Peach State Reserves (PSR) Handbook
Effective 7/1/2022

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1. Introduction

Peach State Reserves (PSR) is a retirement savings option for eligible state of Georgia employees. Two plan options are available under PSR, a 401(k) plan and a 457 plan, both of which allow pre-tax and Roth (after-tax) savings.

*The State of Georgia Employees’ Deferred Compensation 457 Plan operates as an eligible state and local government deferred compensation plan under the provisions of Section 457 of the United States Internal Revenue Code. The State of Georgia Employees’ Qualified Trust Deferred Compensation 401(k) Plan operates under the provisions of Section 401(k) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. 

2. Who is Eligible to Save through Peach State Reserves?

  • ERS members (for information specific to the GSEPS plan, please see Appendix 1 – GSEPS Members)
  • LRS members
  • GDCP members who are non-temporary and non-seasonal
  • Certain employees at Community Service Boards, Georgia Lottery Corporation, Baldwin County schools, Henry County schools, and Walton County schools (for eligibility rules, check with your local HR office)
  • Certain JRS members (for eligibility rules, check with your local HR office)

3. Getting Started

Following the three steps below makes enrolling in PSR easier and more convenient for you:

  1. Review the Plan Comparison in section 5.2 to choose a PSR Plan
  2. Review available investment options
  3. Review contribution options (for information about Roth contributions, see Section 6.1)

4. Enrollment

GSEPS members are automatically enrolled in the PSR 401(k). Please see Appendix 1 – GSEPS Members for more information about GSEPS.

For non-GSEPS PSR participants, enrollment in the 401(k) is optional and must be elected. 

To elect enrollment, visit the GaBreeze website  and follow the system prompts to create a user ID and password. If you already created a user ID and password to access the state Flexible benefits, you can use them to enroll in PSR. From the homepage, select the Start Saving Now or Save More tile under the Recommended section, or go to Savings & Retirement >Peach State Reserves>Start Saving Now.

If you have misplaced your password and have not yet established password reset capabilities, you can get a temporary password through the following sources:

  • Online at Gabreeze. Click on the Forgot User ID or Password
  • Call 1-877-3GBreez (1-877-342-7339)

    5. 401(k) and 457 Plan Comparison 

    5.1 Key Differences in the Plans

    In general, 401(k) and 457 plans are very similar; both provide after-tax Roth and tax-deferred contributions and earnings and are subject to many of the same tax provisions within the Internal Revenue Code related to tax-advantaged retirement plans.

    There are, however some key distinctions between the plans:

    Early Withdrawal Penalties

    Distributions from 401(k) plans are subject to early withdrawal penalties in most cases, if taken prior to age 59½ or, if retiring in the year of reaching age 55, if taken prior to that year.

    Under current tax law, the early withdrawal penalty does not apply to 457 plan balances.

    Beneficiaries

    401(k) participants, if married, must designate their spouse as 100% sole primary beneficiary, unless the spouse signs a waiver consenting to a different beneficiary designation.

    This requirement does not apply to 457 plan beneficiary designations.

    Catch-Up Contributions

    The 457 Plan offers a significant tax-sheltered savings opportunity as retirement approaches. These Special 457 Catch-Up contributions can be up to double the normal contribution limit during the three years prior to the year of your retirement, if eligible.

    You cannot contribute to the Special 457 Catch-Up and the 457 Age 50 additional contribution during the same tax year. Contact GaBreeze for eligibility information and application. 

    These Special Catch-up contributions are not available in the 401(k) Plan. There are other catch-up contributions for eligible participants available. See the comparison chart in the next section for more information. 

    5.2 401(k)/457 Comparison Chart

    Click here to download a printable version of this chart.

