If there is a financial meltdown or any major crisis, how would this impact my contributions?
First of all, the University would continue to be 100% responsible for all costs in respect of pre-January 1, 2020 service, including future deficits emerging that are attributable to pre-January 1, 2020 service.
Second, on January 1, 2020 your contribution rate, offset by your wage increase, would be 6.33% of pay, regardless of the financial situation of the plan at that time. Members take on no risk at all until 2024 (i.e. your contributions would not be affected by the financial position of the plan before that time). Moreover, Plan members start off as co-sponsors with a clean “balance sheet” (i.e. on January 1, 2020, the assets and liabilities under the joint responsibility are restarted to zero).
Third, going forward, the contributions would be set with a margin, or “buffer” in mind so that the Plan would be able to weather the normal ups and downs of the market. However, a significant economic crisis would most likely lead to an increase in contributions and that increase would be split between the University and the Plan members in the 60/40 proportion (after the transition period) described in the Cost and Risk Sharing section of The Amendments page. By the same token, with an improvement in the economy the University and the Plan members would most likely see a contribution decrease.