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Message Sent To:All Faculty, All Staff
Message From:Message from the Office of the President
Date Sent:Friday, February 19, 2021 01:15 PM CST

Update on 403b Reinstatement

February 19, 2021

Dear Faculty and Staff,

When we made difficult decisions in 2020 that enabled us to adapt to the various challenges posed by the pandemic, I also promised the campus community that we would continue to share updates and work toward restoring short-term benefits cuts as soon as possible. Today, I am happy to announce that our present financial position, along with the assumptions we made for the next fiscal year, allows Loyola University Chicago to fully reinstate both the non-contributory portion as well as the availability of the match for the 403b retirement savings plan. The details and timing are specified below.

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact operations at Loyola, we have begun our spring semester with more HyFlex learning and a small on-campus population of residential students. I am confident that through our safety protocols, continuing hard work, flexibility, and the cooperation of our students, faculty, and staff, we will successfully move through completion of this semester in May.

None of this would have been possible without the tireless work of all of you in caring for our students during this especially challenging time. When the pandemic first hit nearly a year ago, we began a process of realigning our resources to insure that Loyola was able to continue to meet its financial obligations amidst significant revenue declines. I also promised that as we were able to restore some of our reductions, we would continue to put our people first. To date, given the reduced on-campus learning and residential community of students, we have reinstated approximately 25 percent of our furloughed employees whose jobs have either returned or new COVID-19 support positions have emerged that they have filled. We expect to invite more of these staff members to return in the coming months. The second reduction that impacted all of our full-time employees was the temporary suspension of all of the 403b contributions by Loyola.

Our financial forecasts for this year have been reliable in predicting revenue shortfalls, so we have had no surprises. Additionally, we have had some favorable variances in our undergraduate net tuition, as well as additional expense savings in utilities and non-salary operating budgets. After assessing our tenth-of-term enrollment data for this spring, we have been able to re-examine our reductions and feel confident that we can fully reinstate our 403b contributions beginning March 2021. For eligible employees, this reinstatement will be implemented as follows:

  • The 5 percent non-contributory portion of your retirement savings will be reinstated effective March 2021;
  • The University match on your individual 403b contributions, up to 5 percent of salary, will also be reinstated effective March 2021;
  • Both the non-contributory portion and the match will appear on paychecks dated March 15 for the monthly payroll, and March 19 for the biweekly payroll.
  • We encourage you to review your individual 403b contribution rates and make any changes no later than Monday, March 1. Please remember that you can increase or change your retirement contribution amount at any time. However, changes to your contribution amount for the March 15 or March 19 paycheck must be made with Transamerica by March 1. You can change your contribution amount online at luc.trsretire.com or contact the Retirement Center administered by Transamerica at 773.508.2770.

The COVID-19 landscape and variants of the virus continue to be of concern to all of us. We anticipate that the progression of the pandemic will continue to significantly impact our campus operations throughout the summer and fall 2021. We need to be mindful of our need to maintain strong fiscal disciplines so we can continue our steady progress and not find ourselves needing to make disruptive reductions again. It is incumbent upon each of us to continue to be prudent and thoughtful with our spending and hiring during the second half of this fiscal year. The University must continue to provide needed resources to support safety protocols, including testing and contact tracing, for the foreseeable future.

We will continue to share information about enrollment and our financial status in the coming weeks. Thank you for all you do for Loyola and our students.

Together in Loyola,

Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD
President