    Participation 401(k) Plan 457 Plan
    Eligibility
    • ERS and LRS members
    • Non-temporary and non-seasonal GDCP plan members
    • Certain employees at Community Service Boards, Lottery (401(k) only), Baldwin County Schools, Henry County School, Walton County schools; and certain employees who are JRS members. For eligibility rules, check with your local HR office.
    Enrollment Initial enrollment for eligible employees is available at any time.
    Rollovers Employees may transfer assets into PSR from their previous employer’s 401(k), 403(b), or 457 plans, or in some cases, from IRAs. After 30 days from termination with a PSR employer, you may transfer assets to your new employer’s retirement plan or to an IRA; however, there is no requirement to do so.  Employees may transfer assets into the 457 Plan only from other 457 plans. If you’d like to participate in the 457 Plan but want to roll over other plan assets into PSR, you can roll over non-457 plan assets into the 401(k) Plan and still contribute through payroll deduction to the 457 Plan (there is no additional cost for maintaining a balance in both Plans). After 30 days from termination from a PSR employer, you may transfer assets to your new employer’s retirement plan or to an IRA; however, there is no requirement to do so.
    Contributions 401(k) Plan 457 Plan
    Contribution
    Limits
    Contributions can be made between 1% and 80% of compensation per pay period. The maximum contribution for 2022 is $20,500, which includes your combined pre-tax and Roth contributions.
    Catch-up
    Contributions
    Age 50 and over contribution: Employees age 50 or older (or who will reach age 50 in the applicable tax year),  may make additional contributions, beyond the normal contribution limit, of up to $6,500 in 2022 for a total contribution of $27,000, which includes your combined pre-tax and Roth contributions.
      Not available in the 401(k) Plan. Special 457 Catch-Up: Double the normal contribution limit during the three years prior to the year of your retirement, if eligible. You cannot contribute to the  Special 457 Catch-Up and the 457 Age 50 additional contribution during the same tax year. Contact GaBreeze for eligibility information and application.
    Employer
    Contributions

    Employer contributions are only permitted in the 401(k) and are only available for these groups:

    • GSEPS members; see Appendix 1 – GSEPS Members
    • Certain employees at Community Service Boards, Georgia Lottery Corporation, Henry County Schools and Walton County Schools; check with your local HR for eligibility requirements

    These contributions are  funded entirely by your employer, or the State of Georgia.

    Employer contributions are always pre-tax and follow a 5 year graded vesting a schedule (20% of employer contributions are vested with each year of continuous employment); employees are fully vested after 5 years. 

    IRS limits apply.

    Not available in the 457 Plan.
    Changes to
    Contributions
    Contributions can be started or stopped and amounts changed anytime. Changes become effective as soon as administratively possible—generally the next pay period. Contributions can be started or stopped and amounts changed anytime. Changes become effective the  following calendar month, except revocations which are effective as soon as administratively possible—generally the next pay period.
    Withdrawals 401(k) Plan 457 Plan
    Rollovers After separation from service for 30 days, funds may be rolled into another 401(k), 457, 403(b), or IRA in order to maintain the tax-deferred status of the assets. 457 assets that are rolled into anything other than another 457 plan will be assessed the 10% early withdrawal penalty if the taxable amount is later withdrawn prior to age 59½. 
    Withdrawal
    Rules
    Generally, withdrawals are not allowed until 30 days after separation from state service, or can be made on or after age 59½, even if still working (except employer contributions, which cannot be withdrawn until separation from all state service). If a taxable amount is withdrawn prior to age 59½, in most cases, a 10% penalty is assessed in addition to taxes. This includes any investment earnings in a Roth account not held for at least five years. Generally, withdrawals are not allowed until 30 days after separation from state service, or until you reach age 59½. If your 457 Plan account is less than $5,000 and has been inactive for two years, you may take a one-time withdrawal of the account balance, provided you have never received a prior in-service withdrawal under these same conditions. No tax penalties unless 457 assets are rolled into a 401(k) plan, 403(b) plan, or IRA and a taxable amount is withdrawn prior to age 59½. This includes any investment earnings in a Roth account not held for at least five years.
    Spousal Consent Spouse must be named as beneficiary for entire account balance unless spouse submits a waiver.  Married participants don’t have to specify their spouse as beneficiary.
    Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) 

    IRS requires withdrawals be taken from all qualified retirement plans, including IRAs, no later than April 1 following:

    • the year you turn age 70½ for those born before July 1, 1949.
    • the year you turn 72 for those born on or after July 1, 1949 and you are no longer employed by a PSR employer.  

    A significant tax penalty applies if RMDs are not taken by the required time. Please consult a tax specialist if you need more information.

    Unforeseeable Emergency/Financial Hardship Withdrawals Withdrawals may be permitted if you experience an immediate and heavy financial need. Must meet strict IRS requirements. Extremely difficult to qualify. Any employer contributions are not eligible for hardship withdrawal. Withdrawals may be permitted when you experience an unforeseeable emergency that causes extreme financial hardship. Must meet strict IRS requirements. Extremely difficult to qualify.
    Loans Not available. Not available.

