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Plan Highlights

The Texa$aver Program is a powerful tool to help you work together with Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) to save for retirement. The more you know about Texa$aver, the better you'll be able to plan your financial future.


Click on a topic to find out more about the specifics of Texa$aver.

Enrolling in Texa$aver

Please click here for information on enrolling in Texa$aver.


Contributing to Texa$aver

The minimum deferral amount to the 457 Plan is $20 of your monthly gross salary. The annual maximum contribution limit is 99% of your eligible compensation or the IRS limited amount per year, whichever is less. Federal tax law has set the limit, which is subject to annual adjustments based on the cost of living index. Contributions will be automatically deducted from your paycheck. An important feature of Texa$aver is that your contributions are invested on a before-tax basis.

You may change your contribution amount at any time through the Contributions section of this website by selecting "Paycheck Contribution" under "My Account" or by calling the Texa$aver Information Line at (800) 634-5091. Deferral changes must be completed before 3:00 p.m. (CT) on the last business day of any given month to start, change, or stop your deferral for your next month's pay period. For example, a deferral change made before 3:00 p.m. (CT) on July 31 will be effective for the August pay period, which is paid to employees on September 1. Changes may be made at any time, and a confirmation statement will be mailed to your home address for each change that you make. Market conditions or other circumstances may on occasion delay processing.

For the current IRS contribution limits, please see the following table:

 

Annual Maximum Deferral Limit: $17,500
Age 50 and Over Catch-up Contributions: $5,500
Standard Catch-up: $17,500



Catch-Up Contributions

Age 50 and Over Catch-up
If you're age 50 or older by year-end, you can make up for lost time, thanks to the new tax law. If you contribute the maximum amount, you can make an additional $5,500 "catch-up" contribution. This is above what you're already contributing to the plan.


Standard Catch-up

If you are within three years of your normal retirement age and under-contributed in prior years, you may use the Standard Catch-up provision, which allows you to contribute up to an additional $17,500 in 2013. This amounts to a total possible maximum contribution of $35,000. In order to use the Standard Catch-up option, you must not have contributed the maximum amount in previous years of eligibility. For help determining your eligibility, contact the Texa$aver office at (800) 634-5091.


To review the current IRS contribution limits, please see Contributing to Texa$aver.


Note: You cannot participate in the 457 "Age 50 and Over Catch-up" and the 457 "Standard Catch-up" at the same time.


 


Direct Rollovers

You may roll over your:

  • Texa$aver 401(k) into your Texa$aver 457, or
  • Your Texa$aver 457 into your Texa$aver 401(k).

Prior employer plans

You can also roll prior employer 401(k), 401(a), 403(b), or prior eligible governmental 457 plans into either the Texa$aver 401(k) or 457 Plan.


What does this mean for you?
When you consolidate plan accounts, you only have to pay fees on one account. This means you could pay less in fees and would have fewer accounts to manage.


Read more about the change here.


Your rollover contribution check must be submitted together with an Incoming Transfer/Direct Rollover Form. You can print an Incoming Transfer/Direct Rollover Form from the Forms section of this website.



Service Purchases

Before retiring from the State of Texas, ERS members may purchase refunded service, military service, waiting period service, or Additional Service Credit (ASC) to retire earlier or enhance their retirement annuities. Members may use funds from savings or may transfer funds from their Texa$aver 401(k) or 457 Plans or from another eligible qualified plan, such as a conduit IRA.

Refunded ERS service purchases may also be made by employees of the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) of Texas or of other retirement systems participating in the Proportionate Retirement Program.

Learn more about purchasing service credit from ERS.1


1 Great-West Retirement Services is not responsible for content provided through this link. For information pertaining to investment options, please make sure you understand what specific investment option, including share class, is actually offered in your Plan.



Self-Directed Brokerage Account

Through Charles Schwab, Texa$aver is pleased to offer an opportunity to have a Schwab Personal Choice Retirement Account® (PCRA). This PCRA is a brokerage option that offers you the ability to invest in your choice of most any New York Stock Exchange, American Stock Exchange, and NASDAQ listed stocks; most corporate and government bonds; and thousands of mutual funds with no loads and no transaction fees.


Find out more about the Schwab PCRA.


