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Frequently Asked Questions

By participating in Texa$aver, you are working together with the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) to help prepare for your retirement future. You've also joined forces with Great-West Financial ®, the organization that administers Texa$aver. You may have questions about plan access, investment options, Great-West Financial, and more. To help you find out everything you need to know, we've put together a list of some of the most frequently asked questions that our Customer Service Representatives are asked.

What is the Texa$aver national customer service center?

Answer:
The Texa$aver national customer service center is an automated telephone system that lets you perform most account transactions over the phone. When you call the Texa$aver national customer service center at (800) 634-5091, you're asked to enter your Social Security number and Personal Identification Number (PIN). Then a recorded voice guides you through the menus, and you make your selections by pressing the appropriate keys on your telephone keypad.


How do I use the Texa$aver national customer service center?

Answer:
Step 1: From a touch-tone telephone, dial (800) 634-5091.

Step 2: Enter your Social Security number using the telephone keypad numbers.

Step 3: Enter your four-digit PIN.

If you're calling from a rotary telephone, the voice recognition feature will allow you to access the national customer service center by saying your Social Security number and PIN.

Step 4: From the Main Menu, select an appropriate number to perform the function you want.

At any time during your call, you can press:

9 — from any point to exit the Texa$aver national customer service center.
0 — from the Main Menu to reach a Customer Service Representative. You will need your Social Security number and PIN.



How do I contact a Customer Service Representative?

Answer:
If you need help with any plan transaction, you can press zero on your telephone keypad after entering the Main Menu option to talk with a Customer Service Representative. You will need your Social Security number and PIN to select this option. Customer Service Representatives are trained specialists who are knowledgeable about the provisions of Texa$aver. You can reach a Customer Service Representative by calling the Texa$aver national customer service center at (800) 634-5091.





What kind of transactions and services are available via the telephone?

Answer:

  • Check account balances.
  • Check fund performance.
  • Request a confirmation of your account balance.
  • Change the percentage of future contributions going into each fund.
  • Transfer balances from one fund to another.
  • Request an age 59½ withdrawal.
  • Request a distribution.
  • Change PIN/request PIN reminder.
  • Request plan literature.

You must have your Social Security number and PIN to request any type of distribution from the plan. Alternate security can be used for all other transactions.



I forgot my Personal Identification Number (PIN).* How can I get another one?

Answer:
Call the Texa$aver national customer service center at (800) 634-5091 and follow the instructions for requesting a PIN reminder. Your PIN will be mailed first class within three business days to your address on file with Great-West Financial.


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


Who do I call if I have more questions?
Answer:
Call the Texa$aver national customer service center at (800) 634-5091 and press zero to speak to a Customer Service Representative. You must enter the Main Menu option with your Social Security number and PIN for the "0" prompt option to work. Customer Service Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT, except on New York Stock Exchange holidays. Hearing-impaired employees can contact the Texa$aver national customer service center through the special TDD, toll-free number, (800) 766-4952.


How do I enroll in the Texa$aver Program?

Answer:

For more information:



When are deferral changes effective?

Answer:
Deferral changes must be completed by the last day of the month for the following month's pay period.


For example, a deferral change made on or before July 31 is effective for the August pay period, which is paid to you on September 1.


When are transactions effective?

Answer:
Transactions completed before 3 p.m. CT are effective the same business day. Transactions completed at or after 3 p.m. are effective the next business day. Market conditions or other circumstances may on occasion delay processing.


Can I cancel a transaction after I receive a confirmation number?

Answer:
Yes, transactions can be canceled anytime before 3 p.m. CT on the same day. Transactions may be canceled by selecting the "Cancel Transfers" menu option in the "Transactions" section of this website. The screen will remind you that you have a transaction pending. If you want to cancel your transaction, click on "Cancel Transaction" and the system will generate a confirmation number that acknowledges that you have completed this transaction. A confirmation statement will be mailed to your home address of record within three business days.


I recently moved. How do I change my address for plan information and transactions?

