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Today's Message

Posted: Monday, November 2, 2020

SUNY Voluntary Savings Plan: 2021 Universal Availability Notice

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. Participation in the plan is a great way to build your retirement savings through pre-tax 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. For more information, please contact the  Employee Benefits Office 878-4821 or visit the SUNY Benefits website.

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. 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. The exact date your investment allocations will take effect may vary depending on 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˝ (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. Please also note 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 percent of your compensation in 2021. 457 plans may also offer, for eligible participants, the Special Retirement Catch-up Provision for contributions within three 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:

AIG Retirement
800) 448-2542 or (888) 569-7055

Fidelity Investments (403(b)(7) Mutual Funds)
(844) 367-7869 (844-FOR-SUNY)

NYS Deferred Compensation Plan (457)
(800) 422-8463

Teachers Insurance Annuity Associate (TIAA)
(800) 662-7945   

Voya Financial
(800) 584-6001

What Do I Need to Do?
If you wish to enroll or change your enrollment in the NYS Deferred Compensation Plan (NYSDCP), you must 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. 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 moneys under the Age 50 rule outlined above. Please check your pay stub to be sure your current biweekly 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 must 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. For assistance with this process, or if you have questions, please contact the Buffalo State Employee Benefits Office 878-4821 for more information.

Submitted by: Linda L. Kravitz
Also appeared:
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
Tuesday, December 1, 2020