401(k) Retirement Plan, Savings, Participant Toolkit, 403(b), | TRI-AD

Retirement Plans: Overview

This area is for participants whose employer sponsors a 401(k) or 403(b) retirement savings plan and uses TRI-AD as the Plan Administrator.
TRI-AD keeps track of your account, provides you with educational information, sends you quarterly statements, and helps you meet your retirement savings goals. We provide tools to help you make the most of your 401(k) or 403(b) plan. Once you log in, you can:
- Review an account summary and account details.
- Calculate your retirement savings needs, factoring your existing savings into the picture.
- Track investment performance, automatically rebalance your portfolio, change your investment mix, and get information on fees.
- Add or change beneficiary information.
- View account history, transaction history, and run reports.

How Much Do You Need To Save?

What's Your Retirement Savings IQ?

401(k) Enrollment Guide

How Are the Markets Doing?

401(k) Limits 2016
Contributions : $18,000
Age 50 +: An Additional $6,000


How much money can I put into my 401(k) or 403(b) retirement plan account?
The maximum pretax contribution dollar amount is set by law and adjusted for inflation annually. The current IRS limits can be found on the Retirement Participant Toolkit under Tools/Retirement Contribution Limits. If you are age 50 or older, you may also make an additional catch-up contribution on top of the annual limits. Some plans may offer the option of contributing on an after-tax basis, which is not included in the limits.
What amount should I save?
Retirement planning experts advise saving between 15 and 20% of your income for your entire working career. Even if you can't afford to start off saving this much, you should at least join the plan and contribute as much as you can afford, and then find ways to increase your contribution whenever possible. If your company offers a match, you should contribute at least enough to maximize that match. For example, if your company matches 50 cents on the dollar up to 6% of your contributions, you should contribute at least 6%. If you think you can't find room in your budget to save, click here for some ideas.
What is the difference between investing pretax and post-tax contributions?
Pretax contributions and their earnings are taxed only when you withdraw them. Since the money that would normally be paid in taxes is part of your contribution into the plan, your money adds up quickly. However, if you need to withdraw money prior to age 59 1/2, you may incur a 10% penalty, and owe income taxes on the money you take out. Post-tax contributions (e.g., "Roth" contributions) are taxed before they are put into the plan. Although you won't owe taxes on your contributions when you take a distribution, you will be taxed on the earnings and may be subject to a penalty on the interest earned if you take your money out of the plan before age 59 1/2.
What if my plan doesn't offer all of the investments that I want?
It is your employer's fiduciary responsibility to provide funds in the 401(k) plan that are competitive in both fees and performance. If there is an investment that you do not have access to within your plan, or you do not feel the funds available are competitive, talk to your Human Resources or Benefits Department. You may also open an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) to seek other investment options outside of your 401(k) Plan.
Can I stop contributing for a while if I feel I can't afford it?
Employers are not required by law to allow this. However, most plans do allow you to stop contributing at any time. Some plans may require you to contribute at least a certain percentage for a full plan year, so be sure to check your Summary Plan Description (SPD) regarding the timing of starting and stopping contributions into the plan.
If I leave my company, how long can my former company hold my account balance?
Your plan document provides the timeframe. You can find this information in your Summary Plan Description (SPD). Companies can determine account balances at many different intervals: annually, quarterly, monthly and daily, to name a few. Your distribution cannot be made until this determination, called a "valuation" has been done. For example, in plans that are valued annually, your distribution cannot be paid out until after the valuation has been completed for the previous plan year. While most 401(k) plans are valued on a daily basis, not all of them are, so you shouldn't expect immediate payout of your account after you leave the company. How your money is invested can also affect how long it will take for you to get your distribution, since your investments need to be liquidated (converted to cash) before they can be paid out. While most investments can be liquidated quickly, a few, such as some real estate investments, may take longer. Also, you need to consider the time it takes to process your distribution paperwork. This can take a few days to a few weeks, depending on how your plan is managed. Finally, in rare cases, distributions are not made until the participant has reached retirement age, (holding true to the concept of a retirement plan) usually defined as age 65, even if the participant terminated employment much earlier. This is why it is important to check your SPD for the timing of distributions before requesting the distribution forms.
I still have a 401(k) account with my former employer. Can I transfer it into my current employer's 401(k) plan? Can I transfer it into my IRA?
401(k) balances from previous employers' 401(k) plans can, in most cases, be rolled into another retirement plan with your current employer or put into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). These rollover distributions are tax-free, if the transfer between the two plans is handled properly. Generally, you avoid taxation if funds go directly from the old plan to the new one. Check this Rollover Chart to see if the type of plan you had at a previous employer is eligible to be rolled into the type of plan you have with your current employer. Retirement experts advise rolling money either into an IRA or your new employer's plan when you leave a company, to minimize the chances that you lose track of what's out there, or previous employers lose track of you, which puts your account in jeopardy. If you have 401(k) money you'd like to roll over into your current employer's plan, you'll probably need to fill out two sets of forms: one to release the money from the old 401(k) plan and one to accept the rollover into your current plan. Contact your 401(k) plan administrator to request the rollover forms. There are specific rules about how rollover checks are handled, so make sure you take all of the necessary steps to avoid being taxed on your distribution.