This page contains basic information and links on Western's retirement programs. Since Western is an agency of the State of Colorado, our employees do not contribute to Social Security, but instead are required to contribute eight percent to either PERA or a DCPP plan, depending upon their employment status. This page contains information on both PERA and the DCPP plans. You will also find information on employee-optional 457, 401(k) and 403(b) deferred compensation plans. Saving for your child's college takes planning, so we've included some links to infomation about 529 Saving for College plans.
Please keep your retirements funds advised of any name, address, or beneficiary changes; changes reported to the Human Resources office will not update your retirement records.
Note for Students: Workstudy students and institutional work students who wish to rollover or cash out a TIAA-CREF account should contact Leonard Silence in the Budget office at 970-943-7028.
Windfall Elimination Provisions of Social Security
Because our employees do not make contributions to Social Security, if an employee is eligible for Social Security benefits upon retirement or disability, the formula used to figure your benefit amount may be modified, giving them a lower Social Security benefit under the Windfall Elimination Provision. The Government Pension Offset may similarly affect any Social Security benefits an employee may be entitled to under their spouse's record. Examples of how the Windfall Elimination Provision afftects social security benefits can be found at this link: WEP Examples
Planning for Retirement
Taking the Mystery Out of Retirement Planning is an interactive online workbook produced by The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to try and make it easier for Americans to prepare for a financially secure retirement. Using the worksheets, individuals who are 10 to 15 years from retirement can calculate their income and savings as well as their projected expenses in retirement.
PERA was established by state law to provide its members with a qualified retirement plan that is a substitute for Social Security. All classified employees are required to participate. All non-benefitted faculty and administrators (i.e., those who work less than half-time) are required to participate. Employees contribute 8 percent of their monthly salary to their member contribution account. The current employer's contribution amount is 12.05 percent. It takes five years of service for the employee to vest in the employer's matching funds. These contributions are tax-deferred until they are returned to you either through a refund or a monthly benefit. For more information, visit their website at www.copera.org or call 1-800-759-7372 and a PERA representative will answer your questions.
PERA conducts Basic Information Meetings around the state for all PERA-covered employees, from new members through retirees. The meetings cover all aspects of PERA. To attend a Group Workshop for employees who are within 3 years of retirement, you will need to pre-register.
Changes to your beneficiary information are made online.
The current rate for purchasing service credit is 18.1% (22.2% if you are over age 50). Information is available on PERA's website or from the Human Resources office. Ten years is the maximum number of years which can be purchased, regardless of when you began PERA-covered employment. (A reinstatement of a refunded PERA account is not subject to the 10-year limit on purchases.)
The DCPP was established by the Board of Trustees of the State Colleges in 1994 for benefitted faculty and administrators (those working half time or more). Benefit eligible faculty and administrators are required to contribute to the DCPP plan, unless they have at least one year of prior PERA service credit, in which case they may choose PERA. Employees contribute 8 percent, the employer match is currently 11.4 percent, and employees are 100% vested from the beginning. Under this plan, the employee is responsible for making his/her own investment decisions through funds offered by professional investment companies selected to service the DCPP.
P.O. Box 4584
Grand Junction, CO 81502
1-800-892-5558 ext 88577
- Fidelity Investment Tax-Exempt Services Company
P.O. Box 770002
Cincinnati, OH 45277-0090
1-800-841-3363 ext 5271
Optional programs available to employees at WSC:
State of Colorado's 457 Deferred Compensation Plan
This program offers pre-tax mutual fund and fixed annuity investments. It is run by PERA and is administered by Great West Life. All benefit eligible employees may participate. Information packets are available in the Human Resources office or online at: http://www.copera.org/pera/active/dc.htm.
Voluntary and available to any benefit eligible employee (not just to PERA members). Information/enrollment packets are available in the Human Resources office or online at: http://www.copera.org/pera/active/dc.htm. For each investment's historical rates of return, click on "latest returns" on the 401(k) homepage. Changes to your contributions may be made by completing a new Contribution Authorization form in the Human Resources office. Changes to investment allocations are made online.
All employees are eligible to participate. The TDA vendor representative is responsible for calculating the maximum dollar amount that the employee may defer and the employee then signs a Salary Reduction Agreement (SRA) to elect the actual amount to be deferred within the limitations of the IRS code.
Most of the TDA vendors visit campus and Human Resources tries to notify all employees via email.
720 S. Colorado Blvd #950N
Denver, CO 80246-9791
Otis Cutright Bill Matthews
2337 South Elm Drive 114 N. Boulevard, Suite 105 (Smith Opera House)
Denver, CO 80222 Gunnison, CO 81230
Fidelity Investment Tax-Exempt Services Company
49 North 400 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
1-800-841-3363 ext 5267
Information from CollegeInvest, Colorado's only section 529 plan, is available by calling 1-800-478-5651 or pickup a packet in Human Resources. Another good resource for section 529 plans, including information on Colorado's plans can be found at the SavingforCollege website.