In your defined contribution investment plan, you pick how your money will be invested for retirement and you assume the investment risk.
The State Employees’ Retirement Board selected Empower Retirement as the third-party administrator of this plan.
You and your employer contribute to your investment plan each pay period.
Your employer automatically withholds a percentage of your pay and transfers it to your investment account – that is your contribution. Your employer also contributes an amount equal to a percentage of your pay and transfers it to your investment account – that is your employer’s contribution. The percentages are set by law in the State Employees’ Retirement Code.
In addition to those mandatory contributions, you have the option to make additional voluntary contributions toward your defined contribution investment plan. There may be tax advantages to making those voluntary contributions toward your deferred compensation investment plan instead. Consult a tax advisor for more information.
Vesting in this type of plan refers to when you earn the right to portions of your defined contribution account.
Your contributions (including rollovers from previous employers) are immediately vested. Employer contributions to the plan are vested after three years of service.
In other words, if you leave state employment before you work three years, you have a right to your contributions; however, you would have no right to the amount your employer contributed. The value of your contributions, and any employer contributions, will vary with investment gains and losses.