Mandatory Retirement Plan Eligibility

All university employees are required to participate in a mandatory retirement plan in lieu of Social Security. UNLV academic faculty and administrative/professional employees working at least half-time must participate in the Nevada System of Higher Education Retirement Plan Alternative (NSHE RPA) unless they are already members of the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Nevada (NVPERS) when they are hired at the university.

If you are a current member of NVPERS, please visit NVPERS for more information about retirement benefits.

Plan Contributions

Employees contribute 15.50% of their gross salary to the 401(a) mandatory defined contribution plan. The university contributes an additional 15.50%. Your funds are automatically deducted from your paycheck on a tax deferred basis and sent to the RPA plan’s record keeper, TIAA-CREF.

You have the ability to choose your investments within the investment options available through the plan.


The mandatory plan provides for immediate vesting.


Participants are eligible to withdraw funds from the plan when you:

  • Separate employment
  • Are age 62 even if you are still employed
  • Die

Employees who separate from employment with more than five years of service and are under the age of 55 are subject to the plan’s preservation clause and can only withdraw the employee contributions as a cash withdrawal. Employer contributions can only be withdrawn as an annuity; or the employee can cash the employer portion after age 55.

For detailed information regarding the RPA Plan’s provisions, please review the Plan Document.

Social Security

State of Nevada employees, including University employees, do not participate in Social Security. Instead, State of Nevada employees participate in mandatory retirement plans in lieu of Social Security. As a result, employees who qualify to receive Social Security benefits and also receive retirement income from the university may see a reduction in their Social Security benefits. This is called the windfall elimination provision.

For more information about the windfall elimination provision, visit the U.S. Social Security Administration website.

Additional Information

You may visit the TIAA Website and/or call 1-800-732-8353 for more information.