Answer:
Active participants must change their address through their agency benefits coordinator or ERS Online. If you're a terminated participant, you should request a "Change of Address Form." The form is available through the Forms section of this website or by calling the Texa$aver national customer service center at (800) 634-5091. Return it to the address listed on the back of the form. If you are retired from the State of Texas, please contact ERS at (512) 867-7711 in Austin, or outside of Austin toll-free at (877) 275-4377, to change your address.


When can I expect my quarterly statements to arrive?

Answer:
Generally, quarterly statements are mailed no later than 15 business days after the end of the quarter.


What is automatic enrollment?

Answer:
Under House Bill 957, beginning January 1, 2008, all newly hired state employees are automatically enrolled in the Texa$aver 401(k) with 1% of salary contributed to a Wells Fargo Target Date Fund. Newly hired state employees include all full-time, part-time, and temporary employees, including rehired state employees with a break in service of 30 days or more. Should a state employee decide not to participate in automatic enrollment, he or she can choose not to participate within the first 30 days of hire or 90 days after being automatically enrolled.


Can I defer my unused annual leave?

Answer:
Yes; if you already have an account or open a new Texa$aver account before you leave employment, you can defer the tax and turn your unused annual leave payment into retirement savings. Before your last day on payroll, inform your benefits coordinator or payroll office that you wish to deposit all or part of your annual leave payment into your Texa$aver 401(k) or 457 Plan account. This must be completed within 75 days (2.5 months) of termination or retirement. State employees can defer their annual leave payment to their 401(k) and/or 457 Plan account. Eligible higher education employees can defer annual leave payments to the Texa$aver 457 Plan if the plan is offered by their employer.


What is a Collective Investment Trust Fund?

Answer:
Collective Investment Trust (CIT) Funds are investments that are established for institutional investors. A CIT combines the purchasing power of investors like those in the Texa$aver Program to lower fund expenses. CITs are similar to mutual funds in that they invest in companies that meet the fund's investment strategy and objectives. CITs are different than mutual funds because they are not publicly traded, do not have a ticker symbol, and are regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC) rather than the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). All CIT Fund information is available through the Texa$aver website. Click here for more information.


Can I roll over money into my Texa$aver accounts?

Answer:

More Rollover Options Allowed Into Texa$aver 401(k) and 457 Plans


You can now roll over your:

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


What does this mean for you?

When you consolidate all of your plan accounts, you only have to pay fees on one account. This means you may pay less in fees and would have fewer accounts to manage.


Highlights of the Change

Texa$aver 401(k) Plan

  • You can roll your Texa$aver 457 Plan to your Texa$aver 401(k) Plan. However, you must have a qualifying reason. A qualifying reason is either retirement or separation of service.
  • You can now roll money from an eligible governmental 457 plan into the Texa$aver 401(k) Plan.
  • Any money you roll into the 401(k) Plan becomes subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty if taken from the account before you are 59½.

Texa$aver 457 Plan

  • You can roll your Texa$aver 401(k) Plan to your Texa$aver 457 Plan. However, you must have a qualifying reason. A qualifying reason is retirement, separation of service, or turning age 59½.
  • You can now roll money from a 401(k), 401(a), or 403(b) plan into the 457 Plan (the 10% early withdrawal penalty still applies to the 401(k), 401(a), and 403(b) monies).
  • Any money you roll into the 457 that was subject to the 10% early withdrawal penalty continues to be subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty if taken from the account before you are 59½. Rollovers from other eligible governmental 457 plans will not be subject to an early withdrawal penalty if directly rolled into the Texa$aver 457 Plan.

    Example:
    Bob has a Texa$aver 457 and Texa$aver 401(k) Plan. He has $10,000 in each account. Currently, he pays $7.98 ($3.99 for each plan) in administrative fees. Bob is leaving his job and has decided to roll over his 457 Plan account into his 401(k) Plan. By doing so, Bob will only pay $6.32 per month (fees are based on account balance). That's a savings of $1.66 per month. He will also enjoy the convenience of managing only one account.*

* However, the 457 Plan assets now become subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty if taken from the account before he is 59½.


