The New York State VDC Program is a flexible, rapid-vesting alternative to Defined Benefit (DB) pension plans.
The VDC Program allows you to customize your retirement plan. You pick investments and providers, you name beneficiaries, and you decide what to do with your retirement savings.
Once vested, your balances move with you if you separate from service with a public employer in New York City. You can also withdraw and rollover money when you leave New York City service.
Every year your employer will make a contribution equal to 8% of your qualified compensation to your VDC account. After just one year and one day, all contributions are fully vested. Compare that to 10 years for the DB plans.
Your retirement options are summarized in our brief, interactive video. We recommend that you view it prior to making a retirement plan election.
View the Comparison Video
Find out how a DB plan and the
VDC Program differ.
View the Comparison Chart
In-depth information about the Voluntary Defined Contribution Program.
Download the VDC Program Overview
Beginning October 1, 2020, the City of New York will be offering the VDC program to this newly eligible class of employees. The City of New York and certain Public Employers offer the VDC Program to eligible full-time/part-time employees who were hired on or after July 1, 2013. Employees of following Public Employers are eligible to join: NYCHA, SCA and NYC H+H. You may be eligible for the VDC Program if you have an estimated annualized full-time salary of $75,000 or more per year, or if your estimated annual salary rate of pay is $75,000 or greater.
You are not eligible if a union represents you. You may not be eligible if you previously participated in a New York City public DB plan.
Employees have 30 days from their date of hire to enroll in the VDC Program.
Please note: Those currently eligible employees will have a one-time Special Open Enrollment Period from August 31, 2020 to October 9, 2020 to enroll if the employee wishes to participate in the VDC Program.
Unlike defined benefit plans, the VDC program lets you control your balance and your investments. You can direct your contributions to authorized investment providers and take cash withdrawals at certain times.
The VDC program gives you plenty of options. When you enroll, keep in mind that different investment providers offer different investment products, and remember that you can always call an experienced TIAA consultant for guidance.
While the VDC program is administered by TIAA, you have the option of directing any or all contributions to a variety of authorized investment providers, including Voya, AIG, TIAA and Fidelity*. These world-class providers offer distinct benefits and options that you can research in-depth.
If you invest in the SUNY Optional Retirement Program through Fidelity you will be investing in a variable group annuity contract issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company ("MassMutual"), 1295 State Street, Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and administered by Fidelity Investments. If benefit payments are annuitized under the group annuity contract issued by MassMutual, those benefit guarantees are subject to the claims paying ability of MassMutual.
To learn more about the enrollment process, download the VDC Program enrollment guide (PDF).
Before enrolling, you must complete the Eligibility Verification & Acknowledgment Form for Employees of the City of New York & Public Employers and send it to your agency HR for certification. Your agency HR will forward your VDC Authorization and Verification form to OLR for processing. You will receive a notice from OLR to enroll in the VDC program on the TIAA website. Please contact your agency HR Personnel for the form or download the form here. Also, before enrolling, please have the following information available:
For detailed enrollment instructions, follow this link to the
Quick Reference Enrollment Guide.
Speak with an experienced consultant who can guide you through the enrollment process. Call 1-866-271-0960.
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You will be connected to an experienced consultant from Retirement@Work who can answer your online enrollment questions.