The TSA Program is a voluntary benefit that the CSU offers to eligible employees. In general, if you're an employee of the CSU, you're eligible to participate in the program. There's no waiting period before you can start participating, and no requirement for minimum hours worked. However, special consultants and employees in certain student classifications - such as resident assistants, graduate assistants and instructional student assistants - are not eligible to participate.
When you participate in the TSA Program, you elect to defer a certain amount from each pay warrant into a special account to save for your retirement. You then choose the fund sponsor(s) with whom you want to invest, and how you want to allocate your money to a variety of investment funds offered. In addition to giving you the opportunity to save and invest for your future, the TSA Program helps lower your taxes today. Your contributions to the plan are set aside on a pre-tax basis - this lowers your taxable income, which lowers your state and federal tax bills.
The CSU is making it even easier to participate in the TSA Program. The TSA Program features:
- A new Master Administrator, Retirement Manager, responsible for day-to-day administration,
- Five fund sponsors, and
- A streamlined selection of fund options to make investing easier.
The maximum amount that you can contribute to the TSA Program each year is set by the IRS. If you're over age 50, the IRS allows you to contribute an additional amount (called a "catch-up contribution") over the annual maximum. Plus, if you have at least 15 years of service with the CSU, you may also be eligible for another type of catch-up contribution. Catch-up contribution information is available on the TSA Program web site at www.calstate.edu/hr/benefitsportal.
Making Rollovers and Transfers into the TSA Program
If you participated in another retirement plan prior to your employment with the CSU, you may elect to roll over your balance in that plan into the TSA Program. If you wish to make a rollover or transfer from a plan, contact the administrator or fund sponsor for that plan.
Accessing Your Money
You're eligible to begin receiving distributions from your account on the earliest of the following dates:
- The day you become disabled (as defined in the fund sponsor contract),
- The day you end your employment with the CSU, or
- The day you reach age 59 ½.
All distributions will be considered taxable income. Your distribution options will vary by fund sponsor. In addition, you also may be able to withdraw money from your account if you experience a financial hardship that meets guidelines set by the IRS. In the event that you make a hardship withdrawal from your account, you will not be eligible to make contributions to the TSA Program for six months.