your start date.

  • For those under age 40, the University contributes an amount equal to 5% of salary up to the Social Security wage base, and 10% of salary above the Social Security wage base ($127,200 in 2017).
  • For those age 40 and over, the University contributes an amount equal to 10% of salary up to the Social Security wage base, and 15% of salary above the Social Security wage base.

Who it’s for:

  • Members of the administrative and professional staff, non-bargaining unit support staff or HUCTW on a regular payroll, working at least 17.5 hours a week or 1,000 hours a year.

To learn more, please review the 2001 Staff Plan information sheet.

The 1995 Staff Plan: Harvard contributes to two accounts on your behalf: a Basic Retirement Account, maintained by the University, and an Individual Investment Account, in which you choose the investments. You are enrolled automatically after a one-year waiting period.

 Who it’s for:

  • Hourly employees who are members of ATC, HUPD, HUSPMGU or HUPD who are on a regular payroll who work at least 17.5-20 hours per week, depending upon union; for details on eligibility, please refer to your union contact.  

To learn more, please review the 1995 Staff Plan information sheet.

Beneficiaries

You should designate a beneficiary to receive your retirement savings in the case of your death. Beneficiaries should be reviewed periodically, and updated to reflect any family or personal changes.