CalPERS 457 Deferred Compensation Plan

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Joining the Plan

All employees whose employers have adopted the CalPERS 457 Deferred Compensation Plan are immediately eligible to join the Plan. There are no minimum service requirements to fulfill, and joining is easy.

You merely complete the CalPERS 457 Plan Enrollment Form which you can obtain from your employer or your local Plan Representative. Complete the Employee New Enrollment Form and the Beneficiary Designation forms, following the form instructions carefully; return both to your Personnel/Payroll Department. It’s that easy.

Before you join, decide what dollar amount from your pay you want to contribute to the Plan. The amount should not exceed the yearly maximum of the IRS limit.

Next, decide how you want your contribution allocated among your choice of investment options. The Target Retirement Date Funds have been designated as the default investment under the Plan. IF YOU DO NOT MAKE AN AFFIRMATIVE INVESTMENT ELECTION PRIOR TO THE DATE THE FIRST CONTRIBUTION IS DEPOSITED INTO YOU ACCOUNT, YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS WILL BE INVESTED IN THE APPROPRIATE TARGET RETREMENT DATE FUND, BASED ON YOUR DATE OF BIRTH AND ASSUMING YOU WILL RETIRE AT AGE 58. Prior to investing you should carefully review all fund information and objectives and consider consulting with an outside investment adviser.

To review the current IRS contribution limits please see Contributing to the Plan.

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Accessing Your Account

An important feature of the CalPERS 457 Plan is your ability to direct your own investments. With the CalPERS 457 Plan, you have ready access to information about your deferred compensation account, including your daily account balance, the price per share of your holdings in the plan, and the performance of your investments. You can transfer funds between investments and perform various transactions concerning your account. Most plan transactions and information requests can be made 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling the CalPERS Information Line at 1-800-260-0659.

Your account access is protected by use of your password and your Social Security number. If you need assistance or have forgotten your password, Participant Service Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific Time except on New York Stock Exchange holidays to help.

Transactions completed before 1:00 PM Pacific Time will be processed the same day. Transactions completed after 1:00 PM Pacific Time will be processed the next business day.

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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
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.

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Choosing Where to Invest Your Plan Money


When it comes to investing, people have different levels of risk tolerance and experience. There are some that have limited knowledge in actively developing an investment portfolio and there are those who prefer to select their own mix of investments.

Offering a simple approach to investing, the Plan’s investment lineup is organized into choices designed to match your level of interest in investing, making investing easier for everyone.

Your choice, simplified.
Your Choice           Your Involvement              The Investment Approach
Target Retirement Date Funds – A diversified portfolio in a single fund.

You select the fund, CalPERS manages the asset allocation of the fund. This approach is convenient if you don’t have the desire, time or experience to actively select your asset allocation and manage it over time.

A series of target retirement date funds offer a diversified portfolio in one fund. Each fund invests in a well-diversified portfolio of a mix of index funds that is automatically rebalanced to a less aggressive mix of investments to become more conservative as it approaches its target date.
Core Funds – A carefully selected list of passively managed investment options.

You select your funds and actively design and manage your asset allocation over time. If you like to design and actively manage your own asset allocation based on your individual circumstances, you can choose from a carefully selected list of core investment fund options. CalPERS has selected a set of six index funds in different asset classes (stocks, bonds, and cash equivalents) so you can diversify your portfolio based on your personal situation.

Rounding out our investment line-up is a Self-Managed Account option that provides you greater fund selection, name brand mutual fund access, and FDIC-insured investment products. The FDIC-insured investment products consist of traditional CDs from a variety of issuers. The Self-Managed Account, if your employer offers this as an option, gives you unparalleled selection to build your own customized investment portfolio by selecting from nearly 4,000 mutual funds in 300 fund families.

In making your investment selection, you can choose to invest your contributions, in 1% increments adding up to 100%, in any combination of the following:

Plus a Self-Managed Account

You may change your fund elections at any time by calling the CalPERS Information Line at 1-800-260-0659.

