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A Roth option is now available in the UC Retirement Savings Program

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The University of California has enhanced the UC Retirement Savings Program with a new Roth contribution option for the UC 403(b) and UC 457(b) Plans, giving you more flexibility to save and plan for your future through regular pretax contributions, new Roth contributions, or both. Within the first two weeks, hundreds of UC faculty and staff have taken advantage of the new feature and made Roth elections. 

How does Roth work?

A Roth contribution is an after-tax contribution to the UC 403(b) Plan or UC 457(b) Plan that gives you the opportunity for tax-free income in retirement. This is because your Roth distributions (including earnings) can be withdrawn free of federal income tax if certain requirements are met. (In general, Roth distributions are federally tax-free when withdrawn after the aging requirement has been satisfied and one of the following conditions is met: age 59½; disability; or death. For details, see the resources below.)

You can elect any combination of pretax and/or Roth contributions, subject to IRS limits. You can contribute up to $22,500 in pretax and Roth contributions combined ($30,000 if you’re 50 or older) to each of the UC 403(b) and 457(b) Plans in 2023, for a total of $45,000 ($60,000 if you’re 50 or older) to both plans. To enroll, sign in to your NetBenefits account. 

Who might benefit from Roth contributions?

While Roth contributions are designed for anyone who likes the idea of potentially tax-free retirement income, here are some scenarios to consider Roth:

  • You’re a younger investor with more time for earnings growth on retirement savings.
  • You’re concerned that your tax rate will be higher in retirement than now.
  • You want tax flexibility when you draw your retirement income.
  • You’re interested in leaving tax-free money to your beneficiaries.
  • You’re not eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA because of income limits.

Find out if Roth is for you

UC is offering a wide range of resources to help you learn more about the Roth option and decide whether it’s right for you:

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