Update: Employee Retirement Plan
Dear Baylor Faculty and Staff:
While we again face uncertainty entering a fall semester due to COVID-19, one thing that’s certain this year is Baylor University is in a stronger and more stable financial position due to the prudent, proactive budgetary measures all of us undertook in advance of the 2020-21 fiscal year. Funding from the federal government also helped offset some of our COVID-related financial impacts over the past year. Because of the University’s improved financial position and an improved outlook relative to COVID-19 and the national economy, we want to provide an update on employee retirement account contributions. As we all know, retirement contributions were reduced by 2.8% last year in an effort to protect against the economic downturn and pandemic-related costs and revenue losses.
Provided this fall’s incoming freshman class remains strong, as projected, and COVID-19 remains manageable, we intend to restore the University’s contributions to the Retirement Plan to the previous 10.8% as part of a comprehensive five-year budget plan presented to the Baylor Board of Regents at its next quarterly meeting, Nov. 3-5, 2021. This proposed restoration is certainly in appreciation of the dedication, flexibility and many selfless acts of our faculty and staff in response to COVID-19 over the past year and a half.
If submitted to and approved by the Board in November, we would immediately return to the University’s previous retirement contribution percentage of 10.8% beginning with your next respective pay period in November. Additionally, we will make an additional retirement contribution to employees, if eligible, in November covering the 2.8% differential of the University’s lower retirement contributions for the months of June through October 2021.
The bottom line is that we intend to return to Baylor’s highly competitive 10.8% retirement contribution and to make this change retroactive to the start of the 2021-22 fiscal year that began June 1. Of course, the University reserves the right to modify the retirement contributions under the Plan at its discretion, including as needed to address further unforeseen financial circumstances.
We understand this important retirement benefit is highly valued by Baylor faculty and staff. We strongly encourage you to take full advantage of this employee benefit and actively participate in your retirement savings, instead of relying solely on the University. Less than 44% of Baylor employees contribute any of their own funds to their respective retirement accounts. More information about how to contribute to your retirement can be found here https://www.baylor.edu/hr/index.php?id=951240.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as Baylor has faced many unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19. We continue to pray and prepare for a successful start of the fall semester and further financial stability.
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D. President
Nancy Brickhouse, Ph.D.