Supplemental Retirement Plans

403(b)/457(b)

VSU permits deductions for an individual's tax deferred annuity plan. The money deducted is not immediately subject to Federal or State income taxes, but it will be taxed at the time you receive it. Employee Benefits will assist you in making the salary reduction you authorize and remitting the amount to the retirement company each month on your behalf. 

To start, stop or change from a pre-tax traditional 403(b) to an after-tax Roth 403(b) or vice versa, you must submit a Salary reduction Agreement form to the benefits office.

If you wish your investment options and beneficiaries to be the same you do not have to fill out a separate after-tax Roth 403(b)application if you already have a pre-tax traditional 403(b) in place with Fidelity Investments, and TIAA-CREF but if you are with VALIC, please contact your representative.

You must complete an application for each pre-tax traditional 403 b vendor and/or each after -tax Roth 403 b vendor that you have chosen to invest with. This application will instruct the company on how to allocate your contribution between funds and who your beneficiaries are. To obtain an application contact the vendor directly. Failure to follow these steps will result in funds being transferred to the vendor where they will earn no interest. After 60 days, the funds will be returned to VSU and be added back into your paycheck. After starting an account you must submit a Salary Reduction Agreement to the benefits office.

These plans are funded by pre-tax dollars deducted from the employee's paycheck. These plans are administered in accordance with their respective plan documents. These plans are executed in accordance with government regulations including those for eligibility, contributions, loans and distributions. Plan expenses are not paid by the institution, these are negotiated between the employee and the vendor.

403b Tax Deferred Annuities:

Fidelity Investments

800-343-0860

Teachers Insurance & Annuity Assoc (TIAA-CREF)

888-842-2273

Variable Annuity Life Ins Company (VALIC)

888-569-7055

 

ABOUT YOUR 403(b)

As an eligible employee of Valdosta State University, you are permitted to participate in a 403(b) tax deferred retirement program.

What is a 403(b) plan?

A 403(b) plan is a tax-deferred retirement plan available to employees of educational institutions and certain non-profit organizations. In this plan, you can make pre-tax contributions for retirement savings.

Why contribute to a 403(b)/457?

Participating in your plan can provide a number of benefits, including:

  • LOWER TAXES TODAY. Your 403(b)/457 contributions are made on a pre-tax basis which can greatly reduce your current income tax bill. For example, if your federal marginal income tax rate is 25%, and if you contribute $100 a month to a 403(b) plan, you’ve reduced your federal income taxes by roughly $25 (assuming a 25% tax bracket). In effect, your $100 contribution costs you only $75. The tax savings grow with the size of your 403(b)/457 contribution.

  • TAX-DEFERRED GROWTH. Your account in the 403(b)/457 plan is tax-deferred. This means that your account can grow tax-free until time of withdrawal.

  • ENHANCED RETIREMENT. Other sources of retirement income, including state pension plans and, Social Security, often do not adequately replace a person’s salary upon retirement. A 403(b)/457 plan can provide a healthy supplement to an employee’s retirement income.

403b or 457b which one is good for you?

Comparison Chart between 403b Plan vs. 457 Plan

New IRS Limits for 403b and 457 Plans

New faster service for those with 403(b) and 457 supplemental retirement accounts with Retirement Manager 

Due to changes in IRS Regulations,the University System of Georgia 403(b) and/or 457(b) Plans have revised certain plan provisions, policies and procedures.  To assist in ensuring that the plan complies with these new regulations, they have hired a third party administrator (TPA) and will be utilizing their Retirement Manager system to help automate the processes.

Effective immediately, all loans and hardship distributions must be determined to be an eligible transaction.  In addition to completing the standard retirement plan provider loan or hardship distribution form(s), you must also obtain a certificate of eligibility from the Retirement Manager system.  These forms along with any required documentation should be submitted to your retirement plan provider.  We have authorized all retirement plan providers to review the transaction on our behalf and to determine if it meets all requirements set forth by our plan document and by IRS regulations.  This will ensure that all necessary documentation has been submitted.  Please note that these forms DO NOT require a signature from the Plan Administrator.  If the transaction meets all requirements, the provider will process the distribution and submit all applicable tax reporting. 

Employee guides for the Retirement Manager System is available by clicking on the links below. This guide illustrates how to log into the retirement manager web site and obtain a certificate of eligibility for either a hardship or a loan.  As mentioned above, this certificate must be submitted to your provider with their loan or hardship distribution paperwork. In addition, you can visit http://www.brainshark.com/valic/LandH-Presentation-Exchange to view an on-demand seminar illustrating how to log in and create a Distribution Eligibility Certificate.

If you have questions or need additional information you may contact your local 403(b) and/or 457(b) vendor (they have a copy of the Plan Document and have been apprised of the new procedures).

No Hardship Withdrawals from ORP and TRS Plans- Please Note
In these tough economic times, the BOR has begun to receive a growing number of inquiries regarding the availability of hardship withdrawals from the ORP and/or the TRS plans. These plans are governed by the plan document and/or the Georgia State Code which do not allow for hardship withdrawals. Neither the USG nor the Board at TRS can make any exceptions. It would take change by the legislators to allow for hardship withdrawals.

 

Fidelity NetBenefits

Beginning February 13th, 2012, the following new service(s) will be available to Fidelity Board of Regents Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) participants. Participants will be eligible to call 1-800-343-0860 or access Fidelity NetBenefits at www.fidelity.com/atwork to inquire about the new service(s):

  • Online Beneficiary
    • The Online Beneficiary service allows participants to designate primary and contingent beneficiaries via Fidelity NetBenefits.
    • Participants can designate, update and view their beneficiary designations via NetBenefits virtually anytime, anywhere.
    • Online Beneficiary by Fidelity fulfills legal obligation to store beneficiary form and eliminates storage by plan sponsor (USG).
    • USG will remain responsible for requesting beneficiary information from Fidelity and initiating transfer of assets to beneficiary in the event of a participant’s death.
Fidelity will notify Plan participants via the attached post card and e-mail communication of this new service.

How do I get more information?

To obtain more information, including information about how to participate, and about the savings products made available under the plan, contact Human Resources and Employee Development at 333-5709.

Not intended as tax or legal advice. Neither your employer nor the investment providers offering savings products under the plan can provide you with tax or legal advice.