    6. Employee Contributions

    6.1 Overview

    Contributions to both Plans are made on a percentage of your salary basis (whole percentage only). The Plans allow you to make two types of contributions in the same year, even at the same time:

    • Traditional pre-tax contributions
    • Roth contributions 

    However, the IRS places limits on the total contributions you can make on a combined pre-tax and Roth basis. Contribution elections can be changed at any time by contacting the GaBreeze Benefits Center or accessing your account online.

    Pre-Tax and Roth Contribution Comparison
    Feature Pre-tax Contributions Roth Contributions
    Contributions Contributions reduce current taxable income. Contributions do not reduce current taxable income.
    Contribution Limits

    Contribution limit of $20,500 in 2022. Both the contributions you make on a pre-tax basis and on a Roth contribution basis will count towards this maximum.

    Unlike Roth IRAs, income limits don’t apply for PSR Roth contributions. 

    Catch-up Contributions Catch-up limit for members age 50 and over is an additional $6,500 in 2022* Both the contributions you make on a pre-tax basis and on a Roth contribution basis will count towards this maximum.
    Eligible for
    Employer Match

    Both pre-tax and Roth contributions to the GSEPS 401(k) Plan are eligible. GSEPS members and other participants with employer contributions continue to earn employer contributions, which are always pre-tax.

    For more information, see 401(k)/457 Plan Comparison in Section 3.1.

    Taxes Taxes are due at time of distribution on your entire account balance (your pre-tax contributions, employer contributions, and investment earnings). Taxes are due at the time of distribution on employer contributions and their related investment earnings. However, your actual Roth contributions and their related investment earnings are tax-free if you satisfy a five-year waiting period and are at least age 59½ at time of distribution.
    Required Minimum Distribution

    IRS requires withdrawals be taken from all qualified retirement plans, including IRAs, no later than April 1 following:

    • the year you turn age 70½ for those born before July 1, 1949, or
    • the year you turn 72 for those born on or after July 1, 1949 if no longer employed by a PSR employer. 

    6.2 Contribution Minimum

    The minimum contribution rate is 1% of compensation. Contributions are deducted from your pay each pay period.

    6.3 Contribution Maximums

    The maximum contribution rate is 80% of compensation. The 80% max is a combined total between the two PSR plans.

    IRS contribution limits also apply. Unlike the 80% max noted above, the IRS limits apply to each plan separately, meaning you can contribute the IRS max to the 401(k) and the 457 plan at the same time, during the same year. Please refer to the IRS limit page for more information.

    The 457 plan has a special catch-up provision that permits double the normal IRS contribution limit during the three years prior to the year of your retirement, if eligible.

    6.4 Annual Increase Option

    This option will offer an easier way to save more money for retirement. If you elect the Annual Increase option, each year contributions will automatically increase by an amount you select, until you reach your savings goal.

    6.5 Special 457 Catch Up

    The 457 Plan has a special feature that allows participants to contribute up to double the normal plan maximum in the three years prior to the year in which they are eligible for full, unreduced retirement benefits from their retirement plan. Full, unreduced retirement benefits from both the Employees’ and Teacher’s Retirement (TRS) systems are defined as either 30 years of creditable service, regardless of age, OR age 60 with 10 or more years of creditable service (the applicable retirement system would have to verify your eligibility for unreduced retirement benefits).

    During each of these three years prior to the designated projected retirement date, you can increase your contribution to as much as double the normal plan maximum allowed during the calendar year. This additional amount is determined by the amount you could have contributed during your years of eligibility for the 457 Plan (regardless of whether you actually participated), less the amount actually contributed. Contact GaBreeze for eligibility information and application.

    6.6 Contribution Deductions from Annual Leave and FLSA Payouts

    Employees separating from service who have an annual leave balance, or employees eligible for an FLSA payout, can make pre-tax or Roth contributions into their PSR 401(k) and 457 accounts from these payouts. The contributions are subject to annual Plan contribution limits, including what has already been contributed for the calendar year, and Social Security and Medicare taxes must be paid on the full value of the payouts, as applicable.  

    Annual Leave and FLSA Payout Agreements are available on our website under the PSR plan page and must be submitted to your payroll office while you are actively employed.   

