Retirement Plans

Mandatory Retirement Plans

Almost all positions at Minnesota State require participation in one of the primary retirement plans. Automatic retirement plan deductions from your paycheck are sheltered from federal or state income tax. Employee and employer contributions vary according to specific plans.

Several retirement plans are provided by the state depending on your employment status. Certain unclassified employees (generally, those who have always been employed for less than 25% of a full-time position) may not be covered. A variety of plans covers current employees; only those plans open to new employees are listed below.

Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS)

The MSRS general plan is a defined benefit plan that covers most state employees in the classified service. The MSRS unclassified plan covers some administrators depending on their work history.

You can get specific information about MSRS by contacting the Human Resources Office or through the MSRS website.

You may contact MSRS directly at:

60 Empire Drive, Suite 300
St. Paul, MN 55103
Phone: (800) 657-5757 or (651) 296-2761
FAX: 651-297-5238

Defined Contribution Retirement (DCR) Plan

Participation in the DCR is mandatory for new unclassified employees who are employed 25% time or more of a full academic year excluding summer session. Once eligibility is met, an employee remains eligible even if their level of employment is less than 25% in subsequent years.

The DCR consists of two parts: a primary retirement plan called the Individual Retirement Account Plan (IRAP), and a Supplemental Retirement Plan (SRP).

Employees are automatically enrolled in the Individual Retirement Account Plan (IRAP) program upon eligibility. Employees have up to one year to make an irrevocable decision to participate in the Teachers Retirement Association (TRA), a Defined Benefit Plan, in lieu of IRAP. Individuals who elect TRA as their primary plan will be moved prospectively to that program.

Individual Retirement Account Plan (IRAP)

IRAP is a defined contribution plan in which retirement benefits are based on the dollar amount in your account at retirement. Your account, which includes your contributions, employer contributions, and investment earnings, is yours beginning on the date of your first contribution. You make all the investment decisions, and you can change the investment funds as often as allowed by the fund managers.

Both IRAP and the Supplemental Retirement Plan are managed by TIAA.

TIAA's dedicated Minnesota State call center can be reached Monday-Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM (CT), at 800-682-8969.

The TIAA National call center is open Monday-Friday, 7 AM-9PM, and Saturday, 8 AM-5 PM (CT), but may not have information regarding Minnesota State plan specifics.

Supplemental Retirement Plan (SRP)

Participation in SRP is mandatory following two years of full-time covered service regardless of whether you participate in IRAP or TRA. SRP is a defined contribution plan with the same investment vendors as IRAP plan. The employee and employer amounts vary depending on on your union contract or salary plan.

Consult your union contract or salary plan for specific information.

Teachers Retirement Association (TRA)

TRA is a defined benefit plan which provides a retirement benefit based on a formula that takes into account your years of service, your highest average salary earned during any five consecutive years of service, and your age at retirement. For more information, see

You may contact TRA directly at:

60 Empire Drive, Suite 400
Saint Paul, MN 55103

Phone: (800) 657-3669 or (651) 296-2409
FAX (651) 297-5999.

Voluntary Retirement Plans

Employees may direct a portion of their earnings into both pre-and post-tax investment programs. Taxes on money placed in pre-tax programs and on the earnings of the accounts are deferred until withdrawal. There are two different programs, as well as IRS limitations on the amount of income you may defer. Contact the Human Resources office for additional information.

The state's Deferred Compensation Plan (a 457 plan) is administered by the Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS). Classified employees of AFSCME, MNA, MGEC, Managerial Plan, Commissioner's Plan, MAPE, and MMA may receive a matching contribution from the State. Please refer to your union contract or salary plan for matching limitations.

In addition to the state's Deferred Compensation program, the System also sponsors a 403(b) Tax Sheltered Annuity (TSA) program, which is also a Defined Contribution Plan that is managed by TIAA. The investment choices for the TSA program are the same as those offered in the IRAP and SRP funds. Both a pre-tax plan and a post-tax (Roth) option are available.

Application forms and materials for both plans can be obtained from Human Resources.

Retirement Plans by Contract