Tax-Deferred Annuity - 403(b)

The University of Alaska provides a voluntary, supplemental retirement plan through the Tax-Deferred Annuity (TDA). A TDA is also known as a 403(b) account. This account offers employees the opportunity to make additional tax-deferred contributions outside their required contributions to their respective retirement plans (either PERS, TRS, or ORP). 

All University of Alaska employees are eligible to participate in the TDA. This includes students, adjuncts and other temporary employees. Participation in this plan is voluntary. TDAs are employee contributions only. 

While UA allows you to contribute pre-tax dollars to a TDA through payroll deduction, the management of the account lies entirely with the employee - including managing maximum contribution limits.

Employees can start, stop, and change their TDA at any time. To start a new TDA, review our list of vendors below.  Click on link for the specific page to create a 403b account.   You can also call them directly to open an account.

Then complete the 403(b) Enrollment Form. To stop or make changes to current contributions, complete the 403(b) Enrollment Form.

Contribution limits are set by the IRS each calendar year. For calendar year 2023, the contribution limit is $22,500. If you are over the age of 50, you are eligible to contribute an additional $7,500 catch up amount bringing the total to $30,000. TDA's are employee contributions only. 

Employees are encouraged to speak with a financial advisor before opening/changing a TDA. The UA Benefits team is not able to provide financial planning advice.

If you want to change your current TDA fund sponsor to a different fund sponsor, you must indicate on the form that you are stopping deductions for one and starting them for another. We will not automatically stop any live deductions without an employee's authorization.

You can make both changes on the same form by selecting your current TDA fund sponsor and entering "$0" to stop the deductions and entering the dollar amount for the new fund sponsor immediately below. 

Stopping the deduction does not move the funds from one fund sponsor to another. If you would like to move funds between your TDA fund sponsors, please reach out to the sponsor directly for the process and paperwork. 

403(b) Enrollment Form

It is the employee's responsibility to maintain accurate beneficiary records with their managing fund sponsor. Contact your managing fund sponsor or login to your account to update/review your beneficiary designations.

As you are preparing for retirement, please review our offboarding webpage which provides detailed information on separating from the university.

Per IRS guidelines, withdraws from a TDA can begin with the member is age 59.5. Withdraws prior to age 59.5 may face additional tax penalties for early withdraw.

Discuss your financial assets and retirement plan with a financial planner. Financial planners can help you map out and prepare for your retirement.

The UA Benefits team is not able to provide financial planning advice.

  1. TDAs have a few different options available for retirement withdraws. Please contact your financial planner prior to your retirement to discuss your options.
  2. To initiate your desired retirement, contact your fund sponsor directly for the paperwork required for the action you are wishing to take.
  3. Complete and submit the fund sponsor's paperwork to Planwithease. Remember - these documents have sensitive personal information included. Be sure to send all documents password protected or securely via fax to ensure your personally identifiable information is protected.

If you are separating from the university but are not retiring, there are a few different considerations for your TDA. The university also has an offboarding webpage which provides detailed information on separating from the university. 

  • You may take no action and leave all funds in your TDA.
  • You may rollover your vested funds into another qualified tax-free retirement account such as an IRA, or you can rollover your vested funds into a new employer's eligible retirement account.

The University of Alaska uses a third party administrator to manage most transactions under the voluntary TDA program. Planwithease offers administrative services for the plan, such as approvals for distributions, loans, qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs) and hardship withdrawals.

The most current  Participant User Guide is available from the website once a participant logs in. To access Planwithease, login using the information below.

  • User ID: Your SSN with no dashes. You will be prompted to change your user ID after your first login.
  • Password: University employees are directly mailed their unique password from Planwithease. Contact their customer service if you did not receive a letter or need helping creating an account. You can also access the Planwithease Participant User Guide for help. You will be promoted to change your password after your first login. 

Planwithease can be reached at 1-855-464-6928, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. central time or by email at

Planwithease is only used for the voluntary Tax-Deferred Annuity 403(b) program. It is not used for the UA Pension or ORP.

You can access your funds in the TDA through loans. Some providers allow you to borrow against your account in the form of a personal or residential loan. Please work with your fund sponsor and Planwithease for information on what they allow and what proof is required. 

Hardship distributions are available for an immediate and heavy financial need, such as severe medical debt, risk of foreclosure or eviction, educational expenses, expenses to repair damage to your home, and others. All applications for a hardship distribution must go through Planwithease.

If your university TDA account is involved in a QDRO, please work with Planwithease and your fund sponsor to process the order. 

You can also access your account after age 59.5 even if you’re still employed.  All distributions made directly to you (not rolled over or transferred) are taxable in the year you take them.