Reinstatement of Employer Contribution 401(a) Plan

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Chapman University has reinstated the employer contributions made to the Chapman University Defined Contribution (DC) 401(a) Plan. This change is effective for paychecks issued on or after March 1, 2021.  The next paycheck issued to you will contain the employer 401(a) Plan contribution and 403(b) matching contributions.

Additional Information

Chapman University Retirement Plans

  • The Tax Deferred Annuity (TDA) 403(b) Plan is the plan to which you contribute to your retirement plan savings.
  • The Defined Contribution (DC) 401(a) Plan is the plan Chapman University has historically contributed to for eligible employees. This employer contribution consists of two layers: (1) a 3% discretionary contribution; and (2) a discretionary matching contribution of up to 6%.

Contributions and Changes

  • If you are already contributing to your 403(b) Plan and wish to continue with no changes, no action is required.  You will continue contributing without interruption.
  • If you are already contributing to your 403(b) Plan and wish to make changes (e.g., increasing or decreasing your contribution), you will be required to complete and sign a new Salary Deferral Election Form.
  • Eligible employees can modify their 403(b) Plan contributions at any time, up or down, stop or start, provided you stay within the following IRS limits:
    • For 2021, the maximum allowable 403(b) contribution is $19,500; however,
    • If the eligible employee is age 50 or older, the IRS also permits a “catch-up contribution” of up to an additional $6,500. That is on top of the $19,500.


Do I need to take any actions to reinstate contributions to the 401(a) plan?

No action is needed. However, it is important that you review your first paycheck in March to verify the employer contributions.

Do I need to take any actions to continue my contributions to the 403b plan?

No action is necessary to continue contributing to the 403(b) plan.  Contributions will continue unless you want to make a change.

Now that the temporary suspension is lifted, will matching contributions be applied for the missed period?

The university is not planning to restore contributions missed during the suspension period.  As of March 1, 2021, the discretionary 3% and matching contributions have been reinstated and will be applied going forward as of that date to eligible participants.

Will the vesting schedule for the 401(a) Plan change?

The 401(a) Plan’s vesting schedule will not change.

  • If you have already vested, which requires being continuously employed at Chapman for over 4 years, you remain vested and you own 100% of all monies in the 401(a) Plan.
  • If you have been here for less than 4 years and continue your employment with Chapman University, you will continue to vest according to the 4-year vesting schedule.

How can I make changes to my contributions to the 403(b) plan?

To make changes to your contributions, increase or decrease, stop or start you will need to complete a Salary Deferral Election Form form.  Once completed you can scan and email it to the Benefits Department at

Changes are effective the 1st of the month following submission.

How can I review my current 403(b) contribution percentage?

You can log onto and review your current contribution percentage by clicking My Self Service > My Benefits and reviewing your Benefits Summary.

What should I look for on my paycheck?

  • In the “Employer Paid Benefits” section of your earnings statement, under the “current” column, the university discretionary matching contribution that is listed as “403b Basic” will show “elected contribution amount.”
  • The university 3% discretionary will be listed as 401a ER Non Contrib. This update will appear on the March 12th paycheck for non-exempt employees (bi-weekly) or on the March 26th paycheck for exempt employees (monthly).
  • To view your paycheck earnings statement, please log onto and click Self-Service > My Paycheck.

Additional Help

Total Rewards

Our colleagues in Total Rewards can help you navigate through changes such as this. Feel free to engage your Total Rewards team at 714-628-2734 for additional help.

You are also encouraged to contact Fidelity or TIAA for personal financial planning:


  • or 800-842-2776
  • To schedule a phone or virtual consultation with a TIAA Consultant, please call the TIAA Service and Scheduling Group at 800 732-8353 or sign up on the TIAA Appointments website.

Fidelity Investments

  • or 800-343-0860
  • To schedule a phone or virtual consultation with Fidelity Consultant, please call 800-642-7131 or sign up on the Fidelity Appointments website.