Participating in your tax-advantaged 403(b) retirement plan is an effortless way to set aside money for your future. You contribute to the plan by convenient payroll deductions before tax withholdings are calculated. This reduces your taxable income, which allows you to take home more money from your paycheck!
A 403(b) plan is a tax-deferred retirement plan available to employees of public educational institutions and certain tax-exempt organizations. A 403(b) plan allows you to make pretax contributions by convenient payroll reduction and save money for your retirement. 403(b) plans were created to encourage long-term savings, so depending on your employer’s plan, distributions generally are available only when you reach age 59 -1/2, leave your job or upon death or disability. Bear in mind that distributions before age 59-1/2 might be subject to federal restrictions and a 10% federal tax penalty. All employees are eligible to participate except those who are non-benefits eligible.
Short-term needs can sometimes be met by nontaxable loans. This type of loan makes it possible for you to access your account without permanently reducing your balance. Though you should remember that defaulted loan amounts will be taxed as ordinary income and might be subject to a 10% tax penalty if you are under age 59-1/2.
Did you know?
Georgia Regents Medical Center provides a 100% match on the first 5% that you contribute to the plan. Because this is like getting free money, you should strongly consider enrolling in the plan and contributing at least 5% (so you can get the full employer match.)
The Retirement Savings Plan is a good savings vehicle because it has the potential to build investment income quickly over time. If your investments make money, that money is reinvested and grows your account. This is called “compound interest.”
You control Your investments
You manage your investments by choosing among the wide variety of funds available. At any time, you can change the funds in which you are invested, and the percentage of your account invested with each fund. In addition, you can change the percentage of your base salary that you contribute to the plan once per quarter. Because you are vested in the plan as soon as you enroll, you own both your contributions and Georgia Regents Medical Center’s right away.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often can I make changes to my retirement plan?
Your contributions are made pretax after you complete a salary reduction agreement to either initiate your contributions or change the amount. You can obtain a salary reduction agreement from Benefits, Human Resources. While payroll procedures will govern when the salary reduction agreement first applies to your paycheck, as a general rule you can change your contributions once per quarter per calendar year.
Can I make withdrawals?
Plan members can withdraw a portion of their savings during their employment with GRMC under certain circumstances. For more information regarding withdrawals, please contact the Human Resources, GRMC Benefits office at (706) 721-7909.
Can I meet with someone to discuss my options?
VALIC is available to review retirement plan options with you. Contact their local office at (706) 722-4600.
What does it mean to be “vested” immediately?
Vesting refers to your ownership of a benefit from the plan. Georgia Regents Medical Center employees are vested in the plan as soon as you enroll. There’s no waiting period. Simply put, you own your contributions as well as the employer’s match as soon as it’s invested.
Enrolling is Easy!
Contributions made to the plans are invested as you direct, based upon your elections among the investments available under the plan. Loans, if available, and distributions from the plan, are subject to requirements under the plan and under the investment product that you select.
For information about participation, investment options and more, contact the GRMC Benefits office at (706) 721-7909.