It's easy to roll over your money
.
First, decide whether it is a direct or indirect rollover. The following explains each rollover type.


Direct Rollover

A direct rollover is when a distribution from your former employer is made to your Texa$aver 401(k) or 457 Plan. This lets you avoid a 20% withholding by the IRS. Follow these steps:

  • Complete the appropriate Incoming Transfer/Rollover Request form, sign it, and mail it to Great-West Financial. Include a copy of your statement from your former employer's retirement plan.
  • Once you receive the Great-West Financial approval letter, complete your previous employer's required form using the payment instructions indicated on the Great-West Financial approval letter.

Indirect Rollover
An indirect rollover is when you get a check from your previous employer's 401(k), 401(a), 403(b), or 457 plan. The previous employer usually withholds 20% of this check for federal income tax. Follow these steps:

  • Complete the appropriate Incoming Transfer/Rollover Request form.
  • Sign the form and mail it to Great-West Financial. Include a copy of your statement from your previous employer's retirement plan and the check for the amount you are transferring.
  • To avoid any potential IRS penalties, mail the rollover distribution check to Great-West Financial within 60 days of receipt.

Use these forms to get started:

These forms can be found on both the ERS and Texa$aver websites.


Call (800) 634-5091 on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT for help.*

*You are encouraged to discuss rolling money from one account to another with your financial advisor/planner, considering any potential fees and/or limitation of investment options.


FAQs

1. Can I roll my previous employer's 401(k) into the Texa$aver 457?
Yes, however, the original 401(k) is still subject to the early withdrawal penalty if you take a distribution before age 59½.

2. Can I roll my previous employer's 401(k) into the Texa$aver 401(k)?
Yes, however, the original 401(k) is still subject to the early withdrawal penalty if you take a distribution before age 59½.

3. Can I roll my previous employer's 457 into the Texa$aver 457?
Yes. A rollover from a previous employer's 457 plan will not be subject to the early withdrawal penalty.

4. Can I roll my previous employer's 457 into the Texa$aver 401(k)?
Yes, however, the original 457 money will become subject to the early withdrawal penalty once it is rolled over.

5. Can I roll my IRAs or non-governmental 457 into the Texa$aver 401(k) or 457 Plans?
No.

6. Can I roll my previous employer 403(b) into the Texa$aver 457?
Yes. The 403(b) money remains subject to the early withdrawal penalty.

7. Can I roll my previous employer 403(b) into the Texa$aver 401(k)?
Yes. The 403(b) money remains subject to the early withdrawal penalty.

8. Can I roll my Texa$aver 401(k) account into my Texa$aver 457 account?
Yes, but you must have a qualifying reason (such as turning 59½, retiring, or leaving your job). The 401(k) monies are subject to the early withdrawal penalty.

9. Can I roll my Texa$aver 457 account to my Texa$aver 401(k) account?
Yes, but you need to have a qualifying reason—either retirement or leaving your job. All money becomes subject to the early withdrawal penalty.

10. Which form do I use?

Texa$aver 457 Plan to Texa$aver 401(k) Plan: Incoming Rollover Request 401(k) Plan
Texa$aver 401(k) Plan to Texa$aver 457 Plan: Incoming Transfer/Rollover Request Governmental 457(b) Plan
Previous employer 401(k) plan to Texa$aver 401(k) Plan: Incoming Rollover Request 401(k) Plan
Previous employer 401(k) plan to Texa$aver 457 Plan: Incoming Transfer/Rollover Request Governmental 457(b) Plan
Previous employer 457 plan to Texa$aver 401(k) Plan: Incoming Rollover Request 401(k) Plan
Previous employer 457 plan to Texa$aver 457 Plan: Incoming Transfer/Rollover Request Governmental 457(b) Plan


How do I find out how much I owe on my loan(s)?

Answer:
Your outstanding loan balance is available through the "Loans" section of this website or by calling the Texa$aver national customer service center at (800) 634-5091. For detailed information, please read the Loan Brochure.



