The State University of New York (“SUNY”) provides employees with the opportunity to save for their retirement through the SUNY Voluntary 403(b) Savings Plan (the “Plan”). Participation in the SUNY Voluntary Savings Plan is a great way to build your retirement savings through pre-tax and/or post-tax payroll deduction contributions.
Whether you want to enroll in the plan for the first time, or you are already enrolled but wish to change the amount of your deferral, you can do so through the SUNY online enrollment and management system at www.retirementatwork.org/suny. For more information, contact the Employee Benefits Office 878-4821 or visit SUNY Benefits.
All employees of SUNY who receive compensation reportable on an IRS Form W-2 are eligible to participate in the Plan.
Please take a moment to review the plan materials before enrolling, available at www.suny.edu/benefits/vsp/. Once you are enrolled, you can review and change the amount of your contributions as often as once per pay period, in accordance with your campus payroll deadlines for submitting changes, through the SUNY online enrollment and management system at www.retirementatwork.org/suny. The exact date your investment allocations will take effect may vary depending upon your payroll system deadlines and the policies of the Investment Provider you chose for Plan contributions.
In addition to the SUNY 403(b) plan, the NYS Deferred Compensation Plan (NYSDCP) also provides a way for you to contribute to a retirement account on both a pre-tax (Traditional) and post-tax (Roth) basis through payroll deduction.
Through the pre-tax options (Traditional), your contributions, plus earnings are not taxed until you withdraw the funds. Distributions are considered ordinary income for tax purposes.
Through the post-tax (Roth) option, your contributions are taxed at the time you make them. Earnings are income tax-free upon qualified distribution if you are 59 ½ (for the 403(b) Plan) or separated from service (for both 403(b) and 457 Plans) and it has been at least five taxable years since the initial Roth deposit.
How much can I contribute?
For 2021 you can contribute up to $19,500 per year. If you are age 50 or older anytime in 2021, you can contribute an additional $6,500, for a maximum of $26,000.
Each participant is limited to these maximum contribution amounts for all 403(b) and 457 plans, respectively. SUNY employees are able to maximize contributions to both the SUNY 403(b) Plan and the NYS Deferred Compensation 457 Plan concurrently. However, if you also participate in a 403(b) or 457 plan with another employer, 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 annual contributions to all plans in which you participate do not exceed the 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 $58,000 or 100% of your compensation in 2021. 457 Plans may also offer, for eligible participants, The Special Retirement Catch-up Provision for contributions within 3 years of your elected normal retirement age.
What are my savings options?
There are several different Plan options and Investment Providers to choose from through the SUNY 403(b) Plan. NYSDCP also offers its own investment options. Authorized Investment Providers offer a wide choice of investment options, including stock, bond and guaranteed funds. Each provider offers individual counseling and assistance on investment information and can review the pre and post-tax contribution options to best meet your retirement planning needs.
The following Authorized Plans and Investment Providers are available to you within the SUNY 403(b) Plan:
1-800-448-2542 or 1-888-569-7055
Fidelity Investments (403(b)(7) Mutual Funds)
Teachers Insurance Annuity Associate (TIAA)
NYS Deferred Compensation Plan (457)
What do I need to do?
If you wish to enroll or change your enrollment in the NYS Deferred Compensation Plan (NYSDCP), you will need to contact NYSDCP directly.
If you are enrolling in SUNY’s 403(b) plan for the first time, you can do so by using the SUNY online enrollment and management system at www.retirementatwork.org/suny. For assistance with the enrollment process, please contact the Employee Benefits Office for more information.
If you are currently enrolled and wish to contribute the same biweekly amount in 2021, no action on your part is necessary unless you are currently contributing additional monies under the Age 50 rule outlined above. Please check your pay stub to be sure your current bi-weekly contribution for 403(b) deductions with any investment providers with whom you are investing) multiplied by the number of remaining pay periods in the year does not exceed the allowable limit. Please be mindful that if you made a change mid-year, you will need to make sure that your current biweekly amount will result in the correct annual amount you want deferred for 2021.
To change the amount you are now contributing, please do so by using the SUNY online enrollment and management system at www.retirementatwork.org/suny. For assistance with this process or if you have questions, please contact the Employee Benefits Office for more information.
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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