    6.7 Tax Credit

    To encourage low and moderate-income individuals to save more for the future, the government offers a tax credit for contributions to eligible retirement savings plans, including the PSR Plans. Refer to IRS Publication 590 for more information about this credit. 

    7. Employer Contributions

    Employer contributions are only permitted in the 401(k) and are only available for:

    • GSEPS members (for more information, see GSEPS Appendix 1)
    • Certain employees at Community Service Boards, Georgia Lottery Corporation, Henry County Schools and Walton County Schools; check with your local HR for eligibility requirements

    Employer contributions are also:

    • funded entirely by your employer, or the State of Georgia
    • always pre-tax
    • 5 year graded vesting applies; 20% vested with each year of continuous employment; after 5 years, full vested in ER contributions
    • limited by IRS regulations

    8. Investment Election Options

    8.1 Core Investment Options

    PSR has 14 core investment options among various asset categories. For fund details, please see the Fund Fact Sheets.

    Asset Class Investment Option
    Money Market Money Market Fund
    Bonds Index Core Bond Index Fund
    Bonds Actively Managed 2024 Target Maturity Bond Fund
    2026 Target Maturity Bond Fund
    U.S. Equities Large Cap Funds  Actively Managed Active Large Cap Value Stock Fund
    U.S. Equities Large Cap Funds  Index Large Cap Value Stock Index Fund
    Large Cap Core Stock Index Fund
    Large Cap Growth Stock Index Fund
    U.S. Equities Small/Mid Cap Funds  Index Mid Cap Core Stock Index Fund
    Small Cap Core Stock Index Fund
    Real Estate Index Real Estate Securities Index Fund
    International Equities Actively Managed Active International Stock Fund
    International Equities Index International Stock Index Fund

    8.2 Lifecycle Funds

    The Lifecycle Funds are suited for participants seeking a simple investment solution. The fund names correspond to established maturity dates. Participants select a fund with the maturity date that matches the time period they are expected to reach age 65 or to begin withdrawing monies from PSR, based on the year in which they were born. For more information on the Lifecycle Funds, please see the Lifecyle Fund Fact Sheet.

    Lifecycle Fund Options Target Retirement Date Participant born…
    Lifecycle Income Fund In or nearing retirement On or before 12/31/1949
    Lifecycle 2020 Fund 2015 through 2024 1/01/1950 – 12/31/1959
    Lifecycle 2030 Fund 2025 through 2034 1/01/1960 – 12/31/1969
    Lifecycle 2040 Fund 2035 through 2044 1/01/1970 – 12/31/1979
    Lifecycle 2050 Fund 2045 through 2054 1/01/1980 – 12/31/1989
    Lifecycle 2060 Fund 2055 or later On or after 1/1/1990

    8.3 Self-Directed Brokerage Account

    The Self-Directed Brokerage Account (SDBA) offered through  Alight Financial Solutions, LLC gives you access to publicly traded stocks, fixed income products, options, and more than 12,000 mutual funds.* In addition, more than 6,400 of the mutual funds are available with waived loads and/or no transaction fees (NTFs).**

    Once you’ve established an SDBA, the initial transfer is $5,000 and all subsequent transfers must be at least $1,000. You may not direct ongoing contributions directly into the SDBA. A minimum balance of $5,000 must be maintained in the core funds or Lifecycle Funds.  

    Additional fees may apply to trades placed in the SDBA. For more detailed fee information, you can view the full SDBA  Commission and Fee Schedule from the GaBreeze site. From the homepage go to Savings & Retirement>Peach State Reserves>Brokerage Account

    Prior to investing, you should carefully review all fund information and objectives and consult with your investment advisor.

    About  Alight Financial Solutions
    Securities are offered by  Alight Financial Solutions.  Alight Financial Solutions, LLC, member FINRA, SIPC, is a broker/dealer that primarily provides services to retirement plans. It is a subsidiary of  Alight Solutions LLC.
    Securities: Not FDIC Insured • No Bank Guarantee • May Lose Value
    * Only covered calls and protective puts are available in the SDBA.
    **  Other fees and expenses regularly charged by the funds will apply. Before investing in any mutual fund, please read its prospectus carefully. For a copy of any prospectus, which includes information about risk considerations, fees, and other expenses, visit the  Alight Financial Solutions website at  https;//alightfinancialsolutions.com  or call  1-800-890-3200. 

