- What Should I Consider?
- How Do I?
- Hybrid Plan
Employees of the State of Tennessee are eligible to participate in two optional, tax-deferred retirement savings plans operated by the state: a 457 plan and a 401(k) plan. Compare the two plans here. If you choose to participate in either or both of these plans, you make contributions through regular payroll deductions. Both of these plans are geared for retirement, so contributions cannot be withdrawn before separation from service with a very few limited exceptions. Both plans are participant directed, so you choose how much to defer and how to direct your contributions among a variety of investment options. See more program details in the Participant Guide.
The Deferred Compensation program is part of the Tennessee Treasury Department. The Treasurer’s Office administers this supplemental retirement savings program along with a chosen record-keeper, who is currently Empower. Empower’s local representatives are here to assist you with many aspects of the program such as enrollments, rollovers, quarterly statements, naming beneficiaries, etc. Empower representatives also conduct participant educational meetings across the state. We highly encourage you to talk with your Human Resources Department or Office Manager and request a meeting of interest at your office. See the Upcoming Events to view meetings already scheduled.
Notice to State Employees
Effective February 1, 2013, changes to 401(k) & 457 Deferred Compensation plans are no longer accepted through Edison.
How can I change my deferral?
Now, all changes can be made on the Empower Retirement Services website by visiting Empower Once you have logged in to your account, go to the Transactions menu and select "Change Paycheck Contribution."
You may also call KeyTalk® at (800) 922-7772 and speak with a representative to make the change for you.
What if I do not have a PIN?
If you do not have a PIN but would like to access the website, call KeyTalk® at (800) 922-7772 to speak to a customer service representative between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday.
How do I defer my Longevity or Bonus payments?
You have a few new ways to defer your longevity; click here for details.
To defer your bonus, please use the Salary Reduction Form.
If you are eligible to enroll in the Program but have not done so, take advantage of this benefit in the new year! Within the next few weeks, you will receive an invitation to enroll, along with your Personal Identification Number (PIN), in the mail. To learn more about the Program, see highlights.
If you are currently enrolled in the Program, it's now easier than ever to increase your contributions. Online or over the phone, 24/7, you can make changes to your account, increase your paycheck contributions, change your investment options, and much more.
120 Day State Employees are eligible to participate in the Deferred Compensation Program. They do not receive the Employer Match and must reenroll in the program upon returning to work if they choose to participate.
Contribution Limits - In 2015, the maximum contribution amount is 100% of your includible compensation, less any mandatory before-tax contributions to a governmental pension plan, or $18,000, whichever is less. It may be indexed for inflation in $500 increments after 2015.
Watch List - The Watch list is available from this link: http://treasury.tn.gov/dc/watchlist.html and is listed under Investing at the top navigation menu of this screen. Participants may wish to review their investment selections and asset allocation.
- Register for On-Line Account Access
- Project amount to save for my retirement goals?
- Change my deferral amount?
- Change my investment allocations?
- Set up a meeting with a Empower Rep.?
- Rollover from another plan?
How do I register for On-Line account access?
If you have not yet used the Empower Account Access feature, it is very easy to get started. Just click on Empower. If you don't have the four digit PIN that Empower mailed to you, just click on the Request PIN option and Empower will mail you a PIN (Personal Identification Number) in just a few days or call Empower at 1-800-922-7772 to request a temporary PIN over the phone. Once you receive the PIN, that and your Social Security Number are all you need to use this secure system. You can change your contribution amounts, view your daily account values, compare your current values to any previous day's values, make transfers, change your future investment direction, review and change your beneficiary designation, and review your deposits. Most participants who try it once use it again and again!
How do I project what I should be saving to reach my retirement goal?
There are many calculators available on various websites to project how much the amount you are saving now will be worth at retirement and what you should save to reach your particular retirement goal.
Bloomberg 401(k) calculator
ING retirement projection calculator
Retirement Savings Calculator
Target Retirement Funds
State employees may change your normal deferral amounts coming out of each pay check and deferrals from your longevity payment by logging in to your Empower account online. Once you have logged in to your account, go to the Transactions menu and select "Change Paycheck Contribution." You can also make changes by calling KeyTalk® at (800) 922-7772. Note that online your longevity deferral is called a “bonus or commission.”
Bonus deferrals must be made by completing this FORM and mailing to the address on the form.
Please be aware that changes will be effective no sooner than 30 days from entry.
UT Participants send Salary deferral forms to:
University Benefits and Retirement Office
600 Henley St Suite 115
Knoxville, TN 37996-4115
Information for Tennessee Board of Regents Participants back to top
How do I change my investment allocations?
Future investment allocations can be changed on the Empower website. Go to www.empower-retirement.com, enter your username and pin# (if you do not have these see "How do I register for online account access?" above). Once logged in, click the "Redirect Future Contributions" link on the left and follow the instructions.
Balances in your account may be moved among the different investment options on line or through use of the appropriate Investment Option Change Request form.
How do I set up a meeting with a Empower Rep.?
Representatives from Empower are available to conduct various presentations and meetings with your department. Talk to your HR Officer to request a group meeting and he or she will then contact Empower to set up a specific time and place. The current meeting schedule is available on the Upcoming Events button on the home page.
Individuals may also schedule additional time with the Representative after a group meeting. Once your group meeting is scheduled call 1-800-922-7772 option 2 to request an individual meeting time.
How do I rollover from another plan?
If you are unsure if you are able to rollover funds from a previous plan to your current State of Tennessee plan, please contact Empower at 1-800-922-7772 option 2.
Complete the applicable incoming rollover form, print, sign, and mail to the address on the form:
401(k) Incoming Rollover
457 Incoming Rollover
You will also need to contact your previous plan administrator and inquire about rolling the funds out of that plan.
Who is eligible for the new TCRS Hybrid Plan?
- It is mandatory for new hires (State, higher education, and K-12 teachers) hired on or after July 1, 2014
- Does not impact retirees
What are the components of the new TCRS Hybrid Plan?
Hybrid Plan means a plan that provides a combination of a defined benefit plan and a defined contribution plan
- Defined Contribution Component
- Employer contributes 5% of employee salary
- Employee will be auto-enrolled to contribute 2% of salary (with the ability to opt out)
- Defined Benefit Component
- For information visit TCRS
- Employee to contribute 5% of salary
- Employer to contribute 4% of salary
Local Education Agencies
The new hybrid retirement plan which is applicable to K-12 teachers hired on or after July 1, 2014 includes a 401(k) defined contribution plan component in addition to a defined benefit component administered by the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System.
The defined contribution component requires that an LEA employer will contribute 5% of salary for the benefit of each teacher to a 401(k) account in the state’s defined contribution plan.
Teachers are immediately vested in LEA employer contributions to the 401(k) account. New teachers will automatically be enrolled in a 401(k) account in the defined contribution plan and contribute at 2% of salary. Teachers may change their contributions at any time. However, teachers also have the right to contribute a higher amount of salary to the defined contribution plan provided they do not exceed the annual IRS limits.
Teachers will contribute 5% of salary to the defined benefit component (TCRS)of the hybrid plan with LEA employers contributing 4% of salary.
Alese Pewitt, CFP