401(k) Salary Savings Plan Overview

Below are some of the important features about the Plan. This website is intended to be a summary of the plan provisions. In the event that a conflict exists between the information contained within this website and the plan document, the plan document provisions prevail. For more information, view the Frequently Asked Questions or contact us.


Employees eligible for participation are employees (excluding independent contractors) who are:

  • In the exempt occupational unit of the County;
  • An elected official of the County;
  • A contract employee of the County whose contract authorizes participation in the Plan; or
  • Any other employee who is deemed eligible by the County Board of Supervisors.

Contributions (Pre-tax or Roth 401(k))

The Plan provides for the following types of contributions:

  • Employee Compensation Reduction Contributions – To participate in the Plan, an eligible employee must complete a Participation Agreement and elect to make contributions through a compensation reduction election. Each participant may elect a flat dollar amount or a percentage of reduction in compensation to be effective each pay period.
  • Employer Matching Contributions – The County will match on a 2 for 1 basis Compensation Reduction Contributions up to 3% of a participant’s biweekly base salary, with a maximum matching contribution of 6% of a participant’s bi-weekly base salary.

Examples of this employer matching contribution:

  • If you contribute 2% of salary, the County will contribute 4% of salary on your behalf.
  • If you contribute 3% of salary, the County will contribute 6% of salary on your behalf.
  • If you contribute 4% of salary, the County will contribute 6% of salary on your behalf.
  • Employee Voluntary Contributions and Employer Non-Elective Contributions may be made to the Plan. Please refer to the Plan document for additional information.

The Roth 401(k) feature is available only to participants actively contributing to the Plan and 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. With a designated Roth 401(k) account, you pay your taxes now, at your current tax rate, rather than later at whatever your tax rate will be at retirement. 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. You should consider the investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses of the investment options offered through a retirement plan carefully before investing. The fund prospectuses and information booklet containing more complete information can be obtained by contacting your local Voya representative in our San Bernardino office at (909) 748-6468 or toll-free at (800) 452-5842. Please read the information carefully before investing.


Participants are 100% vested at all times.

Timing of Distributions

Distributions are allowed only upon:

  • separation from service;
  • attainment of normal retirement age and separation from service;
  • attainment of age 59½;
  • disability as defined by the County Employer Retirement Law of 1937;
  • death; or
  • the occurrence of a financial hardship, as defined by the Internal Revenue Code.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires that distributions under a 401(k) plan begin no later than the April 1st of the calendar year following the calendar year in which you attain age 72 or retire, whichever occurs later. If you fail to receive the minimum required distribution for any tax year, a 50% excise tax is imposed on the required amount that was not timely distributed. These rules are referred to as IRS minimum required distribution requirements (MRD).

Payment Options

When you are entitled to a distribution of benefits under the Plan, the following payment options are available:

  • Full or partial lump sum payment. A lump sum payment is the automatic form of benefits for accounts less than $5,000.
  • Periodic payments of your account (for account balances of at least $5,000)
    -Specified Period- not less than 3 years and no more than your life expectancy.
    -Specified Amount- cannot be less than $250 per payment and no more than 33 1/3% of your account.
  • Rollover into another eligible plan
    -Your distribution can be rolled over into a 401(a), 401(k) 403(b) or other governmental 457 plans and traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).

Please note that with respect to amounts rolled over into a non-457(b) eligible retirement plan, any subsequent distributions to the participant from the non-457(b) plan will be subject to an IRS 10% premature distribution penalty tax on the taxable portion if distributed prior to 59 ½, unless an exemption applies.

All distributions are eligible for rollover except for: 1) amounts distributed for a hardship withdrawal; 2) IRS minimum required distributions payable on or after you attain age 72; and 3) periodic payments made over your life or a specified period of 10 years or more.

To select a distribution under the Plan, you will need to complete a Termination/Distribution Request Authorization form that is available by calling Customer Service at (800) 584-6001.

Divorce and Domestic Relations Matters

In the event a court issues a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), your account will be split and payments will be made, as specified in the QDRO. In the event the QDRO identifies the alternate payee as your former spouse (“spousal alternate payee”), he or she is entitled to elect immediate distribution of the amounts awarded under the QDRO. A spousal alternate payee is also eligible to rollover amounts awarded to another eligible retirement plan in which he or she participates.

In the event of divorce, please contact Customer Service at (800) 584-6001 to request a Domestic Relations Order (DRO) information package.

Distributions for Health and Long-Term Care Insurance Premiums

The Plan allows certain eligible retired public safety officers the opportunity to directly transfer up to $3,000 annually tax-free for direct payment of qualified health insurance premiums (accident, health insurance or long-term care). Annual limit is an aggregate on distributions from all plan types maintained by the employer. To find out if you are eligible for this plan benefit, call your local Voya representative or Customer Service at (800) 584-6001.

