The earnings from your job at the University are not covered under Social Security. When you retire, or if you become disabled, you may receive a pension based on earnings from this job.

If you do receive a pension, and you are also entitled to a benefit from Social Security based on either your own work or the work of your husband or wife, or former husband or wife, your pension may affect the amount of the Social Security benefit you receive. The Windfall Elimination Provision affects how the amount of your retirement or disability benefit is calculated if you receive a pension from work where Social Security taxes were not taken out of your pay. A modified formula is used to calculate your benefit amount, resulting in a lower Social Security benefit than you otherwise would receive. 

More information on the Windfall Elimination Provision is available at the Social Security Website at

Mandatory Retirement Plans

Employee Type Description Link

Classified employees are mandated to participate in the Public Employees' Retirement System of Nevada (PERS). An employee must be employed at 53% FTE or greater to participate in this plan. PERS of Nevada is a tax-qualified defined benefit plan and offers employees two choices when making their contributions to PERS. For more information on the PERS contribution amounts on this tax-qualified defined benefit plan, visit the Nevada PERS retirement page located on the BCN HR Website.

Nevada Public Employers Retirement System (PERS)

(Academic and Administrative) 

New Faculty are mandated to participate in the NSHE Retirement Plan Alternatives (RPA) Plan (if they have an active account with PERS, they must participate in PERS). The provisions of the RPA plan is a 401(a) defined contribution plan that provides for immediate vesting. Plan contributions are invested, at the direction of each participant in the funding vehicles available to participants by the approved fund sponsors. The participant contributes 14.5% of his/her gross salary and the institution contributes an additional 14.5%.

Faculty Retirement Plan Alternative (RPA)
Medical Residents & Postdoctoral Fellows Medical Residents and Postdoctoral employees who are hired on a contract of at least 50% FTE, are provided with a mandatory defined contribution 403(b) retirement plan commencing on their date of hire.

Under the terms of this Retirement Plan, employees must contribute 6.2% of their gross salary to the Plan. The employee contributions made to the Plan are before tax contributions. The employer also makes a matching 6.2% contribution.

Medical Residents/Postdoctoral Fellows Plan
Part-Time, Temporary, & Seasonal

As a part-time, seasonal or temporary employee of the State of Nevada, you are required to participate in the State of Nevada FICA Alternative Deferred Compensation Plan. As a FICA Alternative employee, you must contribute 7.5% of your gross compensation per pay period to the Plan. No additional contributions are permitted.
Your contributions are made on a tax deferred basis. You will be taxed on the value of your contributions (including any earnings) when you receive a distribution of your benefits from the Plan.

FICA Alternative Retirement Plan
Highly Paid Employees

IRS regulations limit the extent to which participants in retirement plans can benefit from those plans. These limitations reduce the amount of benefit that certain highly paid employees are able to accumulate from amounts they might otherwise be able to accumulate absent the limitations. The Excess Benefit Plan was created in 2000 specifically for employees in this situation. Those employees automatically participate in the Excess Benefit Plan when they reach the benefit limits imposed by the IRS. For more information, see the BCN Excess Benefits page.

Excess Benefits

Voluntary Retirement Plans

There are two additional retirement plans that are voluntary available to University Faculty and Staff. The voluntary retirement plans offer our employees the ability to voluntarily save for retirement on a before-tax basis through:

Supplemental Retirement Plans

Planning Assistance, Seminars and other Information

Making the decision to retire from the University of Nevada, Reno is a major one - one that requires considerable planning and decision-making. HR has assembled a variety of resources to guide you into your post-University life. Many aspects of the retirement process are administered by Business Center North. Below are links to those resources as well as information about retirement counseling, financial wellness and Reno-area independent financial planners.