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457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan

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The District is committed to helping employees build retirement wealth and security. The 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan is one piece of your retirement program designed to supplement your retirement savings. While a pension and/or Social Security may go a long way, they may not be enough. Saving to your 457(b) plan can help you maintain your desired standard of living. Your voluntary tax-deferred contributions are made to an account in your name for the exclusive benefit of you and your beneficiaries. The value of the account is based on the contributions made and the investment performance over time. The 457(b) Plan is administered by ICMA-RC.

Employees Hired After July 7, 2019: Automatic Enrollment

Please Note: Effective July 7, 2019, newly hired employees and rehired employees (with a break in service of three workdays or more) who are eligible to participate in the 457(b) Plan will be automatically enrolled as participants. Your contributions are invested on a tax-deferred basis and are not subject to federal income tax until they are withdrawn from the account. Please see below for more information on auto-enrollment.
 

Automatic Enrollment

Effective, July 7, 2019, employees will be automatically enrolled in the 457(b) Plan as a participant effective the date of your appointment. You will automatically have 5 percent of your annual base salary contributed to the Plan as Pre-Tax contributions each pay period until you elect to defer a different amount (including $0) or a different percentage amount of your base salary or cease participation in the plan. 
 

Opting Out of Automatic Enrollment

If you wish not to participate in the 457(b) Plan, you may opt-out within the first 30 days of employment. To opt-out of automatic enrollment, please access PeopleSoft at http://ess.dc.gov and set your contribution deferral rate to zero. This will ensure no future contributions will be withheld from your compensation. If you elect to opt-out of the plan within the first 30 days of your employment but contributions have already been made to the Plan on your behalf, you may request a refund. If you would like to remain in the plan, you can choose to contribute a different amount to meet your retirement needs.
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Changing Contribution Percentage Rate or Amount

Prior to or after your contributions have begun, you may elect to increase your contributions above the automatic 5 percent rate, decrease your contributions below the automatic 5 percent rate, or stop contributions to the plan. By taking any of these steps you will no longer have 5 percent of your annual base salary automatically contributed to the plan. To stop or change the contributions to the plan, please review the How to Change Your 457(b) Plan Contribution Guide. You may also contact the DCHR Benefits and Retirement Administration at [email protected] or 202.442.7627. You can only request a refund of your contributions if you opt out of the plan (i.e., stop your contributions) within the first 30 days of your employment.
 

Contribution Refunds.

If you elect to opt out of automatic enrollment within the first 30 days of your employment, you can request a refund of any contributions made to your account within that period. If you do not opt out within the first 30 days of your employment, you cannot receive a refund. Refunds will be adjusted for any earnings or losses at market value. Any amounts refunded to you within this 30-day period are taxable to you in the year in which such amounts are distributed to you. Any funds remaining in the Plan after the 30-day opt-out period will be subject to the plan’s normal distribution rules. To request a refund of contributions, please contact the DCHR Benefits and Retirement Administration at [email protected] or 202.442.7627. You may also contact ICMA-RC at 1.800.669.7400.

Eligibility

There are no age or length of service requirements. You are eligible to participate if you are a District employee who is:
  • In an agency under the personnel authority of the Mayor.
  • In a subordinate agency as defined in the Comprehensive Merit Personnel Act of 1978.
  • If approved by the Mayor, an agency not under the personnel authority of the Mayor or an independent agency.
 

Contributions

You make contributions to the Plan by agreeing to defer a dollar amount of your salary. Your deferrals are made on a pre-tax basis, and all earnings are tax deferred until benefits are distributed to you. The District does not make any contributions to this plan. For 2019, you can contribute up to $19,000 annually, up to $25,000 if you are age 50 or over, or up to $38,000 if you qualify for pre-retirement catch-up contributions.
  • The minimum contribution is $20 per biweekly payroll period or $43 per monthly payroll period.
  • Maximum contribution is set by the IRS and is subject to cost-of-living adjustments every year.
 

Enrollment

  • To enroll in the 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan or change your contribution amount, you can log on to PeopleSoft at http://ess.dc.gov. For additional enrollment assistance, you may also contact your local ICMA-RC representative.
  • You may increase or decrease your contribution amount at any time. Your change will generally be effective two pay periods after the payroll office receives your contribution change request in good order.
 

Distribution Options

Distributions are allowed only upon your separation from service, attainment of age 70½ without separation from service, death or the occurrence of an unforeseeable emergency, which are considered to be triggering events. Distribution of amounts held in rollover accounts may be made without a triggering event. The Plan also includes a provision allowing the in-service distribution of accounts that do not exceed $5,000 if:
  • You have not made any contributions to the Plan during the prior two years; and
  • You have not received this type of in-service distribution in the past.
 

Online Loan Requests

Most plans allow you to electronically submit loan requests, which allows ICMA-RC to immediately process your request and provide you with a more secure, paperless process. Follow the steps below to ensure your request is processed as efficiently as possible:
  1. Access your account online at www.DCRetire.com.
  2. Select your plan from Access My Account.
  3. Select Loans.
  4. Select Model a Loan and then follow the steps to complete your request.
 

Beneficiary Designation

You have two convenient ways to update your beneficiary elections: complete and return a signed Beneficiary Designation Form to [email protected]; or, you may update your beneficiary elections through ICMA-RC. Forms are available on the ICMA-RC website or you may contact your local ICMA-RC representative. You should periodically review your plan beneficiary designation and determine whether any changes are appropriate. This is especially true if you have a qualifying life event (e.g. marriage, birth of a child, divorce, or death). Designating a beneficiary for your 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan is a separate process from electing a beneficiary for life insurance or other plans.

Resources & Forms

For more information, please visit www.DCRetire.com to manage your account, review investments and access our educational resources.

DCRetire.com: Your Dedicated, Online DC Employee Retirement Resource 

For more information, please visit www.DCRetire.com to manage your account, review investments and access our educational resources. Provided by retirement plan administrator ICMA-RC, www.DCRetire.com features 24/7 access to news, resources, and planning tools to help you prepare for the retirement you want. You can also register for an individual appointment or group seminar through this site at the local service centers available.

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