Description of the Maryland
Supplemental Retirement Plans

Click on the link below to obtain the following information:
Three-Plan Comparison Chart
(02/14/2018)
MSRP Contribution Limits (02/13/2018)
Withdrawal Requirements
(03/2015)

The Maryland Teachers & State Employees Supplemental Retirement Plans are provided by the State of Maryland as an employee benefit available for voluntary participation.  Three plans are offered; the 457 Deferred Compensation Plan, the 403(b) Tax Deferred Annuity Plan, and the 401(k) Savings and Investment Plan, and most employees automatically get the benefit of a 401(a) Match Plan account.  The plans are governed by the State Personnel & Pensions Article of the Maryland Code, and are overseen by a nine-member Board of Trustees appointed by the Governor.  Nationwide Retirement Solutions is the company hired by the Board of Trustees to administer the plans according to the board's instructions.

All contributions are made through payroll deductions, before federal and state income taxes are assessed.  The number in the plan names [457, 403(b), and 401(k)] refer to the different parts of federal tax law that give the conditions for deferring taxes on retirement savings.  While there are some differences in each plan (Three-Plan Comparison Chart), the basics of each plan are the same:  part of your salary goes into an investment option without deducting any taxes, your investment hopefully grows throughout your working years without the burden of income taxes, until it's paid out when you retire.

BENEFITS & ENROLLMENT
The state of Maryland offers you four supplemental retirement plans: the 457 Deferred Compensation Plan, the 403(b) Tax Deferred Annuity Plan, the 401(k) Savings & Investment Plan, and the 401(a) Match Plan. All contributions are made through payroll deductions, before federal and state income taxes are assessed. This serves to lower your annual taxable income. Income taxes on your contributions and earnings in the plans are postponed until you receive them, which is typically at retirement. The plans offer a variety of investment options that allow you to tailor your investment portfolio to meet your personal financial goals. Enrollment in the plans can occur any time. Click here to enroll, or call the Enrollment Hotline at 1-877-628-2499.

ELIGIBILITY & COVERAGE
All state employees are eligible to participate in the 457 and 401(k) plans.  Employees of state educational facilities also are eligible for the 403(b) plan.  State educational institutions include state colleges, state universities, the Maryland Department of Education, the Maryland Higher Education Commission, and the Maryland School for the Deaf.

The investment options available include a stable value fund (also known as the Investment Contract Pool) and mutual funds.   The minimum contribution is $5 biweekly. The maximum contribution per plan is up to 100 percent of compensation, but not more than the federal limit.  When participating in both the 457 plan and the 401(k) plan [or 403(b)], one may contribute the annual limit to each plan for a potential combined contribution of double the limit.

State employees who are members of the State Employees Modified Pension System may be eligible for a match of their contributions to the 457, 403(b), and 401(k) payroll plans. If you're eligible, the state may match your contributions to the supplemental retirement plans dollar for dollar up to the amount funded each fiscal in the State budget. With each new fiscal year, the match starts again. There will be no employer matching payments to a participant's 401(a) account until authorized and budgeted.

CATCH-UP PROVISIONS

  1. Regular 457 Catch-up.  The limit on regular catch-up contributions in the 457 plan is double the regular deferral limit. See the limits at Three-Plan Comparison Chart.(02/14/2018)

  2. Catch-up for Over Age 50.  Employees over 50 can make catch-up contributions to the 457, 403(b) and 401(k) plans over and above the 401(k) and other limits. See limits at Three-Plan Comparison Chart.(02/14/2018)

DISTRIBUTION REQUIREMENTS
457 Deferred Compensation Plan. You may begin distribution of your account, without penalty, when you separate from state service, regardless of age. You must begin distributions at 70½, unless you're still employed by the state and have not yet retired. You may elect a payout date and method any time, and you may change your payout method, amount, and frequency any time.  The IRS requires a 20 percent federal income tax withholding on most distributions.

403(b) Tax Deferred Annuity Plan & 401(k) Savings & Investment Plan (payroll plan & transfer account). You may begin distribution of your account without an IRS 10 percent early distribution penalty if one of the following conditions have been met:

  • Age 59½;
  • Separation from Maryland state service at 55 or older;
  • Total disability; Deductible medical hardship;
  • Death; and
  • Selection of an annuity contract (after separation from employment).

If you separate from state service before 55, you may begin distributions, but you may owe a 10 percent IRS penalty until a certain age. You must begin distributions at 70½, unless you're still employed by the state and have not yet retired. The IRS requires a 20 percent federal income tax withholding on most distributions.

401(a) Match Plan. You may begin distribution of your account at termination from state employment or at retirement. Your account also is payable upon total disability or death. There may be an IRS penalty for withdrawals before a certain age.

HARDSHIP PROVISIONS
457 Deferred Compensation Plan. The 457 plan allows hardship distributions for unforeseeable emergencies causing financial hardships. To qualify for a hardship distribution, you must provide financial records that document your hardship. Normally budgetable expenditures, such as the purchase of an automobile, do not qualify as financial hardships. An IRS penalty doesn't apply to hardship distributions in the 457 plan.

403(b) Tax Deferred Annuity Plan & 401(k) Savings & Investment Plan. The 403(b) and 401(k) plans allow hardship distributions for emergencies causing financial hardships. To qualify for a hardship distribution in these plans, you must provide financial records that document your hardship. In these plans, a financial hardship can include a financial need arising from the use of funds to buy a home. A financial hardship also can be the financial need to provide for the post secondary education of the participant or member of his/her immediate family. An IRS 10 percent penalty may apply to hardship distributions in the 403(b) and 401(k) plans.

401(a) Match Plan. Hardship distributions are not permitted in the 401(a) Match Plan.

LOAN PROVISIONS
457 Deferred Compensation Plan, 403(b) Tax Deferred Annuity Plan & 401(k) Savings & Investment Plan. You may borrow up to 50 percent of your account, but never more than $50,000. Your principal and interest payments are returned to your account. With one exception, the maximum repayment period is five years. When the loan is used to purchase a primary residence, the maximum repayment period is 15 years.

401(a) Match Plan. The 401(a) Match Plan doesn't offer a loan provision.

PLAN DOCUMENTS
The plan documents for the State of Maryland Supplemental Retirement Plans are legal documents that provide program descriptions.   To view the 457, 401(k), or 401(a) plan documents, please click on the icons below.

457 Plan Document
401(k) Plan Document
401(a) Plan Document
403(b) Plan Document

For information about any of the plan documents, please call the Maryland Teachers & State Employees Supplemental Retirement Agency at 410-767-8740 or 1-800-543-5605.  You may send comments or questions to us by e-mail to The Maryland Supplemental Retirement Agency.

FURTHER INFORMATION

For more information, contact the Maryland Teachers & State Employees Supplemental Retirement Agency at 410-767-8740 or 1-800-543-5605.

TO ENROLL
Click here to enroll or call the Enrollment Hotline at 1-877-628-2499.

 

(updated 10/4/2013)