What is a 403(b) retirement plan?
A 403(b) is a tax-deferred retirement plan for employees of public educational institutions and certain other non-profit organizations. A 403(b) plan allows you to contribute a portion of your compensation on a pre-tax basis in order to save for your retirement. Contributions are made to the plan by payroll deductions.
Can I make contributions to the 403(b) plan?
You have the right to make contributions/elective deferrals to the 403(b) plan. If you wish to start contributing to the plan, refer to the question titled “What do I need to do in order to start making elective deferrals” (below) for information on how to get started.
What are the benefits of contributing to a 403(b) plan?
Contributing to a 403(b) plan helps to ensure that you will have funds to provide yourself with an income during retirement.
The pre-tax elective deferrals that you make to the plan now are not taxed until you withdraw them. This means you are lowering your taxable income now, and will potentially lower the amount of income tax you will pay on those funds at the time of withdrawal when you may be in a lower tax bracket.
Both your pre-tax elective deferrals and earnings grow tax free until they are withdrawn.
What do I need to do in order to start making elective deferrals?
You will need to make an election regarding how much of your compensation you wish to defer to the 403(b) plan. To make this election, access the CPI Participant website at https://www.cpicrs.com
You can locate a list of vendor(s) approved within the plan to receive contributions under this 403(b) plan and their contact information by visiting the CPI Participant website and find the Approved 403(b) Vendor list. The financial advisor representing the vendor(s) will provide you with their form that will set up the contract or account with the vendor. Once you have completed the paperwork provided by the selected financial advisor, please enroll using the form titled “Elective Deferral and Vendor Election Form” found on the CPI website. Once you have completed this form, please return it to CPI Common Remitter and Compliance Services, P.O. Box 110, Great Bend, KS 67530 or fax it to (620) 792-5622. If you are unable to access the website or want additional information, please contact the CPI Service Center.
How much can I contribute to a 403(b) plan?
In 2009 you can make elective deferrals up to $16,500. As this amount is subject to cost of living increases as set by the government, this amount will increase over time. In addition, if you have met certain conditions, you may have the opportunity to contribute above this limit; these contributions are known as “catch-up contributions.” The first catch-up contribution is the “Age-50 Catch-Up Contribution.” If you are at least age 50 by the end of a calendar year, you have the ability to contribute an additional $5,500 a year. This amount is also subject to cost of living increases as set by the government, so it will increase over time. The second contribution limit is known as the “15 Year of Service Catch-Up Contribution.” If you have at least 15 years of service with the Brunswick School Depaprtment-403(b), you may be eligible to contribute up to $3,000 a year above the elective deferral limit until the amount of the additional catch-up contributions made suing this special rule equals $15,000. Both the Age-50 Catch-Up and the 15 Year of Service Catch-Up Contribution can be used in the same year.
When can funds be withdrawn from a 403(b) plan?
A 403(b) retirement plan is intended as a way to save over the long-term for your retirement. Therefore, distribution of the funds are only allowed when you separate from service, are disabled, die, or at least 59 1/2.
Taking a non-taxable loan or a hardship withdrawal are options available to you should it be necessary for you to withdraw funds from your 403(b) plan prematurely. Taking a hardship withdrawal must meet the requirements that there be an immediate and heavy financial need. However, certain income taxes and tax penalties may apply, depending on the situation.
For more information on enrolling in your 403(b) plan, making changes to your current deferral or vendor elections, or any other questions or requests for information, please contact the CPI Participant Service Center at (877) 488-4040 from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Central Time, Monday through Friday. You can also send an e-mail to Participant.ServiceCenter@cpicrs.com
ON-LINE ENROLLMENT MADE EASY
Log in to the website at https://www.cpicrs.com. If this is your first time on the site, you will need to create a user name and password that is unique to you and confirm it. You will be given the option to provide a question and answer to be used as a hint, should you forget your password at a later date. This is verified by using the last four digits of your social security number, your date of birth and the plan reference number 105226. If the Brunswick School Department has more than one plan with CPI, you will be asked to click on the name of the plan that you would like to access.
Review and Update Contact Information: The next screen will show you the mailing/home address we have on file for you as well as an e-mail address if provided. You will be requested to correct and/or update this information if needed. This address information will be provided to your employer in order to change your records. However, until this address information is updated in your employer’s payroll records, the contribution files provided by your employer will override your changes temporarily.
After you finish with these preliminary screens, you will go to the Welcome to On-Line Enrollment screen. Click on “Enroll Now” to begin. Here are the easy steps to On-Line Enrollment:
Provide a valid e-mail address. This will allow you to receive confirmation e-mails as well as other important information on transactions you have requested. In addition, to expedite the process for receiving a voucher foro hardship withdrawals, loans, and contract exchanges between vendors, it is important to have an e-mail address in our website.
Use Retirement Planning Tools. You have the option to use these tools as little or as much as you wish during the enrollment process. Using the Retirement Savings Calculator and Mastery POINT Financial Analyzer, you can project different rates of deferral to determine a hypothetical account balance at age 65 based on your personal factors (age, marital stawtus, tax bracket, etc.).
Salary Deferral Election. Select how much salary you wish to contribute by entering a dollar amount where indicated. This amount will automatically be deducted from your pay each pay period.
Vendor Election. Select how much you would like to invest in available vendors by entering a dollar election next to each vendor. Please keep in mind that you uwill first need to contact each vendor that you have selected in order to have your account set up prior to completing this step.
Confirm Your Enrollment. On this screen, you can review your elections. If you wish to make changes, you may select a previous screen from the menu on the left or click on “Previous Screen” until you arrive at the applicable screen. Once you are satisfied, you can select “Enroll Me” to complete the enrollment process, or “Quit” if you decide to enroll at a later date. If you select “Quit,” you will lose all of the information you have inputted and will need to start over.
Enroll Me. Once you select “Enroll Me,” you will go to a confirmation screen that shows your elections. If you previously provided us with a valid e-mail address, we will send you a confirmation of this transaction for your records. Your e-mail address can be updated at any time through the Maintenance option found on the website. When you are done, you can log out of the website.
If you need assistance, you can call our Participant Service Center at (877) 488-4040 from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Central Time, Monday through Friday. You can also send an e-mail to Participant.ServiceCenter@cpicrs.com. For prompt assistance, please have your six-digit plan reference number 105226, the last four digits of your social security number, and date of birth available.