Death Benefits

Upon your death, benefits would be payable to the beneficiary(ies) that you designated under the Plan. If you have not designated a beneficiary, payment of death benefits will be made payable in the following order of priority:

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Your estate

Under the Plan, if you are married, your spouse must be your sole primary beneficiary unless your spouse consents in writing to your naming of an alternate beneficiary.

To verify who your beneficiary is on record or to make changes to your beneficiary information, please call Customer Service at (800) 584-6001. Your beneficiary will need to call Customer Service at (800) 584-6001 for a Death Benefit Withdrawal Request Form.


All of the payments you receive from the Plan are subject to federal and state income taxes.

Federal income tax withholding will apply to your payments, as described below, based on whether you were eligible to rollover the distribution.

  • If you receive a distribution that was eligible to be rolled over, a mandatory 20% will be withheld for federal tax purposes at the time of payment.
  • If you receive a distribution that was not eligible to be rolled over, 10% will be withheld for federal tax purposes at the time of payment. However, you may elect to have no tax withheld.

Amounts distributed from a 401(k) plan are subject to the IRS 10% premature distribution penalty tax if distributed prior to attaining age 59½, unless an IRS exception applies. IRS exceptions include payments made:

  • upon your severance from employment/retirement on or after you attain age 55;
  • in substantially equal amounts over your life/life expectancy;
  • as a result of your total and permanent disability;
  • to your former spouse as an alternate payee under a QDRO; or
  • to your beneficiary as a result of your death.

The Voya family of companies do not offer tax or legal advice. Your should consult with your own tax or legal advisor.

Hardship Withdrawals

A participant who has incurred a hardship withdrawal may elect to withdraw all or any portion of his vested account balance. A hardship occurs if the participant has an immediate and heavy financial need and the distribution is needed to satisfy such need. A distribution is deemed to be on account of an immediate and heavy financial need if it is on account of:

  • Uninsured medical expenses previously incurred by the participant, the participant’s spouse, or any dependents of the participant, or necessary to obtain medical care;
  • Purchase of the principal residence (excluding mortgage payments) of the participant;
  • Payment of tuition and related educational expenses for the next 12 months of post-secondary education for the participant, his spouse, children or dependents;
  • The need to prevent eviction of the participant from his principal residence or foreclosure on the participant’s principal residence; or
  • Other deemed immediate and heavy needs as permitted by the Internal Revenue Service.

A distribution will not be treated as necessary to satisfy an immediate and heavy financial need to the extent the amount is in excess of the amount required to relieve the need or to the extent such need may be satisfied from other resources that are reasonably available to the participant.

Compensation Reduction Contributions under the Plan will be suspended for a six (6) month period beginning with the date the request for a hardship withdrawal is approved. In addition, in the calendar year following the hardship withdrawal, the amount of Compensation Reduction Contributions permitted to be made by a participant cannot exceed the maximum annual IRS deferral limit reduced by the amount of Compensation Reduction Contributions made by the participant in the year of the hardship withdrawal.

Transfers for the Purchase of Service Credits

A participant may request a direct transfer of all or a portion of his account to any qualified retirement plan that accepts direct transfers for the purchase of eligible prior service credit. If you wish to purchase prior service credit through the San Bernardino County Employees Retirement Association (SBCERA) please follow the steps outlined below:

  • Contact Employee Benefits and Services at (909) 387-5831. They will calculate the exact period of time available for purchase.
  • Contact SBCERA to determine the cost of the purchase. They will provide you with a letter and the forms you need to complete the transfer with VoyaTM.
  • Call the Service Center at (800) 584-6001 to request a Withdrawal and Transfer Request for Purchase of Governmental Defined Benefit Service Credit.
  • After you have received the letter from SBCERA and completed all the required forms, submit them directly to the County of San Bernardino Employee Benefits and Services Division for processing and the Employees Benefits and Services Division will forward them to Voya for processing.

If you wish to purchase prior service from another California governmental defined benefit plan or the Federal military you will need to call Voya Customer Service at (800) 584-6001 to request a Withdrawal and Transfer Request for Purchase of Governmental Defined Benefit Plan Service Credit.


Loans are available according to the following guidelines.

  • An active participant is permitted to have one general purpose loan and one residential loan (used to acquire, construct, reconstruct or substantially rehabilitate the principal residence of the participant or family member) outstanding under the Plan at any time.
  • Minimum loan amount for general purpose loans is $1,000, and for residential loans is $5,000.
  • The maximum loan amount for the aggregate of all loans under all County Plans is the lesser of: 1) $50,000 minus the excess (if any) 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 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.
  • Married participants must obtain spousal consent in order to take a loan.

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.