Nationwide Retirement Solutions
Retirement Planning, Deferred Compensation & Post-Employment Health Plans
The National Association of Counties (NACo), along with WCA and other state associations of counties, formed a partnership with Nationwide Retirement Solutions (NRS) to provide county employees with a Section 457 Deferred Compensation Program.
Since its inception in 1980, NRS’ Deferred Compensation Program has grown to become the largest supplemental retirement income program available to county employees. More than 360,000 employees from over 1,900 counties – including 31 Wisconsin counties – currently participate in the program, with accumulated assets of more than $13.0 billion. The NRS Deferred Compensation Program offers counties the ability to offer their employees a way to augment retirement savings while postponing the payment of federal and, in many cases Wisconsin, income taxes.
Counties may also take advantage of a program designed to encourage employee participation called the Deferred Compensation Match Program. This program allows a county to establish a defined-contribution program that mirrors the deferred compensation investment program. The employer matches employee contributions to the deferred compensation program up to a predefined amount, thereby encouraging employees to save for their own retirements.
Also available to county employees through NRS are Section 401(a) Defined Contribution Retirement Programs. These programs allow a county to provide employees with a retirement savings plan that guarantees a specific contribution from the employer each pay period while allowing the employee to manage the investment of those contributions.
Finally, NRS has established a Post-Employment Health Plan (PEHP), a tax-free plan for counties and county employees that allows money to be put in a trust for use by the employee after leaving employment on any health-related expense, including health care premiums, hospitalization, prescription drugs, long-term care and skilled nursing. Dependents of the employee may also qualify to use the funds. The Post-Employment Health Plan is a win-win for both the county and the employee: the county does not pay FICA taxes and the employees do not pay income taxes on these funds.
Increasingly, both public and private sector employers are relying on benefit programs to recruit and retain high-caliber talent. These programs offer human resources managers one more tool to attract high-quality job seekers.
White Paper: Investment Diversity in Public Sector Retirement Plans
There is a growing recognition in this country of the importance of gender and ethnic diversity across all segments of society, from the social to the economic. In the public sector, state laws and local ordinances emphasize that minority-owned and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) should be included in contractual dealings with government entities. This diversity policy extends to the retirement and deferred compensation plans of these entities. A White Paper produced by Fred Reish and Bruce Ashton of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP discusses these concepts in more depth.
- Levi Lathen
- Program Director