* Contributions from payroll cannot be made directly to the SMA. For investment in the SMA, you may direct your contributions to the Short-Term Investment Fund, where they can accumulate until you are ready to transfer funds to the SMA.

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Personal Choice Retirement Account (PCRA)

The PCRA is a self-directed brokerage account (SDBA) designed to complement your CalPERS 457 Plan core investments. PCRA gives you greater access to thousands of additional investment choices. It is different than a typical retail brokerage account because it is part of your retirement plan. Because your assets are part of a retirement plan, your investments are tax-deferred. You can only fund your PCRA through transfers from your CalPERS 457 Plan core investments.

To open an account, a minimum transfer amount of $1,000 applies for initial and $250 for subsequent transfers. In addition, a minimum core fund investment balance of $1,000 must be maintained. The plan charges an annual plan administration fee of 29 basis points and a $50 annual maintenance fee. These fees are deducted pro rata on a monthly basis.

You may obtain the PCRA online application instruction from them. Please note the mutual funds are not selected, reviewed or monitored by CalPERS.

Note: Investors should carefully consider information contained in the prospectus, including investment objectives, risks, trading policies, charges and expenses. You can request a prospectus by calling Schwab’s dedicated PCRA Call Center at 1-888-393-PCRA (7272). You may also request a prospectus online at Please read the prospectus carefully before investing.

Schwab Personal Choice Retirement Account® (PCRA) is offered through Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (Member SIPC), a registered broker-dealer which also provides other brokerage and custody services to its customers.

Self -Directed Brokerage Account Fact Sheet (SDBA)
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Vesting in the Plan

Your funds in the CalPERS 457 Plan are held in trust for the exclusive benefit of you and your beneficiaries. You are always 100% vested in your own contributions, employer matching contributions (if applicable) and the investment earnings on those contributions.

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Transferring Money Among the Funds

You may move money between investment options any time through the Account section of this Web site by logging on and selecting "Manage Investments" Under the Investment & Research tab or by calling the automated Plan Information Line at 1-800-260-0659. If you need assistance you can call the Plan Information Line, Monday - Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time and speak with a Participant Service Representative. The options for moving money are:
  • Fund Transfers - You may move money from one fund to another. Transfers must be made in 1% increments, and will be effective the same business day if made before 1 p.m. Pacific Time. You cannot transfer money from one fund to another and back to the original fund in the same day.
  • Reallocate Balances - You may change the way your current balance is invested across all funds at any time. The "Reallocate Balances" transfer transaction must be in percentages and in increments of 1%.
  • Rebalance Account – You may choose to have your account balances reallocated automatically at the end of each quarter to your current Elected Percentages.
Transactions completed before 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time. will be processed the same business day. Transactions completed after 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time. will be processed the next business day. You may cancel a transaction if you do so before 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time on the same day the transaction is made.

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Withdrawing Money From Your Account

The CalPERS 457 Plan is a retirement savings plan. Generally, you cannot withdraw money from your plan account while you are still employed by your employer.

You may, however, make Emergency withdrawals for specific financial hardships prior to separation from employment. Money you withdraw through an emergency withdrawal is subject to income taxes.

Federal tax law severely limits emergency withdrawals to very specific emergency circumstances. Emergency withdrawals may be made only for the following reasons:
  • Hardship due to sudden and unexpected illness or accident of the participant or a dependent that is not covered by insurance or other financial resources
  • Loss of property due to casualty that is not covered by insurance or other financial resources
  • Other similar extraordinary and unforeseeable circumstances and events not covered by insurance or other financial resources
Emergency withdrawals are not available for purposes such as home purchases or tuition expenses. Also, an emergency withdrawal request may be denied if you can relieve the hardship with other financial resources or by ceasing your contributions to the plan.

