The State University of New York provides employees with the opportunity to save for their retirement through the SUNY Voluntary 403(b) Tax-Deferred Annuity Program and the NYS Deferred Compensation Plan.
Participating in a tax-deferred voluntary savings plan is a great way to build your retirement savings and reduce current taxes.
All employees who receive a W2 from SUNY are eligible to participate in the SUNY voluntary savings programs.
Voluntary Savings Plan Overview
These programs allow employees to have money deducted from their paychecks on a pre-tax basis to help supplement their post-retirement income from Social Security, employer sponsored pension plans, and personal savings. Your contributions, plus earnings, are not taxed until you withdraw the funds, allowing for even greater savings through tax-deferred growth. Usually this will be during your retirement, when your income may fall within a lower tax bracket.
Voluntary Savings Plan Types
There are two different types of voluntary savings plans available to SUNY employees, each type being authorized under a different section of IRS Code:
SUNY Voluntary 403(b) Tax-Deferred Annuity Program
Section 403(b) tax-deferred annuity investment retirement savings plan administered by and available to employees of SUNY State-operated or community college campuses. Some of the key features of this plan include:
New York State Deferred Compensation Plan
Section 457(b) tax-deferred mutual fund investment retirement savings plan administered by the NYS Deferred Compensation Board and available to all NYS employees and employees of participating community colleges and localities. The Plan provides a wide array of investment options selected by the Board. Some of the key features of this plan include:
Both plans function similarly but there are a few important key differences between the two plan types that you should be aware of. The 2018 SUNY Voluntary Savings Programs 403(b) vs 457 chart provides a summary containing further details about some of the key features and differences between 403(b) and 457(b) plans to help you decide which plan is right for you.
What are my tax deferred savings options?
There are several different plan options and investment providers to choose from through the SUNY voluntary savings plan. The authorized investment providers offer a wide choice of investment options, including stock, bond and guaranteed funds. The following plans and investment providers are available:
Contact: Michael Spogli
Contact: Gary Witten 716-626-3926
Contact: George Doughtery 716-626-3928
Fidelity Investments (403(b)(7) Mutual Funds)
Contact: Brent Peterson
NYS Deferred Compensation Plan (457)
Contact: Mark Wallace
How much can I contribute?
For 2018, you may contribute up to $18,500 per year to either a 403(b) or a 457(b) account, or to both.
Because 403(b) and 457(b) plans are governed by different sections of IRS Code, employees may contribute to both plans concurrently, allowing a combined deferral maximum of up to $37,000 per year.
Contributions to all 403(b) and 457(b) plans are combined, so if you use multiple investment providers, or are also a participant in a 403(b) or 457(b) plan of another employer, your combined contributions cannot exceed the IRS limit for each plan type. If you do participate in more than one of each type of plan, you are responsible for tracking and reporting the amount of all of your contributions to the plans so that the total amount of all your contributions to all plans in which you participate do not exceed the IRS limit. Note also that the sum of all of your contributions, and those of your employers, to all 403(b) and 457 plans that you participate in are generally limited to the lesser of $55,000 or 100% of your annual compensation.
If you are age 50 or older any time during 2018, you can contribute an additional $6,000 to either type of plan, for a maximum of $24,500 per year.
403(b) plans also allow employees with 15 consecutive years or more of service with the same employer to contribute up to an additional $3,000 per year ($15,000 max lifetime). Prior year contributions may limit this amount. Employees are eligible for both age 50 and 15 year catch-up contributions in the same year.
457(b) plans also allow those within three years of the plan’s normal retirement age (55), to contribute an additional amount of up to the lesser of twice the applicable limit or unused amounts from prior years. Employees are eligible for the greater of the enhanced limit or the age 50 catch-up provision, but may not do both in the same year.
You can learn more about the Voluntary Savings Plan details and options available to you by visiting the following links:
Enrollment and Changes to Your Plan
To enroll, visit either link (or call) as noted below. Once enrolled, you can review and change the amount of your contributions as often as once per pay period via the same processes as enrollment. The exact date your investment allocations will take effect may vary depending upon the policies of the investment provider managing the investment options you chose for plan contributions. To be certain you enter your election by the cut-off date indicated to impact the payroll date you wish to be affected, please refer to the SUNY 403(b) Plan Account - Payroll Change Schedule.
New York’s 529 College Savings Program
If you are looking for a way to save for your child’s college education, New York’s 529 College Savings Program may be of interest to you. This program allows parents, grandparents, relatives or friends to open an investment account for future college students with as little as $25.
Contributions to the account are invested according to the options selected by the account owner. The program’s investments are managed by The Vanguard Group, a leading financial services organization. The program provides significant tax advantages. New York taxpayers can deduct up to $5,000 in contributions each year from their New York taxable income and none of the investment earnings will be taxed by the state as long as the money is used for qualified higher education institutions anywhere. Federal tax on earnings is deferred until the student uses the money for college expenses, and then the earnings are taxable at the student’s income tax rate.
For additional information, call 877-697-2837 or visit New York's 529 College Savings Program.
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