UNC Asheville employees have valuable opportunities to save for future retirement.

Mandatory Plans

Everyone’s financial goals, needs and savings strategies are different.  Recognizing those differences, our employees may choose between two retirement programs for their mandatory retirement plan.

Participation in a mandatory retirement plan is required for permanent, probationary and time-limited employees who work at least ¾ time for nine months or more.  Employees contribute 6% of their salaries toward the cost of their retirement.  Eligible UNC Asheville employees must enroll in one of the two retirement plans offered:

Plan Options:

  1. Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System (TSERS)
  2. Optional Retirement Program (ORP) Summary

New employees have 60 days from their date of hire to make a mandatory retirement plan decision.  Employees who do not make a decision and submit the enrollment form within their first 60 days will automatically be enrolled in the TSERS plan.

Voluntary/Supplemental Plans

Preparing for retirement is not a one-time event – it’s a process that spans an individual’s entire career. One of the most important steps in preparing for retirement is setting goals – and UNC Asheville has a variety of supplemental retirement plans to help employees meet those goals.

  • UNC 403(b) Plan
  • UNC 457 Plan
  • NC 401(k) Plan
  • NC 457 Plan
  • NC 529 Plan

Your Supplemental Retirement Plan Decision Guide provides information (including a comparison chart) about all of the supplemental retirement plans available to eligible faculty and staff.

Contributions and Limits for Supplemental Retirement Plans

Employees can contribute their regular 6% to their mandatory retirement plan AND contribute up to the maximum amounts in the supplemental retirement plans.

403(b) and 401(k) Plans {combined for the annual limit}

For 2024, employees may contribute up to the following limits each calendar year via payroll deduction:

  • Up to age 49 – $23,000 per year
  • Age 50 or older – $30,500 per year

457 Plans

For 2024, employees may contribute up to the following limits each calendar year via payroll deduction:

  • Up to age 49 – $23,000 per year
  • Age 50 or older – $30,500 per year

Employees may participate in these voluntary plans on a pre-tax or after-tax basis through payroll deduction.

Any money contributed to the NC 401k (Prudential) shares the same contribution limits as the 403(b) and therefore must be aggregated together to determine the annual contribution limit. However, employees can maximize savings opportunities by also contributing to a 457(b) plan.  Amounts contributed to a 457(b) plan are not combined with 403(b) and/or 401(k) contributions when determining an employee’s maximum contribution limit.


UNC Asheville retirement program participants have access to independent financial advisers through CAPTRUST, the University’s investment adviser.  CAPTRUST advisers can help employees:

  • Choose between enrolling in TSERS or the ORP,
  • Provide detailed information about the retirement options offered and help you choose the right options for you, and
  • Plan for retirement.

For more information, visit or call 800-967-9948.

Medicare and Retiree Health Insurance

Phased Retirement Program

The Phased Retirement Program is designed to allow eligible tenured faculty to receive retirement benefits and work part-time for UNC Asheville on a three-year academic contract.

Human Resources Guiding Policy Disclaimer

While we make every effort to present this information accurately, this is just a summary overview. That means lots of details, explanations, and qualifiers are left out. It is intended only to provide general guidance, and you should not rely on it as a complete or binding explanation of this topic. If this information differs from the language or intent of the formal published legal or policy requirements, that authoritative information prevails.


Contact Human Resources at 828-251-6605 for additional information.


NC 401(k) Plan

UNC 403(b) Plans

NC 457(b) Plans

Optional Retirement Program (ORP)

Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System (TSERS)

Phased Retirement Program

UNC 457(b) Plans

NC 529 Plan