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Basic and Matching Contributions

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Once you qualify to participate in the Contributory Retirement Account (CRA) of the Stanford Contributory Retirement Plan (SCRP), we will make contributions to the CRA on your behalf.

There are two types of contributions – basic and matching.

Basic Contribution

We make a basic contribution to the plan on behalf of every eligible CRA participant. Even if you choose not to contribute, we make this basic contribution to the plan.

The university's basic contribution is based on your salary and years of qualifying service:


Matching Contribution

If you contribute matchable before-tax or after-tax money from your eligible earnings to your CRA, Stanford makes a matching contribution. This is in addition to the basic contribution. Currently, the matching contribution is made each pay period.

If you contribute... The matching contribution is... 
1% of eligible  earnings 1.5% of eligible earnings 
2% of eligible earnings 3% of eligible earnings 
3% of eligible earnings 4% of eligible earnings 
4% of eligible earnings 5% of eligible earnings

The university’s matching contribution will never exceed 5% of compensation for a payroll period. Therefore, if you contribute more than 4% of compensation for some payroll periods and less than 4% for other payroll periods, you could receive less in matching contributions over the year than had you contributed at an even rate throughout the year. To enhance the matching contributions for those employees whose contributions may vary over the course of the plan year, the plan provides an additional “true-up” matching contribution.

At the end of the year, the university will review your employee contributions and match contributions during the entire plan year and “true-up” your account by providing any missing matching contribution. True-up contributions will be posted after the close of the plan year. 

Please note: If you have reached the total contribution limit for the year, you will not receive a true-up matching contribution.

Be sure to check and see if we have already auto-enrolled you at 4% before-tax contribution rate. Log into My Retirement Savings or call 888-793-8733.

Contribution Limits Set by Federal Tax Laws

The IRS imposes certain contribution limits on this type of retirement savings plan and they are subject to change each Jan. 1. These limits apply to all contributions you make during the calendar year to all retirement plans -- a Stanford plan and/or another employer's plan. If you exceed these limits, the IRS may impose penalties. Stanford’s contributions may be reduced or stopped if you reach certain federal limits. 

View the current contribution limits

If you were employed by another employer during a calendar year, you are responsible to:

  • Ensure that your annual contributions do not exceed IRS limits.
  • Monitor your limits and pay any taxes, penalties or interest due because of excess contributions.

To learn more or to change your contribution rate, log into My Retirement Savings or call 888-793-8733. If you have any questions about the limits or your responsibilities, consult with a tax advisor.

Transition from TDA to CRA without Losing Matching Contributions

If you become eligible to open a CRA mid-year, remember to enroll and begin contributing at least 4% of your future contributions to your CRA. That way, you can start receiving the university's matching contribution as soon as possible. You can continue to make before-tax contributions to TDA. Remember, contributions that go into TDA are not eligible for the matching contributions and cannot transfer into your CRA.

Important Note

If you defer too much of your before-tax contributions to TDA, you may reach the before-tax contribution limits before deferring at least 4% to CRA. In order to receive the maximum matching contribution, you will have to contribute on an after-tax basis. Refer to the tips to Maximize Your Contributions.

Contribution Changes

Contribution changes are subject to payroll deadlines of the 10th and 25th of each month. If the 10th or 25th falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline is the business day before. Refer to the 2024 SCRP payroll deadlines for additional information.

To Enroll or Ask Questions

To enroll for TDA and CRA contributions, log into the My Retirement Savings. You can also enroll by phone at 888-793-8733.

After you determine how much you wish to contribute on a before-tax basis for the year, be aware you can adjust the amount any time. You can keep track of your year-to-date contributions by looking at your pay statement and your Total Compensation Statement.