How many loans can I have at the same time?

Answer:
You can take out a maximum of two loans at the same time in any combination of general and residential. For detailed information, please read the Loan Brochure.



What happens if I default on a loan?

Answer:
The loan amount will be considered a taxable withdrawal, meaning it's taxable as income. You will owe income taxes on the money, and if you're under age 59½, an additional 10% early withdrawal penalty may be assessed in the year defaulted. A defaulted loan will act as an outstanding loan against the maximum two loans available. For detailed information, please read the Loan Brochure.



I have a current loan and I'm on a long-term disability leave of absence. How do I handle my loan payments?

Answer:
You may continue to make your loan payments via money order or certified cashier's check to avoid going into default. You're allowed to temporarily stop your loan payments. For detailed information, please read the Loan Brochure.


What kind of transactions and services are available via the telephone?

Answer:

  • Check account balances.
  • Check fund performance.
  • Request a confirmation of your account balance.
  • Change the percentage of future contributions going into each fund.
  • Transfer balances from one fund to another.
  • Request an age 59½ withdrawal.
  • Request a distribution.
  • Change PIN or request a PIN reminder.
  • Request plan literature.

You must have your Social Security number and PIN to request any type of distribution from the plan. Alternate security can be used for all other transactions.



I forgot my Personal Identification Number (PIN). How can I get another one?

Answer:
Call the Texa$aver national customer service center at (800) 634-5091 and follow the instructions for requesting a PIN reminder. Your PIN will be mailed first class within three business days to your address on file with Great-West Financial.



I am trying to print a certain page from the website, but not all of the text is transferring onto my printed copy. What printer options should I select on my system?

Answer:
Printer limitations vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. The most common solution would be to select the "landscape" print setting. If this solution does not solve the problem, you may copy and paste the text into Word.


What are reimbursements and how are they used?

Answer:
Some mutual fund companies offer credits, also known as "reimbursements," to organizations such as ERS for recordkeeping and participant administration services that would otherwise be provided by the fund company. This kind of arrangement is commonly referred to as "revenue sharing."

ERS has revenue-sharing arrangements with several mutual fund companies, and receives reimbursements from them that may reduce or eliminate the monthly asset-based fee charged to a participant's account. Every cent of those reimbursements is credited to Texa$aver participants who invest in those funds, directly reducing the amount a participant pays in fees.

Participants who invest in funds with reimbursements will see the reimbursements in the Account Activity Summary Section of their quarterly statements as "other credits or a plan expense reimbursement." Only those participants who contribute to funds that pay reimbursements will receive them.

Funds paying reimbursements Reimbursement amount
Davis New York Venture Fund 55 basis points
First Eagle Fund of America 40 basis points
Fidelity Diversified International Fund 25 basis points
Victory Munder Mid-Cap Core Growth Fund 25 basis points
Wells Fargo Advantage Dow Jones Target Date Funds 25 basis points
Lord Abbett Small Cap Value Fund 10 basis points
AllianceBernstein Real Asset Strategy Fund 15 basis points
Note: Reimbursements can be discontinued by the fund or revenue-sharing arrangements may be changed by the plan at any time.



What fees are associated with my Texa$aver account?

Answer:

Texa$aver Program Administrative Fee Structure

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
$6.00
Between $32,000.01 and $48,000.00
$8.17
Between $48,000.01 and $64,000.00
$10.89
$64,000.01 or more
$13.62


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$aver national customer service center at (800) 634-5091. Customer Service Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT, except on New York Stock Exchange holidays. Hearing-impaired employees can contact the Texa$aver national customer service center through the special TDD, toll-free number, (800) 766-4952.


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



What is a basis point?

Answer:
A basis point is an investment term used to make percentages easier to understand and less likely to be confused. One percent (1%) is equal to one hundred (100) basis points. So, 0.25% is equal to 25 basis points.



What are frequent trading policies?

Answer:
These are policies instituted by the individual fund managers to protect long-term shareholders and discourage short-term trading.



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