CalPERS 457 Deferred Compensation Plan

Contributing to the Plan

Contributions to the plan are by salary deferral only. If you have contributed to another 457 plan, you may also transfer funds from that plan to your account with the CalPERS 457 Plan.

For the 2021 IRS contribution limits please see the following table:

Annual Elective Deferral Limit:$19,500
Age 50+ Catch-Up Contributions:$6,500
(Attn: The following contribution limits and tables in Contributing to the Plan section are for explanation purposes.)

You may save a specified dollar amount of your pay on a before-tax basis, subject to the maximum contribution of $19,500.00 or 100% of compensation.

You may change your contribution amount at any time by completing the Deferral Information section of an Participant Change Authorization Form and returning it to your employer's benefit or payroll representative for processing. You may obtain a copy of the form by downloading it from this Web site or by calling the CalPERS Information Line at 1-800-260-0659 to request an Participant Change Authorization Form or contacting your local Plan representative. Any changes you make to your contribution amount will take effect the month following the month the contribution change is received.

Catch-up Provisions

Age 50+ Catch-up

Individuals who are age 50 or older by the end of the tax year may contribute additional amounts to the CalPERS 457 Plan above the “applicable deferral limit” for the year. The following table lists the applicable 2021 deferral limits, plus the additional amounts that participants who are at least age 50 in that year may contribute:

Plan YearApplicable Deferral LimitAge 50+ Additional DeferralTOTAL
2021$19,500$6,500$26,000
The Age 50+ additional contribution amount is in addition to the normal deferral limit for the applicable year. It may not be used at the same time you are using the Special 457 Catch-up provisions during the three calendar years before your declared normal retirement age. (see below)

Special 457 Catch-Up

The CalPERS 457 Plan also allows you the opportunity to make up for lost time by catching-up on contributions you could have made in previous years but didn’t. If you are an employee who is within three calendar years of the year in which you will attain “normal retirement age” as defined by the CalPERS 457 Plan, you may use the Special 457 Catch-up provision to increase your contributions to as much as twice the otherwise applicable deferral limit — for example, using the Special 457 Catch-up provision in 2021, you could contribute up to $39,000 total (2 X $19,500). In order to take advantage of this provision, you must designate a “Normal Retirement Age” by completing and returning a Declaration of Normal Retirement Age and a Catch-up Worksheet to your employer for processing.

Designating your “normal retirement age” is for the purpose of determining the beginning of the three-year catch-up period only. You do not have to actually retire at the age you designate. You may designate your own “normal retirement age” within the range of ages between age 50, the earliest age at which you can take a normal pension allowance, and age 70½, the age at which the IRS requires you to begin distribution from the deferred compensation plan. The following table lists the applicable deferral limits through 2021, plus the maximum amount available under the Special 457 Catch-up:

Plan YearApplicable Deferral LimitSpecial 457 Catch-up Additional AmountTOTAL
2021$19,500Up to $19,500Up to $39,000
When designating a “normal retirement age”, you generally should choose an age far enough out (generally four or five years from now) that will give you 3 full calendar years in which to use catch-up before the year you turn the age you have designated. For example, if you will turn age 55 in July of the year 2024 designating 55 as your “normal retirement age” will enable you to increase your contributions in catch-up to double the normal applicable deferral limits during all of calendar years 2021, 2022 and 2023. Beginning January, 2024, the year in which you would attain the normal retirement age you have designated, your maximum contribution limit would instead take into account amounts you could also contribute under the Age 50+ Catch-up limit set for 2024.

Note: If you are eligible for both the Special 457 Special Catch-Up and the Age 50+ Catch-Up in 2021, IRS rules provide that you cannot use both in the same tax year -- you can use the catch-up that allows you to contribute the greater amount. For additional information, please call CalPERS Information Line at 1-800-260-0659.