403 b & 457b Savings Plans

Overview

A 403(b) plan, also known as a tax sheltered account (TSA) plan, is a retirement plan for certain employees of public schools. As part of the SDP’s Section 403(b) Tax Sheltered Plan, at any time during your employment, you may contribute a portion of your salary on a pre-tax basis (Traditional 403(b)) or on a post-tax basis (Roth 403(b)) to an authorized SDP program-participating carrier. In addition to the 403(b) plan, the School District of Philadelphia has added a 457(b) Deferred Compensation plan to help employees take advantage of additional savings limits and other features unique to 457(b) plans. These are voluntary retirement savings that can be made through payroll contributions and are 100% employee funded. There is no employer contribution. Please contact the individual vendor for more information.

Effective January 1, 2019 the approved vendors are  AIG Retirement Services (formerly VALIC),EQUITABLE Advisors (formerly AXA),  and Lincoln Investment Planning. MetLife and TIAA are no longer approved TSA providers.

Vendor Annual Fee in Basis Points (bps) effective January 1, 2019 based on total assets and for self- directed accounts only. Additional fees and rates will apply to managed asset accounts. Contact the vendors direcly for more information.
AIG Retirement Services

https://sdp.valic.com/plan-details/enrollment

18  bps
EQUITABLE Advisors (formerly AXA)

https://us.axa.com/home.html 

31  bps
Lincoln Investment Planning

http://www.lincolninvestment.com/

25 bps

What is a basis point?

One hundredth of one percent, used chiefly in expressing differences of interest rates. One basis point is equivalent to 0.01% (1/100th of a percent) or 0.0001 in decimal form.

In order to enroll in any of these plans, please refer to the list of SDP approved 403(b) and 457(b) Plan providers  Please contact any of these agents directly to determine which plan best meets your financial needs and assist you with the necessary forms for opening an account and starting contributions.

The rules and regulations surrounding TSAs are governed by the IRS.

  • Please review the Traditional vs. Roth contributions chart for details about the differences in programs. Information from the IRS regarding Roth 403(b) contributions can be obtained from Publication 4530 and the IRS website

All Termination Pay questions should be addressed to the Payroll Department at (215) 400-4490 or payrollhelp@philasd.org.

How to begin Payroll contributions for a TSA account:

Option 1: Online System-  employee self service:

  • You may also make contribution changes online via the Retirement Manager (https://www.myretirementmanager.com/) system
    • If you need assistance with the website, please call 1-866-294-7950 (open 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM Eastern Time). You may also refer to the Quick Reference Guide which contains all of the information and instructions that you will need. Page 2 and 3 of the guide explains information about User Log In
    • If you never used Retirement Manager before, you will need to input your Employee ID in order to create a User ID. Your Employee ID is on your pay-stub. Do not include any spaces or dashes when inputting the numbers in Retirement Manager.

Option 2: Salary Reduction Agreement form sent to the Benefits Office for processing:

Option 3: Contact your advisor

  • You may contact your SDP approved provider and your representative will have the Salary Reduction Agreement form for you to complete. He or she will them submit the form to our office on your behalf.
AIG Retirement Services 

(877) 889-1589

EQUITABLE Advisors (formerly AXA)

 (800)-628-6673
(888) 660-4108 Plan Member balances prior to January 1, 2019

Lincoln Investment Planning, Inc. (800) 242-1421 ext 1434

Important:

  • Contributions sent to a closed 403(b)/457(b) account because a stop request was not submitted will be returned to the employee via regular payroll after the TSA provider returns the funds to the School District.
  • All participants with a 403(b) and/or 457(b) should designate a beneficiary or beneficiaries with their  respective vendors. It is the participant’s responsibility to ensure all beneficiary information is up to date and accurate.

Also, contributions to the 403(b) or 457(b) Plan will automatically terminate upon separation of service with the District and when the participant has reached the annual contribution limit. It is the responsibility of the Employee to restart his or her contributions if he or she returns to service or the new calendar year begins.

As of January 1, 2019, Met Life and  TIAA are no longer approved vendors. Active participants cannot take a loan or hardship withdrawal from theses companies.

Met Life
Mutual fund platform (FASCore) – (800) 543-2520

Annuity platform (Legacy accounts) – (800) 842-9406
TIAA
Online codes: 500644 for 403b or 500645 for 457b
(800) 842-2776

Withdrawal Options

Active Participants

If you are an active employee, and you have an account with AIG, Equitable or Lincoln Investment Planning  and would like to take a(n):

  • Loan
  • In-Service Exchange
  • Hardship (403(b) ONLY)
  • Unforeseeable Emergency withdrawal (457(b) ONLY), or
  • 59.5 In-Service Distribution (403(b) ONLY, for rollovers, full surrenders, partial withdrawals, and transfers)

please follow these instructions:

RM New User-Loan Withdrawal

RM New User In-Service Distribution

RM New User-Hardship Withdrawal

RM New User-In Service Exchange

RM New User-Starting,Changing, Stopping Contribution

Retired and Separated Participants

The instructions below are the steps you must take if you wish to take a distribution from your account once you have retired.

Once you retire from the District, you will be eligible to take a severance of employment distribution from your 403(b) and/or 457(b) account(s). If you are interested in taking a distribution from your account, we strongly encourage you to contact your investment representative and discuss your financial needs and any tax implications before making any decisions.

All distributions from any of the current approved vendors will require employer authorization. As a separated employee, there are several disbursement options available to you:

  • You may take a “cash distribution” such as a partial withdrawal or full surrender,  payable to you.
  • You may roll the money into an IRA or other qualified plan.
  • You may leave your balance with your vendor.

Requesting a disbursement from your account is a four-step process:

  • Step 1: Contact your investment provider. He or she will be able to go over your options and provide you with an application.  Complete the application.
  • Step 2: Obtain employer authorization by creating a Disbursement Eligibility Certificate through the secure Retirement Manager website, www.myretirementmanager.com.  This certificate replaces the need for an employer signature and is required for all distributions. The Retirement Manager Helpline number is (866)294-7950. You will need your School District Employee ID Number (check your pay stub) to use the Retirement Manager system. Loan, In-Service Exchange, and Age 59 ½ In-Service Distribution Certificates are available at any time.  Separations of Service certificates are available once your status is updated in the HR database. Retirement Manager is updated on a bi-weekly basis to reflect your separation date.  You will not be able to create a Severance of Employment Certificate until your status has been updated.
  • Step 3: Print your certificate.
  • Step 4: Submit all documents to your approved investment provider. Receipt of payment is contingent on your designated vendor’s policy.

Click on the below for detailed instructions on creating a Severance of Employment Retirement Manager certificate:

RM New User Severance of Employment

Grandfathered/Orphaned Accounts

If you have an account with a vendor other than the ones listed above(considered grandfathered/orphaned account) and actively employed with the District, you may only take a distribution if aged 59.5 or older. Separated or terminated employees are eligible for a severance of employment distribution. Grandfathered/orphaned account holders are not eligible for loans or hardship withdrawals. Please contact tsahelp@philasd.org or 215-400-4630 for more information.