Skip to Local Navigation
Skip to Content
California State University, Long BeachCalifornia State University, Long Beach

Retirement Savings Programs

Retirement Savings Programs allow you to save for your retirement while providing you with a tax break. It allows you to select an amount by which the gross salary can be reduced and tax-sheltered. The tax deferred portion of the gross income is not included as part of your gross earnings for State and Federal tax purposes. Thus, the employee receives a current tax advantage. Income taxes are paid at the time funds are withdrawn or at annuitization. The maximum amount an employee can "shelter" in these programs is determined by the Internal Revenue Service and/or the agent of the company with which the employee chooses to enroll.

Retirement Savings Programs include:

  • Tax Sheltered Annuity (403b)
  • Thrift Plan (401k)
  • Deferred Compensation Plan (457)

Tax-Sheltered Annuity (403b)

There are five plan sponsors participating in this program. The account is established in the employee's name as an individual account.

Thrift Plan (401K) and
Deferred Compensation (457)

These two plans are administered by the State of California Savings Plus Program (SSP) at the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR). You may obtain more information by visiting the Savings Plus website or by calling toll free: (855) 616-4776.

Dual Participation

Contributions to a 403(b) plan are no longer offset by contributions to a 457 plan. For example, for tax year 2015, a participant could elect to contribute up to $18,000 to a 403(b) plan AND up to $18,000 to a 457 plan, for a total contribution of up to $36,000. However, contributions to a 403(b) plan are offset by any contributions to a 401(k) plan in the same tax year. Employees contributing to both a 403(b) and a 401(k) plan are restricted by IRS regulations to a combined total of $18,000.

Each employee is responsible for their own calculations and to make sure the IRS limits are not exceeded.

Provisions

Eligibility

All employees are eligible to participate in a 403(b) program, regardless of time base (with the exception of certain student classifications), including rehired annuitants.

Enrollment Procedures

Enrolllment in the CSU 403(b) Program is through an online process using the VALIC Retirement Manager system. Access Retirement Manager.

Maximum Exclusion Amount

The annual maximum exclusion amount is set by the Internal Revenue Service and changes periodically. For 2015, the maximum exclusion allowance is the lesser of $18,000, or 100% of your adjusted gross income. Please contact your tax advisor to determine your personal maximum exclusion amount.

Minimum Reduction Amount

The minimum monthly investment for 403(b) is $15 per month per company. The minimum monthly investment for the 457 and 401(k) plans are $50 for your initial investment, then you can alter the monthly amount to a $20 per month contribution.

Important Information

The December pay period begins the new tax year (warrant has an issue date of January 1st). This is important for calculating maximum contributions for a tax year.

You are eligible to make changes to your elective deferral on a monthly basis. The cut-off date to make changes in Retirement Manager is the fifth (5th) of each month by 9:59 PM Pacific Time (PST), or the next business day by 9:59 PM if the fifth (5th) falls on a holiday or weekend.

Catch-Up Limit

There are two "catch-up" provisions for making additional contributions; if you qualify, you may participate. To verify eligibility, please complete the online Maximum Contribution Worksheet available on myretirementmanager.com.

Under Internal Revenue Code IRC) Section 402(g)(7), employees that have at least 15 years of service (full-time equivalent) with the CSU may be eligible to contribute an additional $3,000 per tax year for up to five years, for a total lifetime catch-up of $15,000. Employees who want to take advantage of this catch-up allowance must complete the catch-up form and submit it to Benefits Services.

Under IRC section 414(v), employees who are, or will turn age 50 by the end of the current tax year (December 31) may contribute an additional $6,000 (for 2015) to a 403(b) plan, or to a 401(k) plan, and also contribute an additional $6,000 to a 457 plan.

If an employee qualifies for both of the catch-up provisions, additional contributions will first be applied to the 15 year catch-up allowance and then to the age based catch-up provision.

Please note, that the sum of all contributions to all 403(b) and 401(k) plans an employee participates in is generally limited to the lesser of $53,000 or 100% of the employee's compensation in 2015.

Cancellation

All changes (increases, decreases and cancellations) are done through the online Retirement Manager.