    9. Important Investment Information

    9.1 Investment Advice

    If you have questions regarding which investment options to choose, Alight Financial  Advisors, LLC (AFA), in partnership with Financial Engines®, is a valuable resource for investment advice. You can access their services as outlined below.

    Online Advice Tool

    You can elect this service at no additional cost after you enroll in PSR. The Online Advice tool, powered by Financial Engines, is available through the GaBreeze website to provide you advice anytime you need it. The tool offers expert recommendations about how much money you should save, which Plan funds to invest in, and how much to invest in each, based on your unique needs and goals.

    Alight Professional Management Program

    This program is a full-service way for you to receive ongoing independent investment management for your account. You can elect this program for a fee after you enroll in PSR. The program will create a personalized retirement plan for you, and make transactions in your account to put your new investment mix into action. For details on this program, including fee information:

    • Call 1-866-560-7256  from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time to speak with an AFA Investment Advisor
    • Visit the GaBreeze website

    9.2 Fee Structure

    A combination of two types of fees, asset-based and flat-dollar, are charged to participants of PSR to cover expenses incurred from the following three areas:

    1. Investment management and securities selection for each investment option.
    2. The recordkeeping of individual participant accounts and the daily processing of participant contributions and investment activity.
    3. The administration of PSR, including annual Plan audits, legal advice on Plan design and compliance, oversight of investment managers, trustee and custodial management of assets, participant investment advisory services, and Plan communications and education.
    • Asset-based fees: The investment management and securities selection fees, as well as a fee to help cover costs for the administration of PSR, are reflected in the Net Asset Value of each investment option. Details are available on the Fund Fact Sheets pages.
    • A flat fee of $2 is charged on a quarterly basis to each participant who has a balance in the 457 and/or 401(k) Plan. The fee appears as a transaction in the account just prior to the end of each quarter. If a participant has both a 457 and a 401(k) Plan account, the fee will only be assessed to their 401(k) Plan account.

    9.3 Transfer Restrictions and Frequent Trading Policy

    In some circumstances, you may be subject to restrictions on moving money in and out of certain investment options. These rules can apply to the frequency and/or timing of transferring money among funds. As long as you’re invested in a fund for the long term, however, you generally won’t need to be concerned about these restrictions.

    Transfer In

    If you transfer out of a fund, you may be blocked from transferring money back into the fund for a specified period of time based on the policies described below. 

    Transfer Out

    You are never restricted from moving money out of an investment option. 

    Order in which Money is Taken from Fund

    When you submit a request to move money out of a fund, any money held in the fund the longest will be applied first. 

    Frequent Trading Policy

    Frequent trading is the rapid movement of cash into and out of  investment options. The investment options offered by the 401(k) and 457 Plans are intended for long-term investment purposes and are not intended to be short-term trading vehicles.

    Frequent trading by a participant can negatively affect the returns of an investment option impacting not only the participant, but also the other participants in that investment option. The consequences of frequent trading include increased commission costs (as securities have to be purchased and sold), and lower returns as portfolio managers hold higher levels of cash due to uncertain cash flows.

    Frequent trading is more than one “round trip” (purchase and sale of the same investment option) that exceeds $25,000 within 30 days, or three or more round trips within 90 days. The excessive trader restriction is per fund, unless you participate in both the PSR 401(k) and PSR 457 Plans. If this is the case, both Plans are grouped together and monitored to determine if a round trip has occurred.

    If it is determined that you exceeded the trading restriction, upon your first offense you will be restricted from requesting transfers into the impacted fund for 90 days. If you exceed the trading restriction again, you will be restricted from requesting transfers into the impacted fund for 365 days, or a full calendar year. 

    10. Distributions, In-Service Withdrawals, and Tax Liability

    PSR is designed to be a vehicle for saving toward retirement. Funds may be withdrawn out of PSR account(s) as permitted by federal regulations: upon retirement, separation from service, and in the event of death with benefits paid to a beneficiary(ies). Under very specific and extremely limited situations, in-service withdrawals are permitted.

    10.1 Distributions when Retiring or Leaving State Employment

      After separation from all state service, including any part-time employment whether in a benefits-eligible position or not, you may begin taking distributions from PSR at any time after meeting a 30-day waiting period requirement. If you return to employment service with any employer who offers PSR, even if the position is not benefits-eligible, you will not be eligible to take a distribution, except as described in In-service withdrawals in Section 7.2.  