Click to see all funds available at Schwab.1


To open a PCRA, you will need to log in and click on the "Self-Directed Accounts" link under "Investments" menu option.


You may transfer part or all of your total plan account balance into this account. Additional transaction fees may also apply. All funds are outlined in the Investment Options flier. Schwab's website contains detailed information about the fees and commissions (click Fees and Commissions).


Please remember that Texa$aver Program fees are deducted monthly. You must keep a minimum of $500 in the core Texa$aver funds to cover fees. Otherwise, your positions can be sold to cover monthly Program fees.


If you would like to speak with a Customer Service Representative concerning the Schwab Self-Directed Brokerage Account, call the Texa$aver Information Line at (800) 634-5091. Customer Service Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. CT, except on New York Stock Exchange holidays. Hearing-impaired employees can contact the Texa$aver Information Line through the special TDD toll-free number, (800) 766-4952.



Texa$aver Advisor Service Information

The Texa$aver Program now provides access to the Texa$aver Advisor Service. These services include professional investment guidance and advice, as well as a managed account service, to help you create a savings and investment strategy based on your personal retirement goals. You can get advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week from this website. If you would like to access the Texa$aver Advisor Service over the phone, call the Texa$aver Information Line at (800) 634-5091, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. CT.


No additional fees apply to use the Online Investment Guidance and Advice services. Additional fees apply to use the Managed Account service. Click on the Fees tab above.


To use the Texa$aver Advisor Service now, log on to your account with your Username and PIN, then select the Texa$aver Advisor Service under the "Resources" menu.


Access to the Information Line and website may be limited or unavailable during periods of peak demand, market volatility, systems upgrades/maintenance or other reasons. Transfer requests made via the website or Information Line received on business days prior to close of the New York Stock Exchange (3:00 p.m. Central Time or earlier on some holidays or other special circumstances) will be initiated at the close of business the same day the request was received. The actual effective date of your transaction may vary depending on the investment option selected.


1 Great-West Retirement Services is not responsible for content provided through this link. For information pertaining to investment options, please make sure you understand what specific investment option, including share class, is actually offered in your Plan.


Loans from Your Account

Download a loan brochure


Deciding to borrow from your Texa$aver account

Planning for unexpected expenses can be difficult. Before you decide to tap into your Texa$aver account, make sure you understand how a loan could impact your retirement savings.

Taking a loan from the Texa$aver Program
As a current, active employee and a participant in the Texa$aver 401(k) and/or 457 Plan, you may borrow a portion of your account balance in the form of a loan once you have an account balance of at least $1,050. A one-time, non-refundable $50 loan application fee will be applied to each loan.

How much you may borrow
You may borrow a minimum of $1,000 up to a maximum of $50,000 or 50% of your vested account balance reduced by your highest outstanding loan balance during the past 12 months. Texa$aver allows a maximum of two loans per plan.

For example:

  • If your balance is $1,000–$10,000, you may borrow the entire balance (as long as the $50 loan application fee is covered).
  • If your balance is $10,001–$20,000, you may borrow up to $10,000.
  • If your balance is $20,001 or higher, you may borrow 50% of the balance, not to exceed $50,000.

Amounts borrowed through the loan program are not taxable distributions and are not subject to federal income taxes unless you do not pay back the loan in full. To the extent a loan is defaulted, the outstanding loan amount and accrued interest will be reported as a taxable distribution for the year of the default and you will receive an IRS Form 1099-R. In addition to the ordinary income tax, you may also be subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty. A defaulted loan will continue to accrue interest and will reduce the amount and number of loans available to you.

Types of loans available
General Loans
are available for any reason, and they must be repaid within 12 to 60 months. These loans are processed without any paperwork. Your signature on your loan check means that you accept the terms of the loan.

Residential Loans must be used for the purchase of your primary residence only, and they must be repaid within 61 to 180 months. You must provide certain documentation when you request a residential loan.

Loan repayment
You will repay yourself with interest through payroll deductions in equal installments over the duration of the loan. Loan repayments are deducted from your paycheck after tax. You will not be able to deduct the loan interest on your income tax return. You are not permitted to make partial loan repayments, and loan refinancing is not available. You have the option to pay your balance in full at any time.

