Spotlight on Benefits: Cash Match Program

Posted: June 29, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Robin Herron

Cash Match is an optional benefit program for university employees through which the Commonwealth of Virginia matches 50 percent, up to $20 per pay period, of employee contributions to a supplemental retirement plan through a tax sheltered annuity (TSA) program or Virginia’s Deferred Compensation Plan (DCP).

To participate, employees must be making contributions to a plan through TIAA-CREF, Fidelity Investments, VALIC, or the DCP. An employee making contributions to a different vendor’s plan can still get the match by splitting the contribution between the current vendor and a participating vendor.

  • When employees make a pre-tax contribution of $40 or more per pay period, the commonwealth provides a $20 dollar match. This provides the greatest benefit.
  • When employees make a pre-tax contribution of less than $40 per pay period, the commonwealth provides a 50 percent match; a contribution of $20 per pay period receives a $10 match.

As an example, an employee who contributes $100 to a TSA with TIAA-CREF each pay period would receive $20 from the commonwealth, or $480 on a yearly basis.

Employees can participate in the program at any time. Approximately 1,476 employees currently participate, says Julie Kaye, benefits manager.

Effective this fall, Kaye says, nine-month faculty paid over 18 payrolls who contribute a minimum TSA or DCP contribution of $53.32 per pay period will receive a 50 percent cash match, up to a maximum of $26.66 per pay period. “This allows for the 18-pay employee to receive an equivalent match across 18 pays as other employees paid over 24 payrolls receive. For example, 24 x $20 = $480 cash match, and 18 x $26.66 = about a $480 cash match.”

Also, she advises, employees should look for communications about updated fund choices available for investment as of Jan. 1, 2005, to reflect changes in the market.

“I think it’s one of the best benefits the university offers,” says Jocelyn Rappaport, Arlington Campus public information manager, who joined the program as soon as she was eligible three years ago. “I can’t see why anyone wouldn’t do it. It’s a win-win—good for the university and good for the employee.”

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