Other in-service withdrawal options include:
  • Alternate Provider Transfer-Transfer to another 457(b) Plan provider offered through your current employer.
  • In-Service Transfer to Purchase Service credit through CalPERS or another Pension Plan.
  • Rollover Source Withdrawal- You may withdraw a portion or all of the funds you have previously rolled into the CalPERS plan from a previous provider.
  • Small Account Withdrawal-You can withdraw your account balance if the balance is under $5000, no contributions have been made to the account during the two year period immediately preceding the withdrawal, and you have not taken a small account withdrawal previously.
You can request a "Hardship Withdrawal" prefilled form from the Account, Withdrawals, Request a Withdrawal section of this website. Or, you can request by calling 1-800-260-0659 and speaking with Customer Service. Customer Service is available to assist you Monday through Friday between 9:00 am to 8:00 pm Eastern time (excluding New York Stock Exchange holidays).

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Receiving a Distribution

You have a variety of choices available to you for receiving a distribution of your money in the CalPERS 457 Deferred Compensation Plan once you have separated from service with your employer:

  1. You may take a distribution of your money in the plan immediately upon separation, regardless of your age, or whether you are retiring; or you may delay taking a distribution until any later year you select, provided you begin distribution no later than April of the year following the year in which you turn age 72,

  2. You may take a distribution of your money in a lump sum,

  3. You may take a distribution of your money in a partial lump sum, with the remainder payable in installments,

  4. You may take a distribution of your money entirely in installments, over a payout period you select for as long or as short as you want within your lifetime,

  5. You may transfer your money to the 457, 403(b) or 401(k) of another employer for whom you go to work after separating from service with your current employer. Or, you may rollover your money to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or annuity product.

The distribution choices and tax rules governing them are complicated. You are encouraged to talk with a tax advisor or financial planner before deciding how to take your distribution.

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Plan Fees

The CalPERS 457 Plan provides its core investments and services at low cost using a simple and fair fee schedule.

The total fees add to less than one percent per year, no matter what investments you select, or how much you use the plan's services. There are no other fees. Please see schedule below for each fund's total fees.*

Target Retirement Date Funds Total Fees
CalPERS Target Retirement Income Fund 0.32%
CalPERS Target Retirement 2015 Fund 0.32%
CalPERS Target Retirement 2020 Fund 0.32%
CalPERS Target Retirement 2025 Fund 0.32%
CalPERS Target Retirement 2030 Fund 0.32%
CalPERS Target Retirement 2035 Fund 0.32%
CalPERS Target Retirement 2040 Fund 0.32%
CalPERS Target Retirement 2045 Fund 0.32%
CalPERS Target Retirement 2050 Fund 0.32%
CalPERS Target Retirement 2055 Fund 0.32%
Core Index Funds Total Fees
State Street U.S. Government Short-Term Investment Fund 0.33%
State Street U.S. Short-Term Government/Credit Bond Index Fund 0.32%
State Street Real Asset Fund 0.44%
State Street U.S. Bond Index Fund 0.31%
State Street Russell All Cap Index Fund 0.31%
State Street Global All Cap Equity ex U.S. Index Fund 0.32%

*In addition, the Fund may be charged an annual custody fee and such other fees and expenses as are permitted by the Declaration of Trust. Returns shown are net of investment management and plan level expenses. Benchmarks are shown gross of any fees. Historical performance is not necessarily indicative of actual future investment performance, which could differ substantially. Investment return and principal value may fluctuate so that your investment, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than the contributions to your individual account.

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Keeping Track of Your Account

This Web site offers you the most convenient and efficient way to manage your plan account. Check back as often as you'd like for the most current information available.

To reduce cost and help the environment, account statements will be mailed to you just once per year in January. Statements will continue to be run every quarter, and published to your CalPERS 457 Plan account website. If you’d like a paper copy of your statement after this March 31st 2020 statement, you can either print it from the website or ask a Voya representative to mail a copy. Account statements will be available for up to 24 months on the website. If you have signed up for electronic delivery (“eDelivery”), you will receive an email notification as soon as your statement is available. To sign up for eDelivery, log into your CalPERS 457 Plan account and update your communication preferences to receive email notifications when your statements and other account documents are ready to view. If you have questions or need assistance call 1-800-260-0659. Also, anytime you perform a transaction using the CalPERS Plan Information Line, a confirmation statement will be mailed to your home address generally within two to four business days.

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