FAQs

Who is Voya Financial?
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Voya® is a leading provider of deferred compensation and defined contribution plan education, administration and investment services to governmental plan sponsors and participants. We have provided services to government plans since 1972.

What is a 457(b) deferred compensation plan?
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A 457(b) deferred compensation plan is a retirement plan that allows you to make contributions into an account established on your behalf. Your contributions are made on a pre-tax basis, and any earnings are tax-deferred. Taxes are due when money is distributed from the plan. The amounts accumulated on your behalf are distributed at retirement, or due to another qualifying event, such as severance from employment or death. For additional information regarding the County’s 457(b) Plan, including employees who are eligible to participate, please see the Plan Overview section.

What is a 401(a) Plan?
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A qualified defined contribution retirement plan under which an employer typically contributes a percentage of salary or a flat dollar amount per year on behalf of plan participants. The benefits payable from the plan at retirement or at another time when distribution is made will be based on the total contributions and earnings on such contributions over the time the money is invested. For additional information regarding the County’s 401(a) Plan, including employees who are eligible to participate, please see the Plan Overview section.

What is a PST Plan?
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The PST Plan is an alternative to Social Security coverage as permitted by the federal Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 (“OBRA”). As a result of participating in the PST Plan, you are not subject to the Old Age, Survivors and Disability Income (also known as Social Security) portion of FICA (the Federal Insurance Contributions Act) tax on the compensation you defer under the Plan. You are subject to the Medicare portion of FICA. Taxes are due when money is distributed from the plan. The amounts accumulated on your behalf are distributed at retirement, or due to another qualifying event, such as severance from employment or death. For additional information regarding the County’s PST Plan, including employees who are required to participate, please see the Plan Overview Section.

Do the contributions I make to the 457(b) or 401(k) Plan impact my retirement or Social Security?
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No. Your contributions to these Plans have no effect on the calculation of salary for purposes of computing other benefits such as the County’s retirement plan, overtime compensation and Social Security.

How do I increase or decrease my contribution to the 457(b) or 401(k) Plan?
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In order to change your contribution amount, you will need to complete a Participation Agreement that authorizes payroll deductions for the new amount. This form is available from your department payroll clerk. This form must be completed with your department payroll clerk or in our local San Bernardino office. For the 457(b) Plan, changes must be made in the month prior to the pay date on which the change is to be effective.

Can I make Roth contributions?
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Yes. This Roth 401(k) feature is available only to participants actively contributing to the Plan. It will allow you the opportunity to take tax-free distributions when you retire – as long as you meet certain qualifications – in exchange for paying taxes on your contributions upfront. Unlike a traditional 401(k) option, the Roth 401(k) offers you the potential for tax-free retirement income later by investing on an after-tax basis now. Early withdrawals from traditional 401(k) or Roth 401(k) plans before age 59½ may be subject to the IRS 10% premature distribution penalty tax.

Can I stop contributing to the 457(b) or 401(k) Plan at any time?
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Yes. For the 457(b) Plan, your full compensation will be restored in the month following the month your request to stop contributions is received. You will need to complete a Participation Agreement reducing your contribution to zero. The amounts previously contributed will remain in the Plan until you become entitled to a distribution under the Plan provisions.

Can I stop contributing to the PST Plan?
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No. Unless your employment status changes and you are no longer eligible for Plan participation, you must continue to make mandatory contributions to the PST Plan. Please refer to the Plan Overview section for additional information on the PST Plan.

What is the maximum amount I can contribute to the Plan(s)?
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Please refer to the Plan Overview section for information on maximum contribution limits.

Can I rollover other retirement plan assets into the Plan(s)?
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Yes. Each of the plans, except the 457(f) and PST Plans permit you to rollover benefits from another employer-sponsored eligible retirement plan or traditional IRA. You will need to complete an Incoming Direct Rollover Notification/Letter of Acceptance that is available through the local San Bernardino office or by calling Customer Service at (800) 584-6001. Note that amounts rolled into a governmental 457(b) plan from another plan type would be subject to the 10% premature distribution penalty tax if distributed prior to age 59 ½ (unless an IRS exception applies).

When can I receive a distribution of my benefits under the Plan(s)?
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Distributions are allowed only upon incurring a “triggering event.” The rules differ depending on which Plan you participate in. Refer to the Plan Overview section of this website for specifics.

What do I need to do when I become entitled to a distribution from the Plan?
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Under each of the Plans, except the 457(f) Plan, you can choose from several options:

  • postpone any decision on the payment of benefits to a future date (no later than the April 1 following the calendar year in which you attain age 70 ½),
  • receive your benefits immediately, under one of the distribution options available under the plan (please refer to the Plan Overview section of this website for the available distribution options), or
  • rollover your benefits into another employer-sponsored, eligible retirement plan (an eligible retirement plan is a 401 qualified plan, a 403(b) tax deferred annuity program, or another governmental 457(b) deferred compensation plan) or traditional IRA.

