Montana Public Employee Retirement Administration

The Montana Board of Regents administers the Montana University System Retirement Program (MUS-RP) and has contracted with TIAA (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association) as plan provider. MPERA does not administer this plan.

Employees of the Montana University System (MUS) who are new to the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) start as PERS defined benefit retirement plan members. They have 12 months to elect a retirement plan.

The MUS-RP is a defined contribution plan. Similar to the PERS Defined Contribution Retirement Plan, the MUS-RP does not specify a benefit in retirement. Instead, it specifies how much is contributed to your retirement account. Your retirement account will grow over time depending on:

  • How much money is contributed to the account;
  • How long the money remains invested; and
  • The rate of return earned over that time period.

In the MUS-RP you select the investment options for your contributions. You assume all of the investment risk, but are also entitled to all investment returns.

If you are a University System employee and are not already a member of PERS, you may have three plan choices available to you:

  1. a defined benefit retirement plan (DBRP); or
  2. a defined contribution retirement plan (DCRP); or
  3. the Montana University System - Retirement Program (MUS - RP) (administered by a third-party administrator). This option is available only to University employees. 

If you were already a member of PERS when you accepted a University position covered by PERS, you can choose either the MUS-RP or your current PERS retirement plan. Specifically:

  1. if you have a DCRP account, you can choose to remain in the DCRP or become a member of the MUS-RP;
  2. If you have a DBRP account, you can choose to remain in the DBRP or become a member of the MUS-RP.

Comparison with the PERS DCRP
The MUS-RP and the PERS DCRP are similar because they are both defined contribution plans. However; there are key differences between the plans.

Contact MPERA
For questions regarding your retirement account call 1-877-275-7372
Comparison of MUS-RP and DCRP
MUS-RP DCRP
Vesting in employer contributions
Immediate. Depending on age and account balance, distributions of employer contributions may be restricted. 5 years
Employee Contributions
7.9% 7.9%
Allocation of employer contributions
9.07%     Total Contributions  
- 0.04%   Education Fund

9.03% = Member Account
9.07%   Total Contributions 
- 0.04%  Education Fund 
- 0.30%  Disability Plan 
8.73%  = Member Account 
Long term disability
Not available through MUS-RP. Is required as part of the Montana University System Choices benefits program. Component of the Plan.
Administrative Costs
Administrative costs are 0.08% per year on account balance with individual investment options and change fees.
For example, on a $10,000 account balance, cost would be $8.
Administrative costs are 0.14% per year on account balance with individual investment options and change fees.
For example, on a $10,000 account balance, cost would be $14.
Investment Options
Selection of retail and institutional mutual funds. These funds do not guarantee principal or return.
Traditional fixed annuity product guarantees principal and return.
Selection of retail and institutional mutual funds. These funds do not guarantee principal or return.
Stable value product guarantees principal and return.