Valdosta City School District

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Employee Benefits » Tax Sheltered Annuity 403(b)

Tax Sheltered Annuity 403(b)

Tax Sheltered Annuity 403(b)

As an employee of Valdosta City Schools, you have the opportunity to save for your future in a 403(b) tax-deferred retirement savings program.  Remember, 403(b) plans are meant to encourage long-term retirement saving, so income taxes are paid at withdrawal when you may be in a lower tax bracket and if withdrawn before age 59 1/2 might be subject to federal restrictions and a 10% tax penalty.  For additional information about participation, investment options, and more contact your annuity representative.

METLIFE –
800.842.9406
FAX – 877.549.5834

Representatives:

Gordon McElrath – 229.251.1948

Nick Nickerson – 229.444.2094

Mailing Address: MetLife
PO Box 10356
Des Moines, IA 50306-0356

VALIC –
800.448.2542
FAX – 877.202.0187

Representatives:

Debbie Smith – 229.292.1003

Brad Skinner – 229.305.6378

Mailing Address: VALIC
Document Control
PO Box 15648
Amarillo, TX 79105-5648

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1.  What is a loan/hardship certificate? 
 

A loan/hardship certificate is a required certificate that you printout online from Retirement Manager that approves or denies your request for a loan or hardship at the plan level. 

2.  What are the qualifications for a hardship?

Valdosta City Schools uses the safe harbor rules designed by the IRS as qualifications for a hardship. 

They are:  a)Purchasing a primary residence  b)Forfeiture or foreclosure on your home  c)Additional expenses for home repair due to catastrophic event not covered by insurance  d)Continuing education tuition expenses incurred for one year e)Unpaid health expenses within six months of treatment, or  f)Funeral expenses for an immediate family member or transportation expenses incurred to attend funeral service for immediate family member. 

3.  How much money can I receive for a loan or hardship? 

The amount of money you receive is based on the amount of money you have in your account and can only be answered on an individual level.  Contact your representative for help in this area.

4.  Is employee money the only money that is available to me when requesting a loan or hardship?

Yes.

5.  Will I have to pay taxes on my loan or hardship money?

You will pay no taxes on loan money unless you default on the loan.  You will pay taxes on the money withdrawn for your hardship.

6.  Do my contributions continue with a hardship in place?

(PSERS) When an employee enrolled in PSERS receives a hardship, any employee contributions over the mandatory 4% will be discontinued for 6 months.

(TRSGA) When an employee enrolled in TRSGA receives a hardship, any employee contributions will be discontinued for 6 months.

7.  How often may I request a loan or hardship?

You are allowed one active loan at a time and/or one hardship withdrawal per 12 month period.

Please contact Beverly Kay, (229) 671-6055,  to resume contributions after the 6 months or when your hardship is over. 

How to Request Loan/Hardship Information

Process:  1) Go to Retirement Manager and request a certificate. 2) Contact VALIC/METLIFE representative or VALIC/METLIFE company to request appropriate paperwork.  3) If requesting a hardship, make sure you have supporting documentation.  4) Submit all paperwork to VALIC/METLIFE.

Retirement Manager Website:  www.myretirementmanager.com 

Tax Sheltered Annuity Information for Employees Enrolled in TRS/ERS

All Valdosta City Schools' employees may may contribute a voluntary amount to one of the endorsed annuity companies at Valdosta City Schools.  The maximum contribution limit is currently $18,000 for the calendar year.  A catch-up of $6,000 for persons over age 50, and an additional $3,000 for employees with at least 15 years of service is allowed.  Contributions are not subject to federal or state tax and may be changed at any time. 

Valdosta City Schools will contribute 4.5% of full-time employee gross pay to your plan.  At the completion of 3 years of service with Valdosta City Schools, you are 100% vested in employer contributions.  Vesting applies to employees hired on or after July 1, 2011.   

