Supplemental Retirement Account (SRA) - Human Resources at Ohio State

Supplemental Retirement Account (SRA)

Ohio State offers supplemental, voluntary savings options to help faculty and staff plan for retirement. These options make it possible for you to save additional amounts to meet your retirement financial goals and realize potential tax benefits. Even small amounts of money invested regularly over your career can provide a significant financial resource at retirement.

Most Ohio State employees are eligible to participate in the 403(b) and 457(b) Supplemental Retirement Accounts (SRA). These plans allow you to enhance your retirement savings through voluntary pre-tax (state and federal only) contributions to a Tax-Deferred Account (403(b) plan) and Deferred Compensation Program (457(b) plan).

The university does not make contributions to your SRA. Your contributions are deducted from your pay on a pre-tax basis. Other pre-tax payroll deductions (e.g., health care, parking, local taxes, Medicare, etc.) may affect the amount available to contribute to an SRA.

Your contributions and investment earnings grow tax-deferred until withdrawal. You lower your taxable income while working and increase your income at retirement.

SRA Information

Step 1: Research available 403(b) and/or 457(b) providers

Things to consider:

  • Fees
  • Surrender charges
  • Investment returns

Step 2: Contact provider to open account(s)

Action Items:

  • Choose investments
  • Name beneficiaries

Step 3: Complete and submit 403(b) and/or 457(b) election

Action Items:

  • Log into eBenefits and click “Supplemental Retirement”


You may enroll in an SRA at any time you are employed in an eligible position. To enroll:

Step 1
Contact the SRA provider you choose to activate an account. The account must be opened before any contributions can be deposited to your account. If the account is not opened, the election will be invalid. Any deductions will be returned to you.

Step 2
See the SRA Contribution Start Date Calendar in order to determine the date your election will take effect.

  • 403(b) contributions begin on the pay date you designate on the SRA application or, if later, the next pay after the Office of Human Resources receives your election.
  • 457(b) contributions begin the month after the election is made.

Step 3
After you have established an account, submit an election in Employee Self Service using “Supplemental Retirement” under eBenefits.

Supplemental Retirement Plan Comparisons
Details 403(b) 457(b)
Minimum Contribution Limit Biweekly: $7; Monthly: $15 Biweekly: $15; Monthly: $30
IRS Contribution Limit $18,000; an additional catch-up contribution of $6,000 is available if age 50 or older1,2 $18,000; an additional catch-up contribution of $6,000 is available if age 50 or older1
Contribution Coordination There is no coordination between 403(b) and 457(b) plans. Employees can contribute the maximum to both. There is no coordination between 403(b) and 457(b) plans. Employees can contribute the maximum to both.
Taxability Amounts are taxable when distributed Amounts are taxable when distributed
Loans Available Not Available
Hardship/Emergency Withdrawal Available Available
Triggering Events to Access Funds Earliest to occur of: separation from service, age 59½, retirement, disability or death Separation from employment, retirement or death
Early Withdrawal Penalty Yes None
1 Your SRA provider may determine your maximum allowable contribution each calendar year based on your eligible pay.
2 If you paid into a 401(k) with a previous employer, the amount is aggregated with your 403(b) plan limits for the tax year. This summary provides a brief description of the university’s 403(b) and 457(b) plans and is subject to the terms and conditions of those plans. In the event of a conflict between this summary and those plans, the applicable plan will govern.

IRS Contribution Limit
The IRS sets the maximum you are allowed to contribute to each plan. Employees will need to establish their deduction(s) within the IRS limits. Ohio State will also monitor the limits to ensure calendar year contributions are within the IRS limits.

Each provider offers a variety of options in which you may elect to invest your contributions. You assume the investment risk; all earnings and losses accrue to your account. You assume the cost for any management fees associated with your investments, which may vary from provider to provider.

Consult a financial planner or tax specialist for answers to questions you may have around taxes.

By adding a Supplemental Retirement Account, you will:

  • Lower your current state and federal taxes through tax-deferred savings
  • Save toward retirement
  • Have automatic deductions each pay period

You may change your SRA contribution amount and/or your provider at any time via Employee Self Service. You may also submit to the Office of Human Resources a completed 403(b) SRA Salary Reduction Agreement and/or 457(b) SRA Salary Reduction Agreement. See the SRA contribution calendar to review deadlines.

If you are changing providers, your existing SRA balance may remain with your previous active provider, or a portion may be transferred to the new provider, pending your investments allow this.

To estimate how your changed deduction may impact your paycheck, visit Employee Self Service and click Paycheck Modeler. (Note: This tool can only be used once per day.)

Questions regarding the Paycheck Modeler should be directed to Payroll Services.