      You may elect to receive a lump sum, a partial lump sum, payments for a specific time period, or payments based on your life expectancy or you and your spouse’s joint life expectancy. Monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual payment options are available.

      IRS Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) rules specify that you must begin taking distributions from PSR, if no longer employed by a PSR employer, no later than April 1 following:

      • the year you turn age 70½ for those born before July 1, 1949, or
      • the year you turn 72 for those born on or after July 1, 1949

      You may increase, reduce, or cease your benefit payments at any time, unless you have started receiving RMDs after reaching the required age. Prior to the required age, you may leave your account balance in the Plan(s), except for accounts less than $1,000, which will be automatically distributed as a payment to you unless you request a rollover to another retirement plan.

      10.2 In-Service Withdrawals

      Retirement Service Credit Purchase

      If you are eligible to purchase retirement service credits from a qualified retirement plan, you may use your PSR assets (employee contributions and associated earnings only) to fund the service credit purchase. The transaction would be made as a direct rollover to your retirement system. The retirement system must be a plan that is qualified under Section 401 of the IRS Code.

      Financial Hardship or Unforeseen Emergency

      The Plans are not designed as a source to pay for emergency expenses or financial hardship, and loans are not available through PSR. However, emergency and hardship withdrawals may be permitted only if guidelines established by the IRS are met. Supporting documentation must accompany all requests, and the amount withdrawn cannot exceed the amount needed to satisfy the emergency. Withdrawals may be permitted under the following circumstances, if approved by the Plan:

      401(k) Plan

      • When you experience an immediate and heavy financial need that meets IRS requirements. Refer to the GaBreeze website for more information. Employer contribution balances (if any) are not eligible for financial hardship withdrawal.
      • Taxable amounts withdrawn prior to age 59½ are generally subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty. 

      457 Plan

      • When you experience a qualifying, unforeseeable emergency that causes extreme financial hardship. Refer to the GaBreeze website for more information
      • No early withdrawal penalty for monies withdrawn prior to age 59½. 
      457 Inactive Account Withdrawal for Accounts with a Balance of $5,000 or Less

      This provision for withdrawal applies to the 457 Plan only. You may elect a one-time in-service withdrawal if your account balance is $5,000 or less, as long as you have not made a contribution during the prior 24 months, and have not received an in-service withdrawal under these same conditions before. There is no similar provision for the 401(k) Plan.

      Age 59½ Withdrawals

      Upon reaching age 59½, even if you are still employed by the state or other PSR-eligible employer, you are eligible to withdraw money you contributed (not employer contributions) to  without penalty.

      10.3 Tax Liability on Payments

      Federal and state income taxes must be paid on any taxable amounts paid to you (except when you choose to “roll over” your account into another retirement plan or traditional individual retirement account (IRA) or Roth IRA). The Plan administrator is required to withhold 20% for federal tax purposes at the time of payment on all taxable amounts distributed from PSR, with the exception of a rollover to another eligible retirement plan or an IRA. Taxable distributions are treated as ordinary income in the year the money is paid and are subject to federal and state income taxes.

      Depending upon your tax bracket, you may owe more or less on this money when you file your taxes. You may request withholding of state income tax, but none will be automatically withheld.

      To avoid paying taxes on investment earnings included in your Roth withdrawals, your account must be held for at least five years starting with the first day of the calendar year in which you first made a Roth contribution and you must be at least 59½, or the distribution must be due to disability or death.

      Early Withdrawal Penalty

      Taxable amounts distributed from 401(k) plans are subject to early withdrawal penalties in most cases if taken prior to age 59½ or, if retiring in the year of reaching age 55, taken prior to that year. The early withdrawal penalty also applies to investment earnings on Roth contributions if contributions are not held in the account for at least five years. The early withdrawal penalty will not be withheld from the payment. Any such penalty due must be calculated and paid when you file your tax return for the year in which the distribution was made.

      Under current tax law, the early withdrawal penalty does not apply to 457 plan balances. However, should you choose to roll over 457 Plan assets to an IRA or 401(k) or 403(b) plan, your 457 assets become subject to the tax law governing those plans, and any subsequent taxable amounts withdrawn from those plans prior to age 59½ would, in most cases, incur the early withdrawal penalty. 

