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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. 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 Retirement@ Work Account Information Summary (.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 Retirement@Work Account Information Summary (.pdf). Please note: You can change your investment fund choice(s) at any time online on each investment provider’s website.

Voluntary Retirement Plans

FIT offers two voluntary retirement plans:  the SUNY Tax-Deferred Annuity Plan (SUNY TDA) and the New York State Deferred Compensation Plan (NYSDCP), a 457(b) retirement plan.  These are 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 TDA)

SUNY’s Tax-Deferred Annuity Plan (SUNY TDA) is a defined contribution plan which allows you to set aside a portion of your salary to save for retirement on a tax-deferred basis.  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 amount contributed, the performance of your account’s investments, and the balance in your account at that time.  FIT does not contribute to this plan.

You may contribute any dollar amount or percentage of salary up to the current IRS annual contribution limits of $18,000 for employees under age 50, and $24,000 for employees age 50 and over in the current calendar year.  Your elected contributions are taken from each paycheck you receive.

Contributions are not subject to Federal Income Tax, New York State Income Tax, or local taxes.

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 through Retirement@Work online.  Please refer to the "First Time Users" section of the Retirement@Work Account Information Summary (.pdf).  For enrollment assistance, please contact an FIT benefits representative at (212)217-3670.  

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

You may change the amount you are contributing or change your investment provider(s) at any time by logging into Retirement@Work. Follow the instructions in the "Making Deferral Changes" section of the Retirement@Work Information Summary (.pdf). 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 Retirement@Work Information Summary (.pdf).  For assistance, please contact an FIT benefits representative at (212) 217-3670.

New York State Deferred Compensation Plan (NYSDCP)

The New York State Deferred Compensation Plan (NYSDCP) is a New York State-sponsored 457(b) defined contribution plan which allows you to set aside a portion of your salary to save for retirement on a tax-deferred basis.  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 and the performance of your account’s investments.  FIT does not contribute to this plan.

There are two plan options available: the Traditional Pre-Tax 457(b) Plan and the Roth 457(b) Plan. You may contribute to one or both plans.

  • You may contribute a minimum of 1 percent of your compensation, but not less than $10 per paycheck to either plan.  
  • You may contribute any dollar amount up to the current IRS annual contribution limits of $18,000 for employees under age 50, and $24,000 for employees age 50 and over in the current calendar year.  If you contribute to both 457(b) Plan options (see below), 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 Tax-Deferred Annuity Plan (SUNY TDA) 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.  
  • You select where to invest your contributions from the various investment firms and fund options selected by the New York State Deferred Compensation Board. Upon employment separation distributions may be taken prior to age 59½ with no early withdrawal penalty.

Traditional Pre-Tax 457(b) Plan

  • Contributions are deducted from each paycheck that you receive and are not subject to Federal Income Tax, New York State Income Tax, or local taxes.
  • Upon separation from service, distributions may be taken prior to age 59½ with no early withdrawal penalty.

Roth 457(b) Plan

  • Contributions are taken from each paycheck you receive on an after-tax basis. That means the contributions are subject to Federal Income Tax, New York State Income Tax, and local taxes at that time. (Your taxable income is not reduced.)
  • You may request a distribution from your account, which would not be subject to taxation if:
    • You are at least age 59 ½, or you are disabled, and
    • At least five years have passed since your first Roth 457(b) contribution was made. (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 NYSDCP at 800-422-8463.

How to Enroll

For enrollment information please go to the NYSDCP website, www.nysdcp.com.   To obtain an Enrollment Application form, click on the “Enroll” link.  On the Enrollment Application form, please enter the Local Plan ID Number as 212023.  You do not enter a New York State Employee ID number.  You may also call NYSDCP at (800)422-8463 for assistance with enrollment.  The completed and signed Enrollment Application form must be mailed or faxed to the New York State Deferred Compensation Plan’s Administrative Service Agency as noted on the last page of the Enrollment Application form.  To make changes after enrolling in the Plan, you will need to contact NYSDCP at (800) 422-8463.

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