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A Publication for VRS Members
September 2017 | Archives
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Your Member Benefit Profile Now Available in myVRS
Your Member Benefit Profile Now Available in myVRS

Be the MVP in Your Retirement. Review Your 2017 MBP

If you are a Plan 1 or Plan 2 member, your 2017 Member Benefit Profile (MBP) is now available in your myVRS account.

Your MBP is your annual benefit statement based on information your employer reported to VRS as of June 30. It provides account balance information, details on when you will be eligible for retirement and information on other benefits you may be eligible for, such as group life insurance and the health insurance credit.

If you are a Hybrid Retirement Plan member, you do not receive an MBP; however, you can review your account information online in myVRS. A refreshed Retirement Estimator now integrates your defined benefit and defined contribution accounts. You can create estimates of your future benefits based on different retirement dates or payout options and explore which options will best meet your needs. The estimator is also available for Plan 1 and Plan 2 members.

Hybrid members can also monitor voluntary contributions through myVRS. A summary of your voluntary contributions percentage appears on your myVRS homepage as a reminder to maximize your employer match while saving for retirement.

Use your myVRS information and your MBP to plan for your future.

 
National Retirement Security Week - Sponsored by NAGDCA

Telling Your Own Story: National Retirement Security Week Is October 15-21

How would you tell your retirement planning story? Are you at the part where you start saving? Or further along, when you need to save more? National Retirement Security Week, October 15-21, is a good time to write your own story about your future. If you haven't started saving, now is the time to start. If you are already saving, think about saving more to build your retirement.

Here are some considerations as you write your retirement story:

  • To live comfortably during retirement, most experts agree that you will need 80 to 100 percent of your pre-retirement income.
  • Start as soon as possible to save as much as possible.
  • Participate in the Commonwealth of Virginia 457 Deferred Compensation Plan, if offered by your employer, a supplemental 403(b) plan, or another employer-sponsored plan. Visit myVRS to see how starting an account or increasing your contributions can add to your retirement savings.
  • If you are a member of the Hybrid Retirement Plan, consider increasing your voluntary contributions. You'll enjoy the advantages of long-term tax-deferred savings and receive an employer match. Learn more about voluntary contributions.
  • Track your progress toward your retirement savings goals throughout your career and be ready to make changes when needed.
  • Increase your contributions as often as possible to help your money grow faster.
  • Keep track of your investment performance.
  • Don’t leave money on the table. Take advantage of your employer match, if offered.
  • Refer to VRS’ Education and Counseling webpage for a complete schedule of live and recorded presentations on retirement planning and VRS benefits. Join VRS during NRSW for instructor-led presentations, webinars and other activities. Sessions will include: Women and Money, Looking Ahead: Building Retirement Security, “Adulting” 101, Money Bingo and Understanding Your Life Insurance Benefits. Individual counseling sessions also are available.
 
myVRS Financial Wellness - Powered by Enrich

Want to Improve Your Financial Wellness? myVRS Has You Covered

Now you have an easy way to fine-tune your money-management skills and make sense of credit, insurance, taxes and other financial mysteries.

Beginning this month on the VRS website, you can access the myVRS Financial Wellness program, powered by Enrich. The offerings include articles, infographics and videos to help you make the most of your finances and manage your money effectively as you plan for retirement.

Personalized Financial Wellness Content to Follow Later This Year

Later this year, when you log into your myVRS account, you will have access to additional content and videos, plus calculators, educational games, budgeting tools and a library of mini courses to evaluate your current financial knowledge and improve the money skills that are most important to you.

VRS is providing these resources to help grow your knowledge and confidence in making day-to-day financial decisions that will prepare you for retirement.

 

VRS Investment Returns Reach 12.1 Percent for Fiscal Year 2017

The Virginia Retirement System achieved a 12.1 percent return, net of fees, on its investment portfolio for fiscal year 2017, exceeding both the 11.8 percent policy benchmark set by the VRS Board of Trustees and the 7 percent assumed rate of return. The trust fund ended the year with approximately $74 billion in assets, a historic high. Read the full release.

 

Hybrid Retirement Plan Member News

Take Advantage of Voluntary Contributions

You know you may be leaving money on the table, right? If you put money in your Hybrid 457 Deferred Compensation Plan account (up to 4 percent of your creditable compensation), your employer will match a portion of that contribution (up to 2.5 percent).

Contributing the maximum in voluntary contributions gets you the maximum employer match and builds your retirement savings. You can see the impact of voluntary contributions and other deductions on your paycheck using the Hybrid Member Paycheck Calculator.

If you’re not making the most of the employer match, act now. You can start or increase your voluntary contribution elections on a quarterly basis. To begin or increase contributions in October, you must make an election by 4 p.m. on September 15. If you miss the September date, your next quarterly deadline is December 15.

To increase the amount of your voluntary contributions, go to www.varetire.org/hybrid and log into Account Access, or call ICMA-RC Investor Services at 1-877-327-5261 and select option 1.

Already Contributing the Maximum Amount of Voluntary Contributions?

You can supplement your savings by participating in the Commonwealth of Virginia 457 Deferred Compensation Plan, if your employer offers the plan. If you are a state employee and are contributing the maximum 4 percent voluntary contribution to your Hybrid 457 Deferred Compensation Plan, and you are contributing at least $10 per pay period to the Commonwealth’s 457 Plan, you are eligible for an employer match through the Virginia Cash Match Plan equal to 50 percent of your contributions, not to exceed $20 per pay period.

