Savings and Investing

Voluntary Investment Program

Eastern Washington University offers all faculty and staff the opportunity to participate in voluntary (non-matched) tax deferred retirement savings programs. These plans are referred to as 403(b) and 457 plans. To participate in these long-term savings programs, you enter into an agreement with the University to deduct a specified amount from your paychecks. These contributions are tax deferred and remitted to the investment plan of your choice. (There are no contributions made by the University to this voluntary program.) Your contributions are made through payroll reduction – the University “reduces” or tax defers your current taxable income by the amount of your contributions. The effect is that federal withholding is deferred on the amount of this contribution until the funds are received as pension income, taken as a survivor’s benefit, or are withdrawn as cash.

Earnings credited to your account are also tax deferred allowing your investment to grow faster than it would in a conventional non-deferred savings program. Over time, the extra dollars saved by compounding interest and/or earnings on a tax deferred basis can contribute substantially to future retirement income.

As a faculty or staff member of an institution of higher education, you may participate in any of the University-sponsored tax deferred 403(b) investment plans (listed below) and the State of Washington Deferred Compensation Program 457. Website links are available below.

TIAA Investments

Washington State DCP

Contribution amounts can be changed at any time by completing the

Salary Reduction Enrollment/Change Form and returning it to the Benefits Office.


In general, all faculty and staff who are employed half-time or more and whose employment is expected to continue more than six months are eligible to participate in the program provided that, if eligible, they are also currently participating in one of the University-sponsored basic retirement plans.

Minimum Investment:

Participants in an optional tax deferred program must contribute a minimum of $15 per pay period.

Tax-Deferral Limits:

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations establish certain annual contribution limits under both the University’s 403(b) plans and the State of Washington’s 457 tax deferred investment plans. Such limits are based on the calendar year and may change year-to-year.

To Enroll – Contact the Benefits Office for assistance in enrolling in the programs.


VEBA is available only to retiring employees who accrue leave and is a tax-free medical expense account funded by the 25% sick leave cash-out at retirement. It can be used by the retiree and eligible dependents to pay medical expenses after retirement, and is operated under rules established in the Internal Revenue Code.

For more information visit their website VEBA.

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Guaranteed Education Tuition Program

Guaranteed Education Tuition logo

GET (Guaranteed Education Tuition) is Washington’s 529 prepaid college tuition plan that helps families with young children save for future higher education expenses. The State of Washington guarantees that the value of your account will keep pace with the cost of college tuition, no matter how much it increases in the future (even if it doubles or triples). The earlier you start saving, the greater the opportunity for increased value of your GET account. The value of a GET account is measured in “units,” where 100 units represent the cost of one year of resident, undergraduate tuition and state-mandated fees at the highest priced public university in Washington. Individual units are valued at 1/100th of that cost. Units can be purchased in whole or partial amounts, from one to 500 units per student. GET was established in 1998 to help families save for their child’s future higher education. Since that time, over 157,000 GET accounts have been opened and over 38,000 students have already used their accounts to attend colleges, universities, and technical schools nationwide.

For more information visit their website

318 Showalter Hall


phone: 509.359.2488

fax: 509.359.2874