  • If you take an authorized leave of absence, you may suspend loan payments for up to but not exceeding 12 months, provided that such suspension and revised repayment schedule do not cause you to exceed your original loan term.
  • If you are paying off an existing loan in order to secure a new loan, please understand that a money order or certified bank check will expedite your request. If you are paying with a personal check, your check will take up to 10 business days to clear. Any check remitted that is returned for insufficient funds will be subject to that bank's specific penalties.
  • If you are called to military duty, loan repayment and the default process will be suspended. The loan repayment period is extended for the period of time the participant is on active military duty under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA).
  • If you are on an authorized leave of absence or military leave, you may submit monthly manual loan repayments through a money order, certified bank check, or personal check to:

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
P.O. Box 912223
Denver, CO 80291-2223


If you retire or terminate employment, your payroll deductions will stop. However, payments on your loan are still due. If you leave employment, you can pay off your loan or continue to make payments to Great-West on a monthly basis. If you do not pay off your loan or continue to make scheduled payments, the outstanding balance and any accrued interest (pursuant to IRS regulations) will be considered in default. To the extent a loan is defaulted, the outstanding loan amount and accrued interest will be reported as a taxable distribution for the year of the default and you will receive an IRS Form 1099-R. In addition to the ordinary income tax, you may also be subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty. Loans are considered in default if a payment has not been received by the last business day of the quarter following the quarter in which it should have been received.

Loan fees
The following fees are associated with taking a loan from your Texa$aver account:

  • A one-time, non-refundable $50 loan application fee will be deducted from your account at the time your loan is processed.
  • A $2.08 monthly maintenance fee will be charged to your Texa$aver account. Your loan fee is clearly listed on your quarterly statement with all other fees.

Interest rates
The interest rate for either a General Loan or a Residential Loan is equal to the prime rate plus 1%, as printed in The Wall Street Journal on the last business day of the prior month. The Service Members Civil Relief Act (an update to the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940) imposes a 6% maximum limit on the interest rate charged to military service members for loans for the duration of active military service. For more information, contact Texa$aver at (800) 634-5091.

How a loan could affect your savings

PROS

  • You have access to the money in your plan account.
  • You pay yourself back with interest that may be lower than a bank interest rate.
  • There is no credit check.

CONS

  • The amount of the interest may be less than the money you would have earned had you invested the loan balance.
  • Your loan repayments are made with after-tax dollars.
  • Many participants decrease or stop contributions while paying back a loan.
  • Taking a loan impacts your retirement nest egg.
Requesting a loan
You may apply for a loan in one of three ways:
  • Log on to the Texa$aver website, enter your login information, and select your plan. Under the "Loans & Distribution" tile, click the "Loan Request" link. You will be required to provide your PIN to request a loan. Please keep in mind that you have an online tool, the "Loan Cost Calculator", that can help you determine your repayment schedule.
  • Call the Texa$aver Information Line at (800) 634-5091 and use the automated service to request a loan.
  • Call Texa$aver to speak with a Customer Service Representative who is available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. CT, except on New York Stock Exchange holidays.

Your loan application will be processed and a check will be mailed usually within two to five business days.



Withdrawing Money from Your Account

Unforeseeable Emergency Withdrawal* can be taken for any of the following reasons:

  • Loss from illness or accident;
  • Loss of property due to casualty;
  • Similar extraordinary and unforeseeable circumstances;
  • Prevent eviction from or foreclosure on your primary residence;
  • Pay for non-reimbursed medical expenses; and
  • Funeral expenses for family members.

Effective December 1, 2006, contributions will no longer be suspended for a six-month period following the approval of an unforeseeable emergency withdrawal. You must exhaust your 401(k) loan and/or 457 loan option (if applicable) before you can apply for an unforeseeable emergency withdrawal. You can print a "Unforeseeable Emergency Withdrawal" package from the Forms section of this website or request a form by calling the Texa$aver Information Line at (800) 634-5091.

If you would like to speak with a Customer Service Representative concerning your plan participation, call the Texa$aver Information Line at (800) 634-5091. Customer Service Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. CT, except on New York Stock Exchange holidays. Hearing-impaired employees can contact the Texa$aver Information Line through the special TDD toll-free number (800) 766-4952.

