Retirement Annuity


Any employee, except students, may make tax-sheltered contributions to the OBU 403(b) retirement plan.  An employee may start, stop, or change contributions at any time by completing a Salary Reduction Agreement.

Benefits eligible employees will receive a retirement contribution from the University equal to four percent (4%), non-matched,  of their monthly gross compensation.  In addition, benefits eligible employees may reduce their gross compensation up to three percent (3%), matched, each pay period to receive a three percent  (3%) match from OBU.  Voluntary contributions, non-matched, are also allowed within annual IRS limits.  All eligible employees must have a current Salary Reduction Agreement on file in Administrative Services.

*NOTE:  Contributions made by Ouachita will be sent to GuideStone Financial Resources on behalf of an employee that is not currently enrolled in either of the retirement plans offered.  These funds will be placed monthly in a default account for the employee with GuideStone.

For employees who were 62 years of age by June 1, 2009 or older, the following applies:

Benefits eligible employees may elect to contribute up to four percent (4%) of their monthly gross salary and receive an additional matching contribution from Ouachita of an equal percentage of salary (a dollar-for-dollar match).  The following schedule summarizes the potential contribution amounts:

Employee Contribution University Contribution
0% 4%
1% 5%
2% 6%
3% 7%
4% 8%



Participating employees are 100% vested if employed prior to October 1, 2008.  Employees hired on or after October 1, 2008, are vested according to the schedule below:

  • 1 year of service = 20% vested
  • 2 years of service = 40% vested
  • 3 years of service = 60% vested
  • 4 years of service = 80% vested
  • 5 years of service = 100% vested

While making tax-sheltered contributions, the employee will pay less federal and state income tax. There are legal limits on the maximum amount an individual can contribute to a retirement account. For 2020, the personal salary reduction limit is $19,500, plus additional salary reduced contributions of $6,500 for those 50 and over.  A tax calculation should be performed annually by one of the retirement vendors to determine contribution limits.

At retirement, participants may choose from a number of payment options including installments, single sum distributions or life annuities. Contributions are intended to stay in the retirement account until death, disability or retirement.  Upon termination of service, the balance may be left with the chosen retirement plan vendor until a later date.  Vested accumulations may be withdrawn or transferred to other plans.

As an added benefit, OBU offers the choice of two retirement plan vendors, GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention and TIAA.  Both providers will assist employees as they prepare for their future.  Employees have the option to participate with one or both plan providers.


In compliance with the 403(b) regulations, we are pleased to notify our employees of the availability of a 403(b) plan in which salary reduction contributions, including Roth contributions, can be made.

Employees are permitted to submit salary reduction agreements to the Human Resources department. The requested salary reduction contributions will begin the first payroll period following a receipt of the Salary Reduction Agreement.

The following information is available to aid employees participating in the plan:

  • A list of authorized providers can be obtained from the Human Resources department.
  • Salary reduction agreements can also be obtained from the Human Resources department.

Generally, salary reduction contributions can be made in an amount up to the lesser of 100% of your includible compensation or $19,000 (in 2019) to all elective deferral plans in which you participate.  Additionally, the plan permits the following catch-up contributions to be made by eligible employees:

  • Up to $6,000 for employees that are age 50 or older in the current  tax year.
  • A calculation should be performed to confirm eligibility.

Please be sure to consult with your legal or tax advisor before participating in the 403(b) plan.  Ouachita Baptist University does not provide tax or legal advice.


The 403(b)(9) Retirement Plan Summary for Ouachita Baptist University details the main provisions of our retirement plan.  Although this document was prepared by GuideStone Financial Resources and mentions GuideStone throughout the document, it does apply to plans written for TIAA as well.


Employees who make eligible contributions to an employer-sponsored retirement plan may be eligible for a tax credit depending on age and income.  For more information, review Form 8880 at

GuideStone Financial Resources


GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, established in 1918, offers multiple funds to select from to build an investment portfolio.  Many of the funds are registered mutual funds with different investment objectives and characteristics.  GuideStone also provides date target funds for investing.  These funds, referred to as, “MYDestination Funds,” gradually reduce stock exposure and increase bond participation as the employee’s retirement date nears.

For additional information regarding investment fund choices, access GuideStone’s website or call 1-888-98GUIDE.  Brochures are also available in Administrative Services.  GuideStone has recently introduced the new MyGuideStone App, which allows a member to review and change investments, check your account balance, and more, anytime, anywhere.  Download the MyGuideStone app to learn more.


GuideStone’s retirement planning tools are beneficial to all employees of Ouachita in their retirement planning process.  Questions regarding retirement planning may be directed to Jeff Ward, GuideStone’s plan representative for Ouachita, at 1-888-984-8433.



While the OBU retirement plan is not subject to ERISA, we have elected to provide participants with a notice that outlines the plan administration or investment fees that will or could be assessed to the participant’s account.  The 2018 Participant Annual Expense Disclosure Statement is currently available for viewing.



Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA) was established in 1918 to provide retirement benefits for people in education and research.  Employees may build an investment portfolio from any of TIAA’s investment funds, with risk levels from very low to moderate to high.

For additional information regarding TIAA and investment fund choices, access their website at

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