Employees for most SERS-participating employers also have access to the Deferred Compensation Plan, which is a voluntary supplemental investment plan with tax deferred benefits.
“Deferred comp” makes it easy to set aside more money for retirement by allowing you to have some of your pay automatically deducted on a pre-tax basis and invested.
You select the amount you want to invest, from as little as $5 per pay to no more than $22,500 per year, which is the IRS limit for 2023. (“Catch-up” provisions allow some participants to contribute more in certain situations. See the Deferred Compensation Plan Features And Highlights for more information.)
You also decide which of the available funds to invest in -- with aggressive, moderate, and conservative options to choose from.
You can easily change the amount you withhold from your pay and your investments whenever you choose.
Deferred comp accounts have certain tax advantages as outlined in Section 457(b) of the IRS tax code. The SERS board has contracted with Empower Retirement as the third-party administrator of this investment plan.
According to the IRS, leave payouts are eligible for deferral into deferred comp accounts. Current IRS limits affect the actual amount you can defer.
If you do not yet participate in deferred comp, there may be time to establish a new account; however, there are a number of HR, payroll, and retirement system deadlines involved that could take up to two months. (You need to have at least one payroll deferral into your new deferred comp account in order to defer your leave payout.)
Your first step is to contact your HR office to learn if you are eligible for a leave payout and the amount. Then, contact a deferred comp representative at 1.866.737.7457 to discuss the rollover process.
If you participate in another SERS retirement plan, we will send you an annual statement that provides a snapshot of all of your SERS retirement benefits as of December 31. This annual statement is in addition to the quarterly statements you receive from the third-party administrator of the deferred comp plan. Your SERS annual statement will list the contributions you made to your deferred comp account over the year and since you opened your account, any rollovers you made from other plans, the change in value of your account, the expenses withheld from your account, and any withdrawals or distributions you took from your deferred comp account over the year.
SERS retains an independent auditor to examine the deferred comp program each year.
In addition to making program financial statements public each year, we report the inflows and outflows of the plan each quarter.
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Participants receive a quarterly newsletter with helpful tips on preparing for retirement and information about the plan.
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A fact sheet that includes up-to-date information on the number of participants, contributions, and more.