Retirement and Deferred Compensation
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Retirement & Deferred Compensation Forms
Washington State Retirement Systems
What is Deferred Compensation?
Deferred compensation is a voluntary savings plan, which allows you to save pre-tax dollars and invest for your retirement. Federal income taxes are deferred until your assets are withdrawn, usually during retirement when you may be in a lower tax bracket. It is also referred to as "deferred comp".
Who is eligible to participate in deferred compensation?
All regular Thurston County employees and elected officials are eligible to enroll in deferred compensation.
How do I enroll?
Thurston County offers enrollment in the following three (3) Deferred Compensation 457 Plans: ICMA, MassMutual and Nationwide. You can enroll at any time throughout the year. Enrollment packets containing forms and investment information are available for each plan. To receive a packet, contact Human Resources at 867-2492, or e-mail the benefits team at Benefits@co.thurston.wa.us.
How can I make changes?
You may increase, decrease, or suspend your deferral by completing a deferral change form available under the Retirement and Deferred Compensation Forms link. Changes can be submitted to Human Resources at any time throughout the year. The deferral change form must be signed and delivered to Human Resources prior to the 1st day of the month in which the change is to take effect. All changes will be implemented as quickly as administratively possible beginning in the month following your election to change your deferral amount. However, because of payroll timeframes, your deferral change may not occur for up to two payroll periods.
BE SURE TO RETURN ALL COMPLETED FORMS TO HR
How much can I defer each year?
Effective January 1, 2020:
- Normal Maximum Contribution Limit: $19,500 per year
- Additional Age 50 Catch-Up Contribution Limit (allows participants’ reaching age 50 or older during the year to contribute an additional amount annually):
- $19,500 + $6,500 = $26,000 per year total contribution limit for age 50 catch-up.
- Normal 457 Catch-Up Contribution Limit (allows a participant to make up for eligible contributions not deferred in prior years. You may utilize this provision three years prior to your planned retirement date. A worksheet will determine the contribution amount):
- $19,500 + $19,500 = $39,000 per year total contribution limit for normal catch-up.
Can I make withdrawals from my deferred comp account?
In most cases, you may not withdraw funds while you are an active Thurston County employee. In rare instances, funds may be withdrawn for an unforeseeable emergency subject to strict IRS guidelines.
How do I apply for an unforseeable emergency withdrawal?
If you suffer a severe financial hardship due to extraordinary and unforeseeable circumstances, you may qualify for an "unforeseeable emergency withdrawal" of your deferred compensation contributions. To receive an application and IRS guidelines, contact Human Resources at 867-2492. You may also e-mail the benefits team at Benefits@co.thurston.wa.us.
If you feel your situation meets the IRS guidelines, follow the instructions on the application and submit all requested documents to Human Resources. Make sure you include your supporting documents. The Thurston County Deferred Compensation Committee will review your request as soon as possible. Every effort will be made to expedite the review process. The information contained in the application shall be treated confidentially and shall be used only to consider your request.
How do I contact my representative?
There is a wide array of investment options with each plan. You may contact the representatives or visit the web sites for more information concerning enrollment and investments.