Voluntary Savings Program (Tax-Deferred Annuity)

Plan information

City University of New York offers this plan as part of workplace benefits. Now is a great time to understand what is offered - think about taking advantage of any opportunities to save and invest for the future.

Learn what plans allow eligible employees to do.

This plan allows only employee contributions. City University of New York does not make matching contributions with this plan.

The CUNY Voluntary Savings Plan is voluntary and allows you to make pretax contributions to your retirement savings. Your contributions are taken out of your income before you pay taxes, reducing your current taxable income and the amount of taxes that you pay. And, you pay no taxes on your contributions or any earnings until you receive your accumulations in retirement.

Beginning in 2017, The CUNY TDA Plan will offer an after tax option.  You will need a new Salary Reduction Agreement when joining the TDA Plan or changing your pre or after-tax contribution.  Limits are set each year by the IRS and are shown on the Salary Reduction Agreement.
As a full-time or part time classified civil service staff member, you are eligible to participate in this CUNY Voluntary Savings Plan (Tax-Deferred Annuity).
"Vesting" refers to an employee's right, usually earned over time, to receive some retirement benefits regardless of whether or not they remain with the employer. Your contribution to this account will be 100% vested immediately.

LOANS

Loans are available under this plan, subject to limitations. For more information, please contact your Benefits Office or contact TIAA.
 

DISTRIBUTIONS

When it's time to decide how to take income from your Voluntary Savings Program (Tax-Deferred Annuity), you have a variety of options*:
  • 59½ in Service

    You generally can withdraw funds, attributable to elective deferrals, from your account while still employed once you have reached age 59½. The amount you can withdraw is subject to your plan's rules.
     
  • Fixed Period

    You can choose to receive income for a set period of two to 30 years, depending on the terms of our contract and your plan's rules (and not to exceed your life expectancy).
    • Payments stop at the end of the period, during which you will have received all your principal and earnings.
       
  • Hardship Distribution

    If your plan permits, you can withdraw your elective deferrals (but not earnings) due to financial hardship while still employed.
    • Generally, you must show an immediate, significant need that cannot be met with other resources, including loans from your retirement plan.
       
  • Lifetime Retirement Income
    • One-life annuity — provides income for as long as you live.
       
    • Two-life annuity — provides lifetime income for you and an annuity partner (your spouse or someone else you name) for as long as either of you live.
       
    • One- or two-life annuity with guaranteed period — guarantees income for up to 20 years, as long as the period you choose does not exceed your life expectancy. It ensures that income continues to go to your beneficiaries for the remainder of the guaranteed period if you (one-life annuity) or both you and your annuity partner (two-life annuity) die before the end of that period.
       
  • Lump Sum

    You can withdraw all or part of your account in a single cash payment, depending on your plan rules and the terms of your contracts.

     
  • Other in Service

    If your plan permits, you can withdraw cash from your account while still employed by your institution, but you generally must meet an IRS-defined "triggering event," such as reaching age 59½, to qualify.
     
  • Single-Sum Death Benefit

     A set amount your beneficiary(ies) will receive from your retirement account if you die before taking income.
     
  • Systematic Withdrawals

    If your plan allows, you can choose to receive regular income payments (minimum $100) on a semimonthly, monthly, quarterly, semiannual or annual basis. You can increase, decrease or suspend the payments at any time.
    • These withdrawals are not available from TIAA Traditional Account balances.
  • Taxation
Because you make contributions with pretax dollars, federal income taxes are deferred on supplemental plans until you begin taking withdrawals later on.
No taxes are due on contributions and earnings until the money is withdrawn, but because these plans are intended primarily for retirement, you can generally withdraw funds only after termination of employment or age 59½ (subject to plan rules). If you withdraw funds before age 59½, they may be subject to an additional 10% early-withdrawal penalty.
 
For additional information and guidance, contact your tax advisor.
 

Understanding investment fees

Your financial well-being is TIAA's top priority and we are committed to helping you make informed decisions. Fees should be just one factor in your decision-making process since the lowest cost option may not be the best one for you.

Cost of plan services

Fees and expenses have always been part of a retirement savings plan-some fees are associated with the administration of the plan and may be covered by your employer, while others are paid by you based on the specific investments and services you choose. The following three categories of services are provided to your plan:

1. General record keeping and other plan services

Over the course of a year you pay for services like record keeping.

Many services are necessary for the day-to-day operation of your employer's retirement plan. General administrative services include recordkeeping, legal, accounting, consulting, investment advisory and other plan administration services. Some of these expenses are fixed and other expenses may vary from year to year. These costs are allocated to each participant in a uniform way.

2. Specific investment services
You pay only for what you use.
Each investment offered within the plan charges a fee for managing the investment and for associated services. But you pay only for the investments you actually use and in proportion to the amount of your investment. These fees are not deducted directly from your account; they are paid indirectly through the investment's "expense ratio". The specific expense ratio for each plan designated investment option is listed in your Quarterly Investment UpdateOpens in a new window.

3. Personalized services

You can opt for extra features, like loan services.

Personalized services provide access to a number of plan features and investments that you pay for, only if you use them. The personalized services used most often are:

Retirement Plan Loans
$75.00 per loan initiated for general purpose
$125.00 per loan initiated for a residential loan

$25 annual loan maintenance fee per active loan, assessed Annually

Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO)
No additional charge
Sales charges, purchase, withdrawal and redemption fees for certain investments
Certain charges may apply. For additional information, see Quarterly Investment UpdateOpens in a new window.

More information about retirement plan fees and expenses is available at TIAA.org/feesOpens in a new window.

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