Special rules apply to the 457(f) and PST Plans that are described in the Plan Overview section of this website. You will need to complete a Termination/Distribution Request Authorization form that is available by calling Customer Service at (800) 584-6001.

Once I choose a payment method, can I change how I’d like to receive my benefits?
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Yes, with the exception of PST participants. If at a later date you decide your existing payment option may not be appropriate for your current situation, you may make a change. (Please note: you will not be permitted to make a change if you previously elected an annuity payment option.) Please refer to the Plan Overview section for distribution information on the PST Plan.

What is a systematic withdrawal option (SWO)? How and when are benefits paid under SWO?
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A systematic withdrawal option (SWO) is one of the forms of periodic payment options available for the distribution of your benefits under each Plan except for the 457(f) Plan. Under SWO, you elect whether to receive your benefits in a specified amount or over a stated period of time, subject to certain requirements. Once your election is made, Voya Financial™ will pay your installment payments automatically in the method you select. You may choose to receive benefits monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually. While you are receiving your SWO payments, you are still able to direct the investment of amounts remaining in the Plan. You may change the amount and timing of your SWO payments, as long as the minimum requirements are met and you receive the minimum required distributions under the Plan. To select a SWO option you will need to complete a Termination/Distribution Request Authorization form available by calling Customer Service at (800) 584-6001.

Can I rollover my benefits to another plan or IRA?
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Under all of the plans, except for the 457(f) plan, at retirement or severance from employment, you are permitted to rollover your benefits to another employer-sponsored eligible retirement plan or traditional IRA. All distributions are eligible for rollover except for:

  • an unforeseeable emergency or hardship withdrawal;
  • IRS minimum required distributions payable on or after you attain age 70 1/2; and
  • periodic payments made over your life or a specified period of 10 years or more.

Amounts rolled from the 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan to another plan type would be subject to any applicable 10% premature distribution penalty tax if distributed prior to age 59½ (unless an IRS exception applies). To rollover your benefits, you will need to complete a Termination/Distribution Request Authorization form available by calling Customer Service at (800) 584-6001.

How do I obtain forms for a distribution or an unforeseeable emergency/hardship withdrawal under the 457(b) and 401(k) Plans?
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When you become entitled to a distribution under the Plan or incur an unforeseeable emergency/hardship under the Plan(s), excluding the 457(f) Plan, you should call Customer Service at (800) 584-6001 to request an Unforeseeable Emergency Withdrawal package. The representative can answer any questions you have regarding your eligibility for a withdrawal. 457(f) participants should contact their department payroll clerk to obtain the necessary forms.

What happens if I don’t designate a Plan beneficiary?
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If you do not name a beneficiary (or if your beneficiary dies before you), death benefits will be paid according to the terms of the Plan. Refer to the Plan Overview section for specifics.

Are loans available under the Plans?
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Loans are only available under the 457(b) and 401(k) Plans according to the following guidelines.

  • A participant is permitted to have one general purpose loan and one residential loan outstanding under each Plan at any time.
  • Minimum loan amount is $1,000.
  • The maximum loan amount for the aggregate of all loans under all County Plans is the lesser of: 1) $50,000 minus the excess of the highest outstanding balance of loans during the one year period ending on the day before the loan is taken over the outstanding balance of loans on the date the loan is taken; or 2) 50% of your vested account balance.
  • Loan repayments (principal and interest) are made by payroll deduction on a biweekly basis.
  • The maximum loan repayment period is five (5) years for general purpose loans and twenty 20 years for residential loans.
  • A one-time set up fee of $100 applies to each loan taken.
  • In the event of a loan default, the participant is not permitted to initiate another loan until the defaulted loan is repaid.

To request a loan, please call Customer Service at (800) 584-6001 for a Loan Request package.
Loans may impact your withdrawal value and limit participation in future growth potential.

Not FDIC/NCUA/NCUSIF Insured | Not a Deposit of a Bank/Credit Union | May Lose Value | Not Bank/Credit Union Guaranteed | Not Insured by Any Federal Government Agency

Insurance products issued by Voya Retirement Insurance and Annuity Company, One Orange Way, Windsor, CT 06095-4774. Securities are distributed by Voya Financial Partners LLC (member SIPC). Custodial account agreements or trust agreements are provided by Voya Institutional Trust Company. Insurance obligations are the responsibility of each individual company. All companies are members of the Voya® family of companies. Securities may also be distributed through other broker-dealers with which Voya has selling agreements. Product and services may not be available in all states. CN-1214-10893-0117