      11. Beneficiaries

      As a Plan participant, you should name a beneficiary(ies) to receive the value of your account balances in the 457 and/or 401(k) Plan. Separate beneficiary designations must be made for each Plan.  

      Any employer-contributed portion of the balance of a 401(k) account is subject to a five-year vesting period, vesting 20% for each full year of consecutive employment service (please see the chart in Section 1.5). In the event you die while employed by the state, however, the employer balance is automatically 100% vested (for GSEPS employer contributions, death must occur while in a GSEPS-covered position in order for 100% vesting to apply).

      401(k) and 457 plans have different requirements regarding the naming of beneficiaries. For the 401(k) Plan, if you are married, your spouse is automatically your beneficiary. If you want to name someone other than, or in addition to, your spouse as your primary beneficiary, you must have written spousal consent. If you haven’t named a beneficiary and you are not married, your account is paid to your estate. The 457 Plan has no requirement regarding spousal consent.

      Designate your beneficiary(ies)!

      To designate one or more beneficiaries, visit the GaBreeze website and select the Your Profile option from the top menu, and then Beneficiaries. You’ll need to periodically review and update your election, if necessary.

      12. Account Management

      12.1 Annual Account Statements

      Annual statements are mailed during the first quarter each year showing annual contributions, any interest and investment gains or losses, and the current account balance. You can also access account information on the GaBreeze website or by calling 1-877-3GBreez (1-877-342-7339).

      In addition, you can generate a customized statement online at any time. Account values fluctuate with market conditions, and at any time, the value of an account may be worth more or less than the original amount invested. Fund prices are updated daily and can be found on the GaBreeze website or by calling 1-877-3GBreez (1-877-342-7339).

      12.2 Automatic rebalancing

      You may elect to have your current fund balances adjusted every 90 days, 180 days, or annually to match your current investment election percentages. This feature helps keep accounts weighted to the asset allocation model established when investment elections were first made. 

      12.3 Change of Address

      If you change your address, you must report the change of address to your Human Resources office.

      If you have separated from service, you can change your address by logging on to the GaBreeze website or by calling 1-877-3GBreez (1-877-342-7339).

      12.4 Making Transactions

      Account transactions may be made through the GaBreeze website or by calling 1-877-3GBreez (1-877-342-7339).

      Transactions completed before 4 p.m. Eastern Time are effective the same business day. Transactions completed at or after 4 p.m. Eastern Time are effective the next business day. 

      12.5 Online Beneficiary Designation

      Beneficiary information is available online under the Your Profile option in the top menu on the GaBreeze website. Participants must complete an online election of Designation of Beneficiary for their 401(k) and 457. 

      13. For More Information

      13.1 GaBreeze website

      The GaBreeze website is available to participants at any time. You can make transactions, check account balances, download forms, and read general information about investing and about the Plans. When logging on to the GaBreeze website for the first time, you will be prompted to establish a username and to choose security questions to establish future password reset capabilities in case your password is forgotten or misplaced. 

      13.2 GaBreeze Benefits Center

      1-877-3GBreez (1-877-342-7339)

      When you call the GaBreeze Benefits Center you’re asked to enter your user ID and password. Then a recorded voice guides you through the menus, and you make your selections by pressing the appropriate keys on your telephone keypad or via voice recognition. 

      Transactions you can make via the GaBreeze Benefits Center:  
      • Check account balances
      • Check fund performance
      • Change the percentage of future contributions going into each fund
      • Choose between after-tax Roth and pre-tax contributions or a combination of both
      • Change the deferral amount (contribution dollars)
      • Change your investment options (funds)
      • Transfer balances from one fund to another
      • Request a distribution
      • Change password/request temporary password
      • Request Plan literature

      14. Appendix 1 – GSEPS Members

      14.1 What is GSEPS?

      The Georgia State Employees’ Pension and Savings Plan (GSEPS) is a hybrid retirement benefit plan. GSEPS offers both the security of a traditional pension plan, and the opportunity to invest money in the PSR 401(k) plan with matching employer contributions. These matching contributions increase with your years of service.

      The pension part of GSEPS is mandatory for all eligible employees.

      You are also automatically enrolled in the 401(k) Plan, at a pre-tax contribution rate of 5% of your compensation (see Section 1.3 for details).

      If you don’t wish to be automatically enrolled in the 401(k) Plan, log on to the GaBreeze website and change your automatic enrollment, as referenced in the GSEPS 401(k) Enrollment Information Notice provided to you at the time of hire.

