An RMSA can be thought of as a Roth IRA for retiree health care. It is a trust or custodial account established exclusively to receive after tax contributions on behalf of eligible active faculty and staff to be used for retiree health care expenses. Earnings on the amounts contributed accumulate on a tax-free basis and are not subject to tax if they are used to pay for eligible medical expenses for employees and their dependents after the employee retires. Eligible expenses include retiree health plan premiums, Medicare premiums, long term care premiums and out-of-pocket health expenses after retirement.

When Can I Access My Balance?

Effective January 1, 2016, the Retirement Medical Savings Account Plan (RMSA) has been amended to allow reimbursement of eligible out of pocket health care expenses to RMSA plan participants who have terminated employment at Washington University, regardless of age or retirement status, without having to forfeit the University contribution balance if applicable.

If you terminate employment and would like to submit claims against your RMSA balance, please complete the “RMSA claims activation form” found on the Human Resources website at Because the administrative fee is higher for those in claims status, we would advise you not to complete the form until you are certain you are ready to start submitting claims. Per plan rules, terminated employees (not active employees or WashU retirees) are responsible for paying their own administrative fees.

What Happens to My Balance if I Die?

If the employee/retiree dies and has a surviving spouse, ownership of the account and all its assets will be transferred to the spouse and must be used for his or her retiree healthcare expenses. If the employee/retiree dies and does not have a surviving spouse, the unused employee contributions and earnings associated with those contributions will be paid to the employee’s estate. (This payment is made from university funds outside of the Plan.) The unused university contributions (if applicable*) and the earnings associated with those contributions will be forfeited back to the university to be used to offset administration fees.

Who Pays the Plan Fees?

The university will pay the plan administration fees for active employees and Washington University retirees and surviving spouses. Effective January 1, 2015, administration fees will be deducted from participant account balances for those who terminate employment (not WashU retirees). This fee is approximately $18 per year, per participant, and is subject to change.

When Can I Enroll or Make Changes?

Enrollment in the RMSA can only be made during the open enrollment period in November for the following calendar year. The employee cannot change their contribution amount mid-year, but may cancel their contribution at any time. Those who cancel their contribution during the year may not re-enroll in the plan until the following year.

What are my Investment Options?

The RMSA plan administrator is TIAA-CREF. If you enroll in the RMSA during Open Enrollment, your contributions will be automatically invested in the TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Fund that is most appropriate for your age. After your initial payroll deduction, you will have the opportunity to transfer your funds to other investment options and/or to change the investment allocation of future contributions by either calling TIAA-CREF at 1-877-554-1004, or online at The Plan offers the 17 different TIAA-CREF investment funds listed by type of investment below:

Equities Fixed Income Money Market Multi-Asset Multi-Asset (cont.)
International Equity Index Fund
Bond Fund
Money Market Fund
Lifecycle 2010 Fund
Lifecycle 2035 Fund
Mid-Cap Value Fund
Lifecycle 2015 Fund
Lifecycle 2040 Fund
Small-Cap Blend Index Fund
Lifecycle 2020 Fund
Lifecycle 2045 Fund
Large-Cap Growth Fund
Lifecycle 2025 Fund
Lifecycle 2050 Fund
Equity Index Fund
Lifecycle 2030 Fund
Lifecycle Retirement Income Fund


  • If you are a WashU retiree, your RMSA account will be activated for claims submission and you will receive your welcome packet AFTER your retirement date. The packet is mailed in a very generic looking envelope, so don’t throw it away!
  • If you are not aWashU retiree, but have left the University, please complete the RMSA Claims Activation Form found on the “Forms” page of our website. Because the administrative fee is higher for those in claims status, we would advise you not to complete the form until you are certain you are ready to start submitting claims.
  • You must transfer funds to the Money Market Fund in order to start submitting claims. Please call TIAA-CREF’s toll free number and select Option 1 for assistance with making this transfer if you are not comfortable making this transfer yourself through the secure site.
  • Connect Your Care is the third party claims administrator for this plan. The welcome packet will be sent by Connect Your Care, which is where all paper claims should be submitted.

Where Can I Get More Information?

For information on accessing your RMSA account balance after retirement, please see the “Retiree Benefits” section of our website.

For complete details of eligibility, definitions, benefits and guidelines, please refer to the RMSA Plan Document.

*Effective January 1, 2014, the university eliminated employer contributions to the RMSA plan. Any university contributions received in previous years will remain in the participant’s account and can be used for out-of-pocket medical expenses as outlined in the Plan Document.