If you are a school division or a political subdivision employee, your employer may provide additional savings opportunities. Check with your employer to learn more.

Please be aware of annual IRS contribution limits when contributing to a supplemental 457(b) plan. The annual IRS contribution limit includes any voluntary contributions that Hybrid Retirement Plan members make to the Hybrid 457 Deferred Compensation Plan and another supplemental 457 plan. Any Roth after-tax or pre-tax contributions made to the Commonwealth of Virginia 457 Deferred Compensation Plan also count toward the limit.

Discover how your contributions and your employer’s match can help your savings grow. Contact your human resource office for more information.

Your Hybrid Retirement Plan World Explained

Retirement planning and investing can be complicated, but VRS offers seminars that explain the Hybrid Retirement Plan’s defined contribution component and guide you through the investment world and its language.

Learn more about your plan benefits, mandatory and voluntary contributions and employer match by attending the Hybrid Retirement Plan Overview seminar. Find out more about investment terms, your investment options and the investment paths by attending the Understanding Your Investment Options seminar. Consider reviewing your investment account with a defined contribution specialist through a one-on-one consultation.

Check out the seminars and meetings VRS is offering throughout the state this fall.

 

Revised Member Handbooks Now Available

VRS has updated member handbooks to include July 1 legislative and administrative changes. Printed handbooks are updated with addenda, and handbooks available only online have been updated within the text.

All handbooks are available in PDF format on the VRS website. The following handbooks are also available in print:

  • Enhanced Benefits for Eligible Political Subdivision Hazardous Duty Employees Handbook for Members – Plan 2
  • State Police Officers' Retirement System Handbook for Members (SPORS) – Plan 2
  • Virginia Law Officers' Retirement System Handbook for Members (VaLORS) – Plan 2
  • Hybrid Retirement Plan Handbook
  • Getting Ready to Retire Guide for Plan 1 and Plan 2 Members
  • Virginia Local Disability Program (VLDP)
  • Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP)
  • VRS Disability Retirement

Contact your employer or VRS to obtain a print copy of your plan handbook.

Refer to your handbook for retirement eligibility requirements, benefit options, life insurance information and health insurance credit information.

 

No Increases and Some Decreases to Optional Life Insurance Rates

There is good news if you participate in optional group life insurance. Many participants will see a decrease in premiums and no one will see an increase. Optional life insurance provides additional coverage for your spouse and dependent children.

The VRS Board of Trustees approved a reduction in the optional group life premium rates effective September 1.

Optional Group Life Insurance Plan Premium Rates for Employee and Spouse
Monthly Premiums per $1,000 of Insurance
Age of Insured Member or Spouse Current Rate Rate Effective September 1, 2017 Percentage Reduction
Under 30 $.05 $.05 0%
30-34 .05 .05 0%
35-39 .06 .06 0%
40-44 .09 .08 11%
45-49 .14 .14 0%
50-54 .20 .20 0%
55-59 .33 .33 0%
60-64 .65 .59 9%
65-69 1.15 1.06 8%
70-74 2.06 2.06 0%
75 & Over 2.06 2.06 0%
 
Optional Group Life Insurance Plan
Monthly Premium Rates for Dependent Child Insurance
Option Member Coverage Child Benefit Monthly Rate
1 1 x salary $10,000 $0.80
2 2 x salary 10,000 0.80
3 3 x salary 20,000 1.60
4 4 x salary 30,000 2.40
 

ICMA-RC Relocates Virginia Service Center and VRS Rolls Out New Branding for the Defined Contribution Plans

ICMA-RC, the record keeper for the VRS Defined Contribution Plans, has moved its Virginia Service Center in Richmond to 951 E. Byrd Street, Suite 530, Richmond, VA 23219.

Defined Contribution Plans - Virginia Retirement System

At the new location, ICMA-RC offers education and counseling about your investment options, your distribution options, your contributions and your retirement savings strategy.

The service center is open for walk-ins and scheduled appointments, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. To meet with a representative during the noon to 1 p.m. lunch hour, please schedule an appointment. To schedule an appointment or speak to a Defined Contribution Plans Retirement Specialist, call toll-free: 1-VRS-DC-Plan1 (1-877-327-5261, Option 2).

To register for a group seminar, webinar or one-on-one meeting and to find a defined contribution plan specialist in your area, go to www.varetire.org/dcplans and select your plan.

You’ll notice a new look for the VRS Defined Contribution Plans on plan materials, webinars and at the new service center. The new DCP logo helps you easily identify your defined contribution plan resources.

 

FAQ: Will I Have Health Insurance Coverage in Retirement?

If you are a state employee, you are eligible to enroll yourself as well as a spouse or dependent children in the State Retiree Health Benefits Program at retirement. Submit the State Health Benefits Program Enrollment Form for Retirees, Survivors and LTD Participants (T-20879) with your retirement application or within 31 days of your retirement date. The form is available at www.varetire.org. If you are a school division or a political subdivision employee, contact your human resource office about retiree health insurance your employer may offer.

Medicare is another part of your health insurance coverage. You become eligible for Medicare when you reach age 65. Medicare includes coverage for hospital care (Part A) at no cost to you and medical care (Part B), for which you pay monthly premiums. You may elect coverage under the prescription drug plan (Part D). Once Medicare coverage goes into effect, it becomes your primary health care insurer.

 

Member Education Icon  Member Education

Classroom and webinar courses are posted on the VRS website as they are scheduled. Register from our Education and Counseling pages.

Retirement Planning
Copyright © 2017 Virginia Retirement System

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