Changes to Miss. University System 403(b) Recommended

January 24, 2012 ( - A study conducted on the defined contribution retirement plan for Mississippi university employees recommends changing how employers’ contribution levels are set.

Currently, universities put the same share of employee salaries into the Optional Retirement Plan as they contribute for employees in the traditional pension, according to the Associated Press. The proposal, requiring legislative approval, could help universities hold down future contributions.   

The report recommends keeping the rest of the plan largely the same, but rejecting the option of allowing employees to later transfer to a traditional pension.   

The Optional Retirement Plan covers more than 4,000 current employees, including professors, administrators, coaches and researchers. It’s meant to provide retirement savings to people who may leave state employment before the eight years needed to earn a regular pension, the AP reports. Employees may join the plan instead of the traditional state pension system.