Tax Sheltered Annuity 403(b)

The Tax Sheltered Annuity (TSA) Program is a voluntary program that allows eligible CSU employees to save toward retirement by investing pre-tax contributions in tax-deferred investments in either annuities or mutual funds, under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 403(b). TSA contributions are made solely by the employee through payroll deductions, prior to federal and state taxes being calculated.

All employees except student classifications are eligible to participate in the 403(b) program. The minimum monthly contribution is $15.00.

Employees are allowed up to five (5) TSA deductions from the following fund sponsors:

How to Enroll

TSA enrollments and deferral changes are designated by employees via Retirement Manager, an online process through VRSCO, the Master Administrator. All salary reduction changes (stop, start, increase and/or decrease) are managed by the employee in Retirement Manager.

The cutoff day to make changes in Retirement Manager is the 5th of each month by 9:59 PM Pacific Standard Time (PST), or the next business day by 9:59 PM if the 5th falls on a holiday or weekend.

Fund investment selections are made directly through the fund sponsor(s) and employees can open a 403(b) account by accessing specific websites provided in the above links.

Retirement Manager also allows you to:

  • Learn more about your CSU 403(b) retirement savings plan
  • View aggregate balance information across investment providers
  • Start , change, or stop contribution amounts
  • Read educational articles on a range of financial planning topics
  • Calculate what you will need to stay on track for retirement with easy-to-use financial calculators
  • Request a Distribution Eligibility Certificate for the following transactions:
           Loan 
           Hardship Withdrawal
           In-Service Contract Exchange 

Retirement Manager Support Line

The Retirement Manager Support Line will be available to take calls from all California State University employees regardless of their fund sponsor selection. The support line will be staffed with a dedicated group of Client Service Professionals that will be available to provide:

  • Guidance on the login process
  • Answers to general navigation questions, and
  • Assistance on how to use the enrollment and distribution transaction screens

Please note that the Support Line Client Service Professionals will not be able to answer specific account questions related to a particular fund sponsor. Employees will need to contact the particular fund sponsor for assistance. The participant support line will be available Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm Central Time. The Retirement Manager Support Line number is 1-866-294-7950.

Annual Contribution Limits

For the 2012 tax year, a participant can elect to contribute up to $17,000 to a 403(b) or 401(k) plan, subject to the 415(c) limit, and $17,000 to a governmental 457(b) plan, for a total contribution of up to $34,000.

Please note, participants may contribute to both a 403(b) and 401(k) plan in the same tax year, however,
combined contributions across both plans cannot exceed $17,000.

For the 2013 tax year, a participant can elect to contribute up to $17,500 to a 403(b) or 401(k) plan, subject to the 415(c) limit, and $17,500 to a governmental 457(b) plan, for a total contribution of up to $35,000.

Please note, participants may contribute to both a 403(b) and 401(k) plan in the same tax year, however,combined contributions across both plans cannot exceed $17,500.

Additional Catch-Up Provisions

Under IRC Code Section 402(g)(7), employees that have at least 15 years of service (full-time equivalent) with the CSU and have not maximized the annual contribution limits during this time, may be eligible to contribute an additional $3,000 per tax year for up to five years, for a total of $15,000. To take advantage of this additional catch-up allowance, proof of 15 years of service (annual CalPERS statement) and a completed Maximum Contribution Allowance Worksheet are required. 

The age 50 catch-up is an age based catch-up allowance under IRC section 414(v). This provision allows employees that are or will turn age 50 by the end of the current tax year (December 31) to contribute an additional $5,500 to a 403(b) plan or to a 401(k) plan. 

If an employee qualifies for both of the catch-up provisions, additional contributions will be first applied to the 15 year catch-up allowance and then to the age based catch-up provision.