Benefits Plans - Retirement Savings Plans: HOW to Enroll or make changes

Eligible faculty and staff (excluding temporary hourly staff) use Self Service > Benefits in
Wolverine Access to enroll and make changes to existing elections in the Basic Retirement
Savings Plan, Supplemental Retirement Account (SRA) and the 457(b) Deferred Compensation

Designate Your Fund Choices and Beneficiaries

While you enroll using Self Service > Benefits, you still need to designate your investment fund choices and beneficiaries by contacting TIAA-CREF and Fidelity.  Fund choices and beneficiary designations you have already made for one plan, such as the Basic Retirement Savings Plan, DO NOT automatically carry over to the 457(b) or the SRA (and vice versa).  You need to designate your beneficiary separately each time you enroll in a new type of plan.

TIAA-CREF & Fidelity Investments

Deadlines & How to Target a Specific Paycheck to Begin Contributions

How to Synchronize Your 457(b) & SRA for the Same Paycheck

One Year Waiting Period for University Contributions

Investment Fees and Plan Expenses

Step By Step Enrollment Instructions

Important Guidelines & Tips

When you go to Wolverine Access and use Self Service > Benefits and then select Initiate Ret Savings Election you are creating an event that allows you to input your enrollment or change your contribution.

The date you create the event determines the effective date and when it affects your paycheck.

You have 24 hours from the time you select Initiate Ret Savings Election to make your choices and Submit your election.

If you do not complete the election process and Submit the election within 24 hours after creating the event, it will expire without any changes taking effect.  You cannot use Self Service > Benefits until the next available election period:

  • If a Basic Retirement Plan / SRA event you created expires you cannot create another until the next pay period.
  • If a 457(b) event you created expires you cannot create another until the following month.

You will receive an email with a confirmation number immediate after you have successfully Submitted your election.  You have not completed the process if you do not receive this email and no changes will take effect.

The SRA and 457(b) have different effective dates.  There is limited ability to get the two plans to take effect with the same paycheck and requires careful coordination.

Once Per Pay Period - Basic Retirement Plan & SRA

You may use Self Service > Benefits only once per pay period to make an election for the Basic Retirement Savings Plan and/or the SRA. 

  • You may make one election per calendar month if you are paid monthly.
  • You may make one election for each bi-weekly pay period.
  • If you have already made one election for a pay period you cannot create another until the following pay period.  This applies regardless of whether you made an election for both the Basic Retirement Plan and the SRA or for just one plan but not the other. 

If you enroll in the Basic Retirement Savings Plan, you cannot create another event to enroll in an SRA for that same paycheck.
If you enroll in an SRA, you cannot create another event to raise or lower your SRA contribution until the following paycheck at the earliest.

Once Per month - 457(b)

You may use Self Service > Benefits only once per month to make an election for the 457(b) regardless if you are paid monthly or bi-weekly. 

  • The election will take effect the month after you make the election, per IRS regulations.
  • It is not possible to enroll in the 457(b) or change a contribution amount during the same  month you make the election, also per IRS regulations.
  • Enrollments and changes are generally effective with the second bi-weekly paycheck of the following month after you make the election if you are paid bi-weekly.  Refer to the bi-weekly deadline schedule to determine if the election is effective with the first or second bi-weekly paycheck for a specific pay period.



Next: How is My Account Established?


The University of Michigan in its sole discretion may modify, amend, or terminate the benefits provided with respect to any individual receiving benefits, including active employees, retirees, and their dependents. Although the university has elected to provide these benefits this year, no individual has a vested right to any of the benefits provided. Nothing in these materials gives any individual the right to continued benefits beyond the time the university modifies, amends, or terminates the benefit. Anyone seeking or accepting any of the benefits provided will be deemed to have accepted the terms of the benefits programs and the university's right to modify, amend or terminate them.