Princeton University Retirement Plan (PURP)


To be eligible for plan participation, you must be a member of the faculty or staff who is: 
  • on the regular monthly or biweekly payroll and
  • employed at 50 percent duty time or more for five consecutive months or more during any plan year.   
You begin participation in the plan on the first day of the month coincident with or next following your date of hire.
If you are a visiting faculty member, you may also be eligible to participate in the plan as long as it is certified in writing to the satisfaction of the dean of the faculty that your home institution is not making contributions to any retirement plan on your behalf. Visiting faculty members can obtain an authorization form from the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, 7 Nassau Hall.
If you are a member of any of the following employee categories, you are not eligible for participation in the plan: 
Visiting fellow
Full-time Princeton University student
Visiting research technical staff
Independent contractor1
Predoctoral research assistant
Short-term professional (monthly-paid) employee
Postdoctoral research fellows (formerly known as visiting research fellow)
Leased employee2
Category of employees excluded from coverage3
Union employee unless your collective bargaining agreement provides for eligibility
Casual hourly or temporary biweekly-paid employee


Enrollment in the PURP is automatic. To establish your account and choose your investment go to
If you do not enroll online, the University’s contribution will be directed, by default, to the Vanguard Target Retirement Fund closest to your year of normal retirement, e.g., age 65.
The Vanguard Target Retirement Fund is a “one decision” mutual fund which simplifies investing for retirement. Please keep in mind that although target retirement funds can simplify investment selection, all mutual fund investing is subject to risk. Target retirement funds invest in up to seven broadly diversified Vanguard funds and are subject to risks associated with these underlying funds. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss in a declining market.


You are fully vested in the University’s contribution accumulation after two and one-half years of service.
If you are newly hired, you may be vested earlier due to your previous employment if your previous employer was classified as an exempt organization under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or if you were employed by a public college or university, which maintains a regular faculty and curriculum and has a regularly enrolled student body that attend classes at the place where its educational activities are regularly carried on.

In order to be credited for previous employment, you must have been employed at least six months before being hired at Princeton University. You also must submit a Certification of Prior Employment form to a member of the Benefits Team

1 Even if determined to be a common law employee under a governmental audit or legislation
2 Within the meaning of section 414(n) or 414(o) of the Code
3 Under a Board of Trustees’ resolution
You can count on support from knowledgeable and responsive HR staff when you have a benefits question or problem. Just call us at (609) 258 - 3302 or send us an e-mail. We’re here to help!
While the University intends to continue each of the benefit plans, the University reserves the right to terminate or amend any plan, at any time, and for any reason.