All TRS/ERS employees hired on or before July 1, 2011, who are enrolled in Teachers Retirement System of Georgia (TRSGA) will not be required to contribute to their 403(b).  TRSGA is a state retirement system that meets the minimum requirements for social security exemption so our employees are not required to contribute to a 403(b).   However, if it is your choice, you may contribute and receive the additional retirement and tax benefits.  VCS will continue to contribute the 4.5% to your account whether you choose to contribute or not.  You must see your company representative and complete the appropriate paperwork with your signature to change your contribution.  Any changes you make to your contribution are not permanent.   You may adjust your contribution anytime by seeing your representative and completing the appropriate paperwork with your signature and date.  

All TRS/ERS employees hired on or after July 1, 2011 are required to complete three years of service with Valdosta City Schools to be vested.  You must be vested to receive the employer funds.

All TRS/ERS employees hired on or after July 1, 2013 will receive an employee match up to 4.5%. You must contribute to receive up to 4.5% from the employer. 

Effective Feb. 15, 2011, Valdosta City Schools in conjunction with Retirement Manager will allow loans and hardship withdrawals from your tax sheltered annuity.  There are many IRS rules and regulations regarding in-service withdrawals.  VCS has contracted with Retirement Manager to help stay in compliance with those rules and allow our active employees to make withdrawals.  You are allowed one active loan at a time and/or one hardship withdrawal per 12 month period.  Under the Safe Harbor rules for hardship there are six reasons to withdrawal money.  You must fall into one of these categories and have supporting documentation to withdraw money under a hardship.  Please refer to the frequently asked questions and "How to Request Loan/Hardship Information" to make a loan or hardship withdrawal.  For instructions on how to use Retirement Manager, download the “Quick Reference Guide.”   This will help you with getting your certificate which is your first step.  If you make a mistake entering the information for your certificate request in Retirement Manager, contact your annuity representative.  VCS will not complete paperwork or submit forms for individuals.  Loans and hardship withdrawals will be handled by Retirement Manager and your tax sheltered Annuity Company/representative.  Always remember, you can contact your representative or the company for help at any time.

Tax Sheltered Annuity Information for Employees Enrolled in PSERS

All full time (30 hours) Valdosta City Schools' employees enrolled in PSERS must contribute a minimum of 4% of their gross pay to the endorsed annuity companies at VCS.  The maximum contribution limit is currently $18,000 for the calendar year.  A catch-up for $6,000 for persons over age 50, and an additional $3,000 for employees with at least 15 years of service is allowed.  Contributions are not subject to federal or state tax and may be changed any time. 

Valdosta City Schools will contribute 4.5% of full-time employee gross pay to your Plan.  You are 100% vested in employer contributions.   

All employees who are enrolled in Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) will be required to contribute 4% to their 403(b).  PSERS is a state retirement system that does not meet the minimum requirements for social security exemption so our employees are required to contribute to a 403(b).   However, effective Feb. 15, 2011, Valdosta City Schools in conjunction with Retirement Manager will allow loans and hardship withdrawals from your tax sheltered annuity.  There are many IRS rules and regulations regarding in-service withdrawals.  VCS has contracted with Retirement Manager to help stay in compliance with those rules and allow our active employees to make withdrawals.  You are allowed one active loan at a time and/or one hardship withdrawal per 12 month period.  Under the rules for hardship there are six reasons to withdraw money.  You must fall into one of these categories and have supporting documentation to withdrawal money under a hardship.  Please refer to the frequently asked questions and “How to Request Loan/Hardship Information” to make a loan or hardship withdrawal.  For instructions on how to use Retirement Manager, download the “Quick Reference Guide.”   This will help you with getting your certificate which is your first step.  If you make a mistake entering the information for your certificate request in Retirement Manager, contact your annuity representative.   VCS will not complete paperwork or submit forms for individuals.   Loans and hardship withdrawals will be handled by Retirement Manager and your tax sheltered Annuity Company/representative.  Always remember, you can contact your representative or the company for help at any time.