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Act now to maximize your 403(b) and 457(b) contributions

With the final few pay dates for 2011 approaching, now is the time to act if you wish to maximize your pre-tax contributions to the UC Retirement Savings Program’s 403(b) and 457(b) plans or make changes for this calendar (taxable) year.

Following are some guidelines for when and how to process changes. Note that any changes you make now will continue in 2012, so don’t forget to readjust your contributions once 2012 begins, if that is what you wish to do.

How to determine how much you have contributed so far this year

Sign-in to At Your Service and click on “Earnings Statement” in the “Income and Taxes” section. Select the most recent pay date and click on “View Statement” in the right-hand column; then scroll down to see year-to-date totals.

2011 Maximum Annual Contribution (MAC) for each plan

The maximum annual contribution (MAC) for each plan is $16,500; if you are age 50 or older by Dec. 31, 2011, the MAC is $22,000. Payroll deductions stop automatically when these limits are reached.

(Note that if you have 15 years of service with UC as of Dec. 31, 2010, you may be eligible to contribute an additional $3,000 in 2011 under the Lifetime Catch-up Provision; contact Fidelity at 866-682-7787 for details.)

Monthly payroll and deadlines

The check you receive Dec. 1 for November earnings will be the last paycheck of the 2011 calendar year. Here are the deadlines for making changes to your plan contributions:

  • For 403(b) contributions, the deadline is Nov. 15 for making any changes that will be reflected on your Dec. 1 paycheck.
  • For 457(b) contributions, the deadline is Monday, Oct. 31, for making any changes that will be reflected on your Dec. 1 paycheck.

You may not deduct 100 percent of your pay, whether the deduction is for a single plan or a combined percentage for both plans. For example, if you elect a 50 percent deduction for each plan, or 70 percent for one plan and 30 percent for the other, no deduction will be taken for either plan.

If you have questions, please contact the UCOP Benefits Office at 510-987-0900.

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