      ERSGA is responsible for the overall management of GSEPS, including the administration of the pension plan and the selection and management of all the PSR 401(k) Plan investment options. Alight Solutions, a leading retirement services provider, is the 401(k) Plan provider, with oversight by ERS.

      14.2 Your GSEPS Defined Benefit Pension Plan

      The Defined Benefit Pension Plan provides for a guaranteed monthly income after you retire, as long as you have a minimum of 10 years of creditable service (also known as vesting).

      For more information about your GSEPS Defined Benefit Pension Plan, please see the ERS Handbook.

      14.3 GSEPS 401(k) Plan

      Upon hire you’re automatically enrolled into the PSR 401(k) Plan in the Lifecycle Fund that corresponds to your date of birth, at a 5% contribution rate. The 5% auto enrollment maximizes the employer match available to you. Please see the GSEPS 401(k) Employer Contribution section for more information on the GSEPS match.

      You can elect to change your investment election, and contribution amount and type, pre-tax verses Roth, at any time through the GaBreeze website. For information about contribution types, see Section 6.1. For more information about investment options, please see Section 8.

      Opting Out of Enrollment

      If you don’t wish to be automatically enrolled in the 401(k) Plan, log on to the GaBreeze website and change your automatic enrollment, as referenced in the GSEPS 401(k) Enrollment Information Notice provided to you at the time of hire.

      If you decide to opt out of enrollment during the initial 90-day period from date of hire, you will receive a refund of your employee contributions, provided you haven’t made any investment and/or contribution changes and do not have a prior balance in your account.

      Refunds are considered a taxable event, and will reflect any investment gains or losses in your account. You may still discontinue participation after 90 days; however, you will not receive a refund of contributions. You may also re-enroll at any time.

      Re-enrolling after Opting Out

      If you chose to opt out of the PSR 401(k) Plan when hired but decide to enroll at a later date, visit the GaBreeze website and follow the system prompts to create a user ID and password.

      To elect enrollment, visit the GaBreeze website and follow the system prompts to create a user ID and password. If you already created a user ID and password to access the state Flexible benefits, you can use them to enroll in PSR. From the homepage, select the Start Saving Now or Save More tile under the Recommended section, or go to Savings & Retirement >Peach State Reserves>Start Saving Now.

      If you already created a user ID and password to access Flexible benefits, you can use the same information to enroll in PSR. From the homepage, select the Start Saving Now tile under the Recommended section, or go to Savings & Retirement >Peach State Reserves>Start Saving Now

      If you have questions about enrolling online or would prefer to enroll over the phone, call the GaBreeze Benefits Center at 1-877-3GBreez (1-877-342-7339).

      Representatives are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

      14.4 Employee Contributions

      Upon hire you’re automatically enrolled into the PSR 401(k) Plan in the Lifecycle Fund that corresponds to your date of birth, at a 5% contribution rate.

      Contributing to the 401(k) is a core component of the GSEPS retirement benefit. To fully take advantage of the employer match available to you, it is important to contribute at least 5% to the 401(k) plan.

      GSEPS members can also participate in the 457 plan but before considering 457 enrollment, be sure to be saving at least 5% in the 401(k) plan.

      See the PSR Employee Contribution section for more information on contributions.

      14.5 GSEPS 401(k) Employer Contributions

      Contributions to the 401(k) Plan are matched by your employer, as follows:

      • 100% match of the first 5% up to 6 years of service.
      • Match increases by .5% each year after 6 years of service.
      • Total state match caps at 9% after 13 years of service.
      Vesting

      Your contributions to your PSR account are immediately 100% vested. However, the employer contributions are subject to a five-year vesting schedule, vesting 20% for each completed year of service, beginning with your date of hire:

      401(k) Plan match vesting schedule3

      Years of Continuous Service Vested Amount
      After 1 year 20%
      After 2 years 40%
      After 3 years 60%
      After 4 years 80%
      After 5 years 100%
      Note: For the GSEPS 401(k) Plan component, any break in service of greater than 31 days will cause the five-year 401(k) Plan vesting schedule to restart as of the new date of hire. For ERS “new” or “old” Plan members who choose to transfer their retirement Plan membership to GSEPS, the 401(k) Plan vesting schedule begins as of the date of transfer to GSEPS (the month GSEPS contributions began).