Current Provider: TIAA

  • Customer Service: 877-554-1004, option 1
  • Website: TIAA Website

An RMSA is a tax-advantaged retiree healthcare savings account where employees set aside money now to help pay for healthcare costs in retirement. It is funded with after-tax employee contributions that can be invested using a variety of investment choices. When employees retire or terminate employment, money in the account can be accessed tax-free and used for a variety of qualified medical expenses, such as:

  • Retiree health insurance premiums
  • COBRA premiums
  • Medicare premiums
  • Long term care insurance premiums
  • Copayments and deductibles
  • Prescription drugs
  • Other out-of-pocket health expenses after retirement/termination of employment.

A university contribution is not provided to the RMSA.*


Regular faculty or staff members working 50% FTE or more are eligible to participate in the RMSA.


Eligible employees may enroll in the RMSA and change or stop contributions at any time.

Employee Contributions

Eligible employees may elect the annual amount (minimum of $120) that they want to contribute to their RMSA. Contributions are deducted from paychecks throughout the year on an after-tax basis, and the investment earnings on those contributions grow tax-free. The university does not make a contribution to your RMSA*. You are always vested in your contributions, but see below for limitations on accessing your RMSA.

Before contributing to the RMSA, you may want to consider maximizing your contributions to the 403(b) Retirement Savings Plan. You should also consult with your financial or tax advisor before enrolling in the RMSA.

Investment Choices

Initial contributions will be invested in a TIAA-CREF Lifecycle mutual fund that has a date closest to the year you will turn age 65. Keep in mind that, as with all mutual funds, the principal value is not guaranteed at that target retirement date or any other time. Once your account is established, you will have the opportunity to change your investment option(s) at any time. The earnings on your account are tax-free.

Accessing Your RMSA

You will be eligible to access your RMSA once you retire or terminate service with WashU. You will need to complete a Claims Activation form (PDF) with TIAA to elect to become Claims Active. Once that form is submitted a welcome kit will be mailed to you which includes a debit card. Please allow 7 to 10 business days for delivery.


  • Your welcome packet is mailed in a very generic looking envelope and includes a debit card, so don’t throw it away!
  • You must maintain a balance in the TIAA-CREF Money Market Mutual Fund in order to be reimbursed for your claims or to use the debit card at point of sale. Please call TIAA at 877-554-1004 option 1 for assistance with making an accumulation transfer, or you can make this transfer via the secure site.
  • In addition to using your debit card for expenses, you can also file claim reimbursements or pay providers online. The claims portal can be accessed via the secure site and selecting “Visit Claims Center” in the Quick Links menu when you are viewing the retirement savings medical account balance and investment details.

Keep in mind, you may only use your RMSA for qualified medical expenses as defined by the Internal Revenue Service. For more information on accessing your RMSA account balance after retirement/termination of employment, please see the RMSA Flyer (PDF).

NOTE: You may not access your RMSA while you are an active employee of WashU. If you retire or terminate service and return to the university as an active employee, including returning as a part-time or non-benefits eligible (zero hour) employee, you will not be able to access your RMSA until you terminate employment again.

Benefits After Death

After your death, your spouse may continue to receive reimbursement for their qualified medical expenses. However, if you do not have a surviving spouse or if amounts remain in the RMSA after your surviving spouse dies, any remaining amounts in your RMSA will be forfeited. You may not designate a beneficiary for your RMSA.

Where Can I Get More Information?

For more information on accessing your RMSA account balance after retirement/termination of employment, please see the RMSA Flyer (PDF).

For details regarding eligibility, definitions, benefits and guidelines, please refer to the RMSA Summary Plan Description (PDF).

*Any university contributions received previously will remain in the participant’s account and can be used for out-of-pocket medical expenses as outlined in the Plan Document.