What is the Deferred Compensation Plan otherwise known as the 457(b) plan?

It is a voluntary employer sponsored retirement plan that enables employees to save money for retirement on a pre-tax basis possibly reducing current taxes.

Why should I open a 457(b) account?

To provide additional savings for retirement. Social security will only replace approximately 20% - 30% of your working income in retirement. It is important to have liquid savings in retirement. A 457(b) account could provide the additional income you might need to travel or as additional income each month or as an emergency fund.

How much do most people save in their 457(b) accounts?

There is not a one size fits all answer. It is encouraged for everyone to save as much as they can both pre-tax and after tax. The maximum contribution is $17,500 if you are under the age 50 and an additional $5,500 if you are over the age of 50.

What if I want to make a change to my contribution?

You may increase, decrease, stop and restart your contribution by completing the proper form. Please contact the Pension Office at (941) 954-2600 or (941) 954-4141 for a change in contribution form for your plan.

What if I need access to the money while I am still working?

There are two ways to access your savings while you are still working.

(1) The first is the Unforeseeable Circumstance withdrawal. There must be a severe financial hardship that qualifies for the government approved list of reasons for this distribution. You must provide proof of the hardship amount.

(2) The second is through a loan. A loan is a way to access money and get it repaid back into your account. A loan may be taken out for any reason. There is a minimum account value to take out a loan and a maximum loan amount.

If you have any questions please discuss with your advisor.

What if I die, what happens to my money?

Your named beneficiary will receive it.

What are my investment options?

Each provider has their own investment options. There are a wide range of investment choices offered including a guaranteed interest account fund and a broad choice of stock and bond funds. Your financial advisor can help educate you on choices available and help you select investments that are appropriate for your individual risk tolerance.

Can I make changes to my investments?

You may make changes by calling your advisor, going online or by calling your provider’s customer care center. Reviewing your investments with your advisor on a regular basis is strongly recommended.

What happens to my money if I leave the City before retirement?

You may keep your investments where they are, roll them into a new employer plan or individual retirement plan (IRA) or take a distribution. The 457(b) is the only retirement plan that allows access to your savings after separation of service without the IRS 10% penalty (for people under age 59 ˝).

What happens to my money after I retire?

You may leave it invested until you need it. You may access your savings by a cash distribution, rollover, or systematic withdrawal. Ask your financial advisor for assistance.

How long can I postpone taking distributions?

The government requires that distributions begin at the age 70 ˝. There is a formula used to determine what your required minimum distribution is each year following age 70 ˝.

How and when I am taxed on my distributions?

Your investment provider is required by law to withhold 20% federal taxes when you take a cash distribution. Unforeseeable Emergency distributions and loan defaults are handled differently. Please see your advisor for more information.