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Seattle Pacific University maintains the Seattle Pacific University Defined Contribution Retirement Plan to provide benefits in the event of your retirement, death or Disability or if you terminate employment prior to your Normal Retirement Age.

The Plan is a defined contribution money purchase pension plan that is intended to be qualified under Internal Revenue Code Section 401(a). University contributions to the Plan are fixed as a percentage of employee compensation. Because the Plan is a defined contribution plan, you will not receive a set dollar amount of retirement benefits. Rather, your actual retirement benefits will depend on the value of your vested Account balance at the time your employment with the University terminates. Your vested Account balance will reflect any annual allocations to your Account, the length of time you are employed by the University and the investment performance of your Account.

You can access an online copy of the Summary Plan Description or call the Office of Human Resources at (206) 281-2809 to receive a printed copy.

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Investment Options

The University has an agreement with Transamerica Retirement Solutions (Transamerica) whereby Transamerica receives, invests, and reports on the funds sent to them on behalf of eligible employees. Employees have several investment options within the SPU monitored core lineup of funds available at Transamerica. The Office of Human Resources will provide information about these options but the participating employee directs all investment choices with Transamerica.


If you are employed by the University, you will be eligible to participate in the Plan at the time described below, unless you are an adjunct faculty member, a student enrolled at the University or a Leased Employee. Adjunct faculty, students and Leased Employees are not eligible to participate in the Plan.

If you are an eligible employee, you will begin participating in the Plan on the Entry Date immediately following the date on which you complete one Year of Service, provided you are at least age 21 as of that date, and you have completed 1,000 hours of service during your initial 12 months as an employee. Entry Dates are July 1, October 1, January 1 and April 1.


Your vested percentage is the portion of your Accounts that you own. It is nonforfeitable. You become 100% vested in your Retirement Account if you are employed by the University upon the first to occur of:

    1. your completion of six Years of Service,
    2. your attainment of Normal Retirement Age,
    3. your death, or
    4. your Disability.

For the purposes of vesting, a 'Year of Service' means having worked over 1,000 hours in the current plan year. The plan year of the retirement plans runs from July 1 through June 30 of each year. For example, a plan participant that works full-time might receive a vesting level increase in February once the hour requirement since the previous July 1 is met, regardless of date of hire. 

Prior to the time that you become 100% vested in your Retirement Account, your vested percentage in that Account is based on your Years of Service and is determined under the schedule on the right:

Years of ServiceVested Percentage
Less than 20%
2 but less than 320%
3 but less than 440%
4 but less than 560%
5 but less than 680%
6 or more100%

Termination of Employment

Upon your termination of employment for any reason, other than death, you will be entitled to receive your vested Account balances.