Office of Benefits - Retirement Benefits

This information is only a summary of typical questions and does not replace the binding plan documents.
Please contact the Benefits Office with any benefit related questions.

403(b) Thrift Plan | Lay Retirement Plan

403(b) Thrift Plan

*Part-time employees should contact the Benefits Office to inquire about eligibility.

Mutual of America

You must be an active full-time employee, regularly scheduled to work 30 hours or more per week, and any academic employee who works for more than 5 months in a calendar year.   Priests and Sisters assigned to the Catholic Diocese of Gary are not eligible to make salary reduction contributions under this plan.

403(b) Thrift Plan Q&A:

How do I enroll?
Upon hire, you will receive a Mutual of America information kit from the Benefits Office.   To enroll in the Plan, you must complete a “salary reduction agreement” and an “enrollment form”.    Return both to your payroll person at your school, parish, or institution.

If I do not want to enroll upon hire, is there anything that I need to turn in?
Yes, you need to sign the waiver that is in the enrollment packet and return to your payroll person at your school, parish, or institution.

How much can I contribute?
You may choose to contribute a percentage (in multiples of .001%) of your compensation from 1% to 100% up to the IRS contribution limits which may change each year.   For participants age 50 and older, the Internal Revenue Code permits you to contribute an additional amount which is based on the designated maximum contribution limit for the plan year.   Contact Mutual of America at 1-800-468-3785 for the latest contribution limits.

When will I be eligible for matching contributions?
You must complete at least one year of service and work at least 1,200 hours to receive matching contributions.

When I become eligible for matching contributions, how much matching will I receive?

    • 100% of the salary reduction contributions you are contributing during the plan year, not in excess of the first 3% of your compensation; plus
    • 50% of the salary reduction contributions you are contributing during the plan year that exceeds 3% of your compensation but not to exceed 6% of your compensation for the plan year.

Are my Age-50 catch-up contributions eligible for matching contributions? 

Can I stop my contributions at any time? 
Yes, you may change your contribution at any time and as often as you wish.  Contact your payroll person at your school, parish, or institution to request a Salary Reduction Agreement for any changes.

I have a retirement account from my previous employer so may I roll it over into our 403(b) Thrift Plan?
The Diocese of Gary 403(b) Thrift Plan does accept rollovers as long as your former plan is considered an eligible roll over plan.    Contact Mutual of America at 1-800-468-3785.

What is vesting and how is it determined?
Vesting is the amount of your account that you are entitled to.  Vesting is determined by your years of service from your date of hire to your date of termination. 

What is the vesting schedule for the 403(b) Thrift Plan?
Your own contributions and rollover funds are immediately and fully vested.   Company matching contributions are completed vested when you have completed 3 years of vesting service based on your hire date.

Can I take out a loan?
You are able to take out a loan based on your vested account value only.   Contact Mutual of America either online at or by phone at 1-800-468-3785 to discuss the loan requirements and process.

Lay Retirement Plan

The Lay Retirement Defined Benefit Plan was terminated on December 31, 2014.

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