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Second choice opportunity approved for Savings Choice participants beginning in 2021

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UC has received IRS approval to allow Savings Choice participants a window of opportunity to switch prospectively from Savings Choice to Pension Choice, and become members of the UC Retirement Plan (UCRP). On Jan. 1, 2021, this “second choice window” will open for the first cohort of Savings Choice participants — those who made their election for Savings Choice in the 2016 calendar year.

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If you’re represented by a union, your retirement benefits are governed by your union’s contract with UC. Please refer to your collective bargaining agreement for details.

No action is required for those who would like to continue participating in the Savings Choice defined contribution option. Participants in Pension Choice may not switch to Savings Choice. Participation in Pension Choice is irrevocable.

Savings Choice participants: Understanding your second choice window

The second-choice window for Savings Choice participants opens on the fifth anniversary of the calendar year in which you made your initial election, and extends for five years and five months, according to the schedule below:

Savings Choice Election Date

Second choice window opens

Second choice window closes

July 1, 2016 – Dec. 31, 2016

Jan. 1, 2021

May 31, 2026

Jan. 1, 2017 – Dec. 31, 2017

Jan. 1, 2022

May 31, 2027

Jan. 1, 2018 – Dec. 31, 2018

Jan. 1, 2023

May 31, 2028

Jan. 1. 2019 – Dec. 31, 2019

Jan. 1, 2024

May 31, 2029

Jan. 1, 2020 – Dec. 31, 2020

Jan. 1, 2025

May 31, 2030

A move from Savings Choice to Pension Choice will be effective the following plan year (which begins on July 1), depending on when you submit your election. For example, if your form is postmarked on or before May 31, 2021, the change will be effective on July 1, 2021. If your form is postmarked on or after June 1, 2021, the election will be effective July 1, 2022.

The form to elect to switch primary retirement benefits to Pension Choice will be available on the UCnet Second Choice Window for Savings Choice participants page. Do not submit this form before your second choice window opens.

If you switch from Savings Choice to Pension Choice: Understanding your retirement benefits

A switch from Savings Choice to Pension Choice is a change in your primary retirement benefits going forward; it is not retroactive. A switch to Pension Choice during your second choice window means:

  • Your Savings Choice account balance will remain yours. On the date the change takes effect, contributions (from you and UC) to your Savings Choice account will stop, and contributions to UCRP will begin.
  • You will remain in the pension plan for the remainder of your career, even if you separate from UC and return to another eligible position later. Participants in Pension Choice may not switch to Savings Choice.
  • The service credit you earned as a participant in Savings Choice:
    • Will count toward vesting in UCRP and toward your retiree health benefits.
    • Will not count as UCRP service credit toward the calculation of your pension benefit or toward vesting in your supplemental Pension Choice account, if you have one. Please see Second Choice Window for Savings Choice participants for more information about how this will affect your retirement benefits.

Questions about your choice?

Visit UCnet for more information and frequently asked questions about your second choice window, and important differences between Savings Choice and Pension Choice. Fidelity Retirement Planners are available for one-on-one appointments to help you compare the options, along with online resources and workshops.

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