The University of Hawaii 403(b) plan allows you to contribute a portion of your compensation on a pre-tax basis in order to save for retirement. This means that the money used to invest in the 403(b) plan is not taxed until the funds are withdrawn. Participation in the 403(b) plan is completely voluntary.

Watch this short video to learn more about setting up your 403(b) account.

All faculty, staff, and student employees (including casual and 89-day hires) are eligible to participate in the 403(b) retirement plan sponsored by the University of Hawaiʻi.

Enroll, cancel participation or change contribution amounts

Complete and submit the Salary Reduction Agreement (SRA) to National Benefit Services via fax or mail by the SRA Due Dates.

Change investment providers

  1. Select a new Investment provider or Insurance carrier with whom you will maintain your 403(b) account.
  2. Contact the new investment provider to establish a 403(b) account.
    • Your account must be established with the new investment provider prior to making a change to your Salary Reduction Agreement (SRA).
  3. Complete and fax or mail a new Salary Reduction Agreement reflecting the reallocation of your contribution amount to your new investment provider to National Benefit Services, LLC.

Rollovers & Transfers

Upon separation from UH employment, account balances may be transferred to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or to 401(a), 401(k), 403(b) or 457 plan sponsored by a new employer.


You or your beneficiary will be able to withdraw funds when one of the following occurs:

  1. Retirement or Termination of Employment
  2. Attainment of Age 59 ½
  3. Total Disability
  4. Death of participant

Hardship Withdrawals

An in-service hardship distribution may be allowed if you satisfy certain IRS criteria. Contact NBS for more information about the requirements at 800-274-0503 option 5, 2.


You may borrow up to 50% of your account balance up to $50,000 whichever is less.  Contact your investment provider about their specific loan provisions.

The investment providers will require you or your beneficiary to complete a distribution form.  Completed paperwork can be faxed to NBS at 800-597-8206.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) limits the amount that you can annually contribute to the University of Hawaiʻi 403(b) and 457(b) plans.

Employees under the age of 50 have a different deferral limit then employees age 50 and higher.

2021 Contribution Limits

  • Employees under the age of 50 – The annual base deferral limit is $19,500;
  • Employees age 50 and higher – The Age 50 catch-up limit is $26,000 ($19,500 + $6,500).


  • UH employees may choose to participate in both the 403(b) TDA program and the 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan.
  • Each plan has a separate annual contribution limit; therefore, an employee may defer up to maximum amount in each plan (e.g., in 2021, employees under the age of 50 may contribute $19,500 in the 403(b) plan and $19,500 in the 457(b) plan).

Sales loads, management fees and expenses for separate accounts, mortality surrender, and maintenance charges may apply.