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Retirement Plan Options

FIT offers a number of retirement plan options.  Enrollment in either the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System or the SUNY Optional Retirement Plan is mandatory for full-time employees. FIT also offer two supplemental retirement plan options that are available to you on a voluntary basis.  Please refer to the information below which includes information on how to enroll.

If you are an FIT Foundation employee your plan details and enrollment processes differ from the information provided below.  Please consult with a FIT Benefits representative, 212 217.3670, for more information.

Mandatory Retirement Plan Enrollment

Enrollment in either the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System (NYSTRS) or the SUNY Optional Retirement Program (SUNY ORP) is required within the first 30 days of your appointment/date of hire. Once you have enrolled in a mandatory Retirement Plan, your decision is irrevocable during your employment with FIT.  Please review the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System and SUNY Optional Retirement Program comparison (.pdf) for a side-by-side plan comparison of the two plan options.

New York State Teachers' Retirement System (NYSTRS)

Available to Instructional Staff and a select group of other titles determined by the New York State Teachers' Retirement System

The Plan through NYSTRS is a defined benefit plan (traditional pension plan). Under this type of plan, retirement pension benefits will depend on the results of a calculation at the time of retirement that takes into account your Final Average Salary, number of years of credited service, and your age at the time of retirement. There is a 10-year vesting period which, once met, means you have a non-forfeitable right to the benefit upon reaching retirement as defined under the terms of the Plan. For membership, benefits, and other plan-related information, please visit www.nystrs.org or call (800) 348-7298.

Required contributions

If you enroll in NYSTRS you are required to make contributions which are taken from each paycheck you receive.

The current required employee contribution is based on regular compensation, as follows:

Wages of $45,000 or less.................................................3%
Wages of $45,000.01 to $55,000.....................................3.5%
Wages of $55,000.01 to $75,000.................…................4.5%
Wages of $75,000.01 to $100,000...................................5.75%
Wages of more than $100,000...........................................6%

Employee contributions are not subject to federal income tax, but are subject to New York State income tax.

Enrollment

To enroll in NYSTRS you are required to complete an Application for Membership (.pdf) which must be notarized and submitted to a FIT benefits representative. Membership will begin the first day of employment on or after the notarization date on your completed membership application form.  Also, if you were previously a member of NYSTRS or another public retirement system with New York State (excluding the SUNY Optional Retirement Plan) or held a position in which you were eligible for membership, but did not join a retirement system, it may be possible for you to purchase credit for such service and receive prior service credit. (Information can be found in the NYSTRS pamplet You Deserve the Credit (.pdf)). You may do so by completing the Prior Service Claim (PRS-2) Form (.pdf) and the Verification of NYS Teaching (PRS-3) Form (.pdf) and submitting the forms to an FIT benefits representative.  Please note that receiving credit for prior service does not change your date of membership or your membership tier, unless it is the result of a membership reinstatement or transfer.

Once you are an enrolled member you should register for a NYSTRS a NYSTRS online account.

SUNY Optional Retirement Program (ORP)

Available to all Full-Time employees

This is a defined contribution plan. Your benefit upon retirement depends on the amount contributed, the performance of your account’s investments, and the balance in your account at that time. If elected, your participation begins on your date of appointment/date of hire.

Contributions

If you enroll in the SUNY ORP, contributions to this plan are made by you and by the College. The current required employee contribution is based on regular compensation, as follows:

Wages of $45,000 or less.................................................3%
Wages of $45,000.01 to $55,000.....................................3.5%
Wages of $55,000.01 to $75,000.....................................4.5%
Wages of $75,000.01 to $100,000...................................5.75%
Wages of more than $100,000...........................................6%

Employee contributions are taken from each paycheck you receive. The contributions are not subject to Federal Income Tax, but are subject to New York State Income Tax and local taxes, FICA and Medicare taxes.

Once you meet the vesting period requirements described below, the College will begin making contributions which are applied to your retirement account at the time you are paid. The College’s contribution through your seventh year of service is 8% of your salary and 10% of your salary for all years thereafter.

Vesting Period

There is a 366-day vesting period before you may receive College contributions.  Once you complete the vesting period as a SUNY employee, you will have a non-forfeitable right to FIT’s contributions and the earnings on those contributions.

NOTE: The 366-day vesting period may be waived if you have an existing vested employer-funded retirement contract through any prior employer with TIAA, Fidelity Investments, VALIC, of Voya Financial.

Investment Providers

You have the option of directing your contributions to a variety of SUNY approved investment funds offered by one or more of the following SUNY approved investment providers:

  • TIAA
  • Fidelity Investments
  • VALIC
  • VOYA Financial

If you do not wish to select specific investment funds, contributions can be invested in a Lifecycle Fund (also known as a Target Date Fund) that most closely matches your retirement year (attainment of age 65). This investment fund option provides a diversified portfolio by investing in a selection of investment funds which are professionally managed and automatically adjusted over time to become more conservative as retirement nears.  

Representatives from each investment provider are available on campus throughout the year for individual employee meetings. Please view the current schedule for more information.

How to Enroll

You must register and enroll through Retirement@Work online within the first 30 days of your appointment /date of hire.  Please refer to the "First Time Users" section of the.  Please refer to the Making Retirement Account Changes Guide (.pdf). For enrollment assistance please contact a Retirement@Work consultant at 866-271-0960.

How to Make Changes to Your ORP Investment Provider(s)

You may change your SUNY ORP investment provider(s) at any time by logging into Retirement@Work.  If you are not registered at Retirement@Work you will need to register in order to make a change (please see the "First Time Users" section of the Making Retirement Account Changes Guide (.pdf). Please note: You can change your investment fund choice(s) at any time online on each investment provider’s website.


