Human Resources

WU Retirement Plan

How Much Does The University Contribute Towards My Retirement?

One of the most valuable benefits provided to eligible employees is the Willamette University Defined Contribution Retirement Plan. Upon enrollment in the plan, eligible faculty and staff receive a contribution of 10% of gross base pay from the University in exchange for a mandatory contribution of 1% by the employee. Eligibility for the University contribution is extended to all non-temporary staff who work at least 1,000 hours, tenure track faculty, and "continuing" non-tenure-track faculty. Contributions are immediately vested.

Would You Like To Save For Your Retirement?

All faculty and staff, including temporary staff, adjunct faculty, and visiting faculty who are not eligible for the employer contributions to the plan, may sign up for participation in the University retirement plan on a voluntary basis.  Employees may contribute up to the IRS maximum deferral limit, which is $18,000 for 2015.  Additional "catch-up" contributions are available to those who are age 50 and over ($6,000 for 2015).

To start making voluntary contributions, logon to your account through the Transamerica Retirement Solutions website at, and under the "Manage" drop-down menu, click "Contributions" and follow the prompts.  Participants can also initiate voluntary contributions by calling (800) 755-5801.

Investment Platform and Plan Administrator

Willamette University's Defined Contribution Retirement Plan provides investment options through an "open architecture" style investment platform, allowing Willamette to choose from among the best mutual fund choices available in the market.  The plan is administered by Transamerica Retirement Solutions (formerly "Diversified").  Transamerica Retirement Solutions (TRS) has been consistently recognized each year as one of the highest-rated third-party administrators in the business, with systems that are easy to understand and simple to use, helping employees better manage their retirement savings.  There is no side-selling of other products.  TRS is focused solely on helping organizations provide an excellent retirement benefit program.

The investment menu includes the option to choose an automated investment solution called Portfolio Express, which automatically diversifies your investment selection based on your target retirement date. The plan also makes available a Personal Choice Retirement Account (PCRA) that permits transfer of funds under the plan to a brokerage window for those investors who want access to a wider range of mutual funds.  Use of PCRA requires payment of an annual access fee. We strongly advise that employees using the PCRA consult with an investment advisor.  In addition, you will find a Stable Value Fund option on the investment menu that provides for a guaranteed return.

Further information on investment choices is available to participants by logging onto their account through the Transamerica Retirement Solutions  website.

Retirement Plan Compliance and Oversight

The University's Retirement Plan Advisory Committee (RPAC) is responsible for ongoing monitoring of investment options made available under the retirement plan.  The committee's oversight is guided by an Investment Policy Statement.  For more information, the committee maintains a WISE site that is open to Willamette faculty and staff to join.  Look for "WU Retirement Plan" under joinable sites.

Willamette University files an annual Form 5500 with the IRS and the Department of Labor.  As part of this filing, the University is required to submit an independent auditor's report of the plan.  Below is a link to the Summary Annual Report of the plan that has resulted from the most recent filings and audits.  You will also find a link to information about plan expenses/fees.

For more information on eligibility and provisions under this plan, click here for a Summary Plan Description.  The full plan document for the Willamette University Defined Contribution Retirement Plan is also available upon request.  Please contact Human Resources for more information.

Customer Service Number


Meet with a Diversified Participant Counselor!

Counselors are able to provide assistance with accessing accounts online and demonstrate the tools and resources available on the Transamerica Retirement Solutions website, such as making salary deferral changes and investment elections. To schedule an appointment or to see the days, locations and times that they are available on campus, please follow the information below.

Click here to access the appointment schedule.

  1. Select the Meeting location, then click “Find Open Time Slots”
  2. Review the available times, then click “Select”
  3. Enter your name, email address and phone number in the required fields and click “Finalize Appointment"

You will receive a confirmation email and instructions on how to cancel or change your appointment, if needed. If you need additional assistance, or wish to make an appointment by phone, you can call Diversified at (800) 755-5801. When you call, enter your information, and then say “Customer Service Representative” to reach a representative that can assist you in scheduling an appointment.