Voluntary 403(b) Savings Plan Project

USF and the Division of Human Resources have taken steps to improve the retirement options for USF’s employees by embarking on a project to significantly enhance the Voluntary 403(b) Savings Plan to gain best in class investment options for plan participants. The project will strengthen its Voluntary 403(b) Savings Plan for the benefit of participants through vendor consolidation, improved communication, and technology enhancements.

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Where we are now



Effective February 19, 2020, University employees have a single source for enrolling in the Plan, changing your payroll contributions, and choosing your investment services provider for the 403(b) Plan. 

Those available service providers will be Fidelity and TIAA for new enrollment and contributions after February 19, 2020. 

  • Log-in to the website to designate your provider between Fidelity, TIAA and/or both and make any changes to your contribution or investment elections. A user guide is available to assist you with navigating the NetBenefits website. 
  • Schedule a counselling session with Fidelity and/or TIAA, by calling or visiting their online scheduling system.
    • Fidelity: Call 800-642-7131 to speak with a Retirement Planner
      or schedule an appointment from available times at
    • TIAA: To schedule an individual counseling session go to or call 800-732-8353. 
  • Verify contributions on your March 13, 2020 paycheck. 

Want to Know More? Click Below

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The How and Why

The University engaged CAPTRUST, an external consultant, to assist with the comprehensive review of service providers, investment options, technology, and education opportunities for the future financial wellbeing of our participants. USF also formed a Retirement Plan Investment Committee that is charged to periodically review USF’s 403(b) plan and providers.

As part of the project, a Request for Proposal (RFP) process was initiated with all USF’s current vendors, and a thorough review and evaluation of the RFP responses was performed by CAPTRUST and the Committee. 

USF is not alone in taking steps to improve our financial and compliance positioning, as many SUS and other universities have taken on this same effort. The Florida Department of Financial Services and Bureau of Deferred Compensation recently announced a reduction in the Investment Providers with the state’s Voluntary 457 Plan. Click here for additional information on those efforts. 


What Changed

Key enhancements to the Voluntary 403(b) Savings Plan that have been implemented in late February 2020 include:

  • Plan investments will be offered through a tiered, diversified menu of best-in-class investment options. These new investment menus will be available through two providers, Fidelity and TIAA.
  • The new investment options will be grouped into tiers: Target Date Funds, Passively Managed Funds, Actively Managed Funds and Self Directed brokerage account.
  • USF introduced a single online web-based page for enrollments and changes, including resources that encompass tools and financial guidance.
  • A Roth option is available, which will allow an employee to make voluntary 403(b) contributions on an after-tax basis.  A Self-Directed Brokerage option is also available to invest in any mutual fund not offered within the core investment menus of the two providers. 

What Did Not Change as Part of the Project

  • Eligibility and Overall Plan design
  • Contribution Limits

This project does not include the Retirement Plans managed by the State of Florida Division of Retirement:

  • State Retirement Plans or Providers (FRS Pension, Investment or SUSORP)
  • State 457 Deferred Compensation Plans or Providers