* Withdrawals from Texa$aver will be subject to 20% federal tax withholding, and if you are younger than age 59½, a 10% early withdrawal penalty will also apply to the 401(k) Plan. Withdrawals that are rolled over to an IRA or qualified plan are not taxable and are not subject to withholding. Employee deferrals (before-tax contributions) that are part of an unforeseeable emergency withdrawal are not subject to the 20% mandatory withholding, but are subject to a 10% voluntary withholding. State and local taxes and withholding may also apply.



Distribution Options Upon Leaving State Employment

Your distribution options are:

  • Periodic payments;
  • Partial distributions;
  • Leave the money in Texa$aver, through you must start taking distributions once you reach age 70½ ;
  • (see Required Minimum Distribution Rules);
  • Roll over the balance or part of the balance to another qualified plan or an IRA; or
  • Take all of the money in cash, called a lump-sum distribution.
You can initiate a distribution from Texa$aver after you retire or terminate employment by submitting a distribution form. You can download and print a Distribution/Direct Rollover Request.

You are encouraged to talk with your tax advisor or financial planner before deciding to take your distribution.

If you do not elect a distribution method, your account will automatically stay in Texa$aver.

If you would like to speak with a Customer Service Representative concerning your distribution, call the Texa$aver Information Line at (800) 634-5091. Customer Service Representatives are available weekdays, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. CT. Hearing-impaired employees can contact the Texa$aver Information Line through the special TDD toll-free number, (800) 766-4952.


* Withdrawals from Texa$aver will be subject to 20% federal tax withholding, and if you are younger than age 59½, a 10% early withdrawal penalty will also apply to the 401(k) Plan. Withdrawals that are rolled over to an IRA or qualified plan are not taxable and are not subject to withholding. Employee deferrals (before-tax contributions) that are part of an unforeseeable emergency withdrawal are not subject to the 20% mandatory withholding, but are subject to a 10% voluntary withholding. State and local taxes and withholding may also apply.



Required Minimum Distribution Rules

When you turn age 70½ and are retired, the law mandates that you begin to take a required minimum distribution (RMD) from your Texa$aver 401(k) and/or 457 Plan(s). If you have an account balance in both plans, you will need to complete a separate RMD form for each. The RMD is calculated separately for each plan using your account balance as of the last day of the previous year.

  • If you have turned 70½ in the calendar year, you will have until April 1 in the following calendar year to take your RMD for the current tax year. If you wait until January 1, you will need to take another RMD by December 31 of that year and will be taxed on both in that year.
  • If you are still employed and have already begun taking your RMD, you may choose to stop receiving distributions until you retire. If you are receiving installment payments, Great-West will continue these payments unless you notify Great-West in writing to discontinue.
  • If you have retired and do not take the RMD in a given year, you will have a penalty of 50% of the amount that should have been distributed.

Due to the RMD law complexity, the Texa$aver Program and Great-West encourage you to consult with your own tax advisor or the IRS to discuss the best way to comply with the rules based on your individual financial needs.

When you are ready to set up or receive your annual RMD, please contact a Texa$aver Customer Service Representative at (800) 634-5091 and request that an RMD form be mailed to you.

Texa$aver Customer Service Representatives are available weekdays, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. CT. Hearing-impaired employees can contact Texa$aver through the special TDD toll-free number, (800) 766-4952.


Accessing Your Account

Most plan transactions and information requests can be made 24 hours a day, seven days a week through the "Change Account" section of this website after logging in or by calling the Texa$aver Information Line at (800) 634-5091.


To access your account, you must use your Social Security number or Username (as your account identifier) and a Personal Identification Number (PIN).* Great-West Retirement Services® (Great-West) assigns a PIN to all participants upon their date of hire. In order to receive a PIN, either click on the "Forgot Username or PIN?" link from this website home page or call the Texa$aver Information Line at (800) 634-5091.


Transactions completed before 3:00 p.m. CT will be processed the same business day. Transactions completed after 3:00 p.m. CT will be processed the next business day. You may cancel a transaction if you do so before 3:00 p.m. CT on the same day the transaction was made. Market conditions or other circumstances may on occasion delay processing.


* The account owner is responsible for keeping the assigned PIN confidential. Please contact Great-West Retirement Services immediately if you suspect any unauthorized use.


