Retirement Benefits

Public Agency and School Employees: Check Out the CalPERS 457 Savings Plan

CalPERS 457 Plan Program Manager Dave Saavedra

Did you know public agency and school/community college employees are eligible for a deferred compensation savings plan through CalPERS that’s designed to enhance your retirement income — and at a very low cost?

Even if you’re a seasonal or part-time employee, you’re eligible to participate in the CalPERS 457 Plan if your agency — a public agency, or a school or community college district — has adopted this plan. Don’t know if you’re eligible? Check out our CalPERS 457 Plan Participating Agencies List to verify.

“The plan is easy to understand and navigate — and low-cost,” said CalPERS 457 Plan Program Manager Dave Saavedra (pictured above). “Also, if you were hired after 2013 as a Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act (PEPRA) member, you may have an income gap compared to classic members.

“The CalPERS 457 Plan may help close that gap and provide you with the retirement income you’ll need.”

Tell Me More

The CalPERS 457 Plan is a voluntary savings program that lets you defer even small amounts, subject to annual limits, from your paycheck automatically on a pre-tax and/or Roth after-tax basis.

In addition, your contributions and their earnings can benefit from the power of tax-deferred compounding interest. This means you don’t pay income taxes on your pre-tax investments or earnings until you start taking withdrawals, usually in retirement. It also means federal tax-free withdrawals of your Roth after-tax contributions and any earnings when you retire.

What Are the Benefits?

The CalPERS 457 Plan is a personal retirement savings plan with features including:

  • A competitively priced deferred compensation plan that allows you to keep more of your investment returns.
  • A lineup of quality investments to match your risk tolerance, including core investments managed by CalPERS staff and professional managers under contract with CalPERS.
  • Target retirement date funds specifically designed for public employees like you.
  • A fee-based brokerage account option that provides access to thousands of mutual funds from hundreds of fund families, as well as CDs.
  • A Roth plan option for after-tax contributions (if your employer can process Roth contributions from their payroll).
  • Retirement planning and saving education, tools, and services from Voya Financial®, the plan’s recordkeeper.

In addition, due to the program’s popularity, Saavedra noted the CalPERS 457 Plan has recently reduced already low participant fees.

“The cost of investing in our plan has decreased 40% since 2020,” he said. “These reductions allow you to keep more of your investment dollars working in your accounts, helping to accumulate more savings over time.”

Sign Up in Just 2 Steps

  1. Check if your employer offers the CalPERS 457 Plan. Contact your personnel office or search for your employer in our CalPERS 457 Plan Participating Agencies list. You’re automatically eligible to participate as a salaried employee or contracted worker of a public agency, school district, or community college district that has adopted the CalPERS 457 Plan — even if you’re seasonal or part-time. Plus, if you’re already contributing to a 403(b) plan or are covered by CalSTRS, you can still participate in the CalPERS 457 Plan.
  2. Download the Participant Enrollment Kit (PDF). Review, fill out, and return the completed forms to your personnel/payroll department.

What if My Employer Doesn’t Participate?

If your employer doesn’t currently participate, they can easily sign up to offer this key employee benefit at no cost to them.

“It’s a simple process for agencies to adopt the plan for their employees,” said Saavedra. “Once they’re in the plan, their employees will receive support from a team of knowledgeable account managers who can explain the fund lineup, including the popular target date funds.”

Maximize Your Savings Today

For more information and assistance, visit the CalPERS 457 Plan website or call the plan’s help line at (800) 260-0659. You can also learn more with the plan’s webinars.

In addition to the CalPERS 457 Plan, we offer deferred compensation plans to help all CalPERS members maximize retirement savings. And when it comes to retirement savings, time is money — check out our Deferred Compensation page today to save more for your retirement future.