Voluntary Retirement Programs

FIT offers two voluntary retirement plans:  the SUNY Voluntary Savings Plan and the New York State Deferred Compensation Plan (NYSDCP).  These are both defined contribution plans consisting of employee contributions only (FIT does not contribute to these plans). You may choose to enroll in one or both of these plans at any time and contribution changes may be made at any time. Your elected contribution(s) is taken from each paycheck you receive.

SUNY Tax-Deferred Annuity Plan

SUNY’s Voluntary Savings Plan is a 403(b) retirement plan which allows you to set aside a portion of your salary to save for retirement. You may begin participation in this plan at any time and contribution changes may be made at any time.  Your benefit upon retirement depends on the plan option, the amount contributed, the performance of your account’s investments, and the balance in your account at that time.  

There are two plan options available: the Traditional Pre-Tax Plan Option and the Roth After-Tax Plan Option. You may contribute to one or both plan options.

  • You may contribute a flat-dollar amount or a whole percentage amount from each paycheck to either plan option.
  • You may contribute up to the current IRS annual contribution limits of $18,500 for employees under age 50, and $24,500 for employees age 50 and over in the current calendar year.  If you contribute to both the pre-tax and after-tax plan options, the combined annual contribution to both plan options may not exceed these annual limits.
  • The allowable contribution is over-and-above any amount you contribute to the New York State Deferred Compensation Plan described below. 
  • You select where to invest your contributions from the various investment providers and investment fund options approved by SUNY.

Traditional Pre-Tax Plan Option

  • Contributions are deducted from each paycheck that you receive and are not subject to Federal, New York State, or local income taxes.
  • Distributions may be taken with no early withdrawal penalty on or after reaching age 59 ½ while you are still employed, due to a disability, or if you are separated from service and at least age 55.
  • Distributions are generally taxed as ordinary income.

Roth After-Tax Plan Option

  • Contributions are deducted from each paycheck that you receive on an after-tax basis. That means the contributions are subject to Federal, New York State, and local income taxes at that time. (Your taxable income is not reduced.)
  • Distributions may be taken with no early withdrawal penalty on or after reaching age 59 ½ while you are still employed, due to a disability, or if you are separated from service and at least age 55.
  • Distributions are not subject to taxation if:
  • You are age 59 ½ or if you are disabled, and
  • At least five years have passed since your first Roth contribution was made to the plan. (Counted from the January 1 of the year you made your first contribution.)

You have the option of directing your contributions to a variety of SUNY approved investment funds offered by one or more of the following SUNY approved investment providers:

  • TIAA
  • Fidelity Investments
  • VALIC
  • VOYA Financial

Representatives from each investment provider are available on campus throughout the year for individual employee meetings. Please view the current schedule for more information.

How to Enroll

You must register and enroll online through Retirement@Work.  Please refer to the "First Time Users" information in the Making Retirement Account Changes Guide (.pdf).

How to Make Changes to Your Contribution Amount and/or Investment Provider(s)

You may change the amount you are contributing to either plan option or change your investment provider(s) at any time by logging into Retirement@Work.  Follow the instructions in the "Making 403(b) Deferral Changes" section of the Making Retirement Account Changes Guide (.pdf).  If you are yet not registered at Retirement@Work please refer to the “First Time Users” information in the guide in order to register and make changes.  

For additional assistance, please contact a Retirement@Work representative at 866-271-0960 or a FIT Benefits Representative at (212) 217-3670 or via email at HR_Benefit@fitnyc.edu.

 

New York State Deferred Compensation Plan (NYSDCP)

The New York State Deferred Compensation Plan (NYSDCP) is a 457(b) retirement plan available to New York State public employees only which allows you to set aside a portion of your salary to save for retirement.  You may begin participation in this plan at any time and contribution changes may be made at any time.  Your benefit upon retirement depends on the plan option, the amount contributed, the performance of your account’s investments, and the balance in your account at that time.  

There are two plan options available: the Traditional Pre-Tax Plan Option and the Roth After-Tax Plan Option. You may contribute to one or both plan options.

  • You may contribute a flat-dollar amount (minimum $10 per paycheck) or a whole percentage from each paycheck to either plan option.
  • You may contribute up to the current IRS annual contribution limits of $18,500 for employees under age 50, and $24,500 for employees age 50 and over in the current calendar year.  If you contribute to both the pre-tax and after-tax plan options, the combined annual contribution to both plan options may not exceed these annual limits.
  • The allowable contribution is over-and-above any amount you contribute to the SUNY Voluntary Savings Plan described previously. 
  • You select where to invest your contributions from the various investment providers and investment fund options approved by the New York State Deferred Compensation Board.  

Traditional Pre-Tax Plan Option

  • Contributions are deducted from each paycheck that you receive and are not subject to Federal, New York State, or local income taxes.
  • Upon separation from service, distributions may be taken with no early withdrawal penalty, however, funds rolled into or out of the plan may be subject to an early withdrawal penalty.
  • Distributions are generally taxed as ordinary income.

Roth After-Tax Plan Option

  • Contributions are deducted from each paycheck you receive on an after-tax basis. That means the contributions are subject to Federal, New York State, and local income taxes at that time. (Your taxable income is not reduced.)
  • Early withdrawal penalties do not apply to this plan option.
  • Distributions are not subject to taxation if:
  • You have separated from service, and
  • At least five years have passed since your first Roth contribution was made to the plan. (Counted from the January 1 of the year you made your first contribution.)

For additional information on this plan, please refer to the NYSDCP Plan Highlights (.pdf) website, www.nysdcp.com or call the NYSDCP HELPLINE at 800-422-8463.

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