Download Information Line/Website Reference Guide


If you would like to speak with a Customer Service Representative, call the Texa$aver Information Line at (800) 634-5091. Customer Service Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. CT, except on New York Stock Exchange holidays. Hearing-impaired employees can contact the Texa$aver Information Line through the special TDD toll-free number, (800) 766-4952.



Transferring Money Among the Core Funds

You may move money among investment options1 anytime after logging in to this website. Click on the "Transactions" tile, then the "Transfer My Investments" link. You may also call the Texa$aver Information Line at (800) 634-5091.

Transfers must be made in 1% increments, and you cannot transfer money from one investment option to another and back to the original option in the same day.

Transactions completed before 3:00 p.m. CT will be processed the same business day. Transactions completed after 3:00 p.m. CT will be processed the next business day. You may cancel a transaction if you do so before 3:00 p.m. on the same day the transaction was made. Market conditions or other circumstances may on occasion delay processing.


1 The Vanguard Group requires participants who withdraw or transfer funds out of Vanguard mutual funds to wait 30 days before transferring balances back into the same fund. Fidelity charges a 1% redemption fee when participants buy and sell shares within 30 days.



Voice Response System (VRS) Options

The Texa$aver Information Line provides access to account information and allows you to make transactions 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Accessing the Information Line is easy: Just call (800) 634-5091 and follow the simple menu.



Keeping Track of Your Account

This website offers you the most convenient and efficient way to manage your Texa$aver account. Check as often as you'd like for the most current information available.

Once you have logged in, the "My Account" section gives you a summary of your account status.

An account statement will be mailed to your address on record with ERS generally within 15 business days after the end of each calendar quarter. Anytime you make a transaction on the website or with a Customer Service Representative, a confirmation statement will be mailed to your home within two or three business days following transaction processing.

If you would like to speak with a Customer Service Representative concerning your plan participation, call the Texa$aver Information Line at (800) 634-5091. Customer Service Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. CT, except on New York Stock Exchange holidays. Hearing-impaired employees can contact the Texa$aver Information Line through the special TDD toll-free number, (800) 766-4952.


Texa$aver 401(k) and 457 Program Fees

Administrative Fees

  • This covers the cost of Program recordkeeping expenses.
  • Fees are assessed to the 401(k) and 457 Plans separately.
  • Fees are assessed to before-tax and Roth after-tax accounts separately, using the same fee schedule.
Account Balance
Monthly Fee
per Participant
per Account per Contribution Type
$10.00 or less
No Fee
Between $10.01 and $1,000.00
$1.18
Between $1,000.01 and $16,000.00
$3.99
Between $16,000.01 and $32,000.00
$6.32
Between $32,000.01 and $48,000.00
$8.82
Between $48,000.01 and $64,000.00
$11.76
$64,000.01 or more
$14.71


Fund Expenses
- Each investment option charges an investment fee, which is deducted from the earnings (investment return) of the mutual fund. Fund expenses may be offset by fund reimbursements. For more information, click Fund Expense Ratios.


Texa$aver Advisor Service Fees
- There is a monthly fee for the Managed Account service. The fees are structured according to your account balance.

 

Account Balance Monthly Fee
<$100,000 0.0375%
Next $150,000 0.0292%
Next $150,000 0.0208%
>$400,000 0.0125%
Example Account Balance Monthly Fee Charged
$10,000 $3.75
$20,000 $7.50

Loan Fees - These fees are charged to the participant. There is a $50 loan initiation fee, plus a $2.08 monthly fee for loan maintenance.


Redemption Fee
- The redemption fee is designed to benefit long-term investors by protecting the fund's performance from short-term trading. Redemption fees are set by individual fund managers, not by the Texa$aver Program. Charged as a percentage of the money withdrawn, redemption fees only apply if you sell your shares before the required holding period. Redemption fees are paid to the fund at the time of withdrawal or exchange. The fund then adds the fee to the assets of the fund to benefit all shareholders.


Fidelity Diversified International Fund charges a 1% redemption fee when shares are bought and then sold within a 30-day holding period.


If you would like to speak with a Customer Service Representative concerning your Plan participation, call the Texa$aver Information Line at (800) 634-5091. Customer Service Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. CT, except on New York Stock Exchange holidays. Hearing-impaired employees can contact the Texa$aver Information Line through the special TDD toll-free number (800) 766-4952.


For more information on your Texa$aver Program fees, download a complete flier.

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