Retirement Plans for
Colorado Local Government Employees
Colorado Retirement Association believes retirement plans should put employees and their retirement goals first. CRA retirement plans are designed exclusively for employees of Colorado counties, municipalities and special districts.
As an employee participant, you’ve chosen a retirement plan that’s flexible, stable and focused on you. We offer a wide variety of benefits with both the 401(a) and 457(b) plans.
Retirement Plans and Benefits
Types of Contributions
Retirement plan contributions are the amount of money that is deposited into your retirement savings account. Contributions can come from a variety of sources:
Employer contributions are mandatory in the 401(a) plan. With the CRA 401(a) plan, all employers must contribute at least 3% of eligible employees’ compensation.
However, many CRA member employers choose to contribute above this amount to accelerate their employees’ retirement savings.
Many employers establish a vesting schedule based either on cliff vesting, which ensures full vesting after a certain number of years, or graded vesting, which provides for incremental vesting.
Participation in the 401(a) plan is mandatory for eligible employees and typically begins immediately upon employment.
The member employer sets the amount that will be withdrawn from an employee’s pay and contributed into the 401(a) plan. Since these are pre-tax contributions, you do not pay income tax on these contributions until the money is withdrawn.
To amplify retirement savings, CRA offers 457(b) retirement plans that allow for voluntary employee contributions in addition to their 401(a) contributions.
Depending on your employer’s guidelines, you can choose to contribute toward your 457(b) plan on a pre- or after-tax basis, and you can choose the amount of your compensation that you want to contribute.
You also can start, stop, increase or decrease your contributions in the 457(b) plan at any time.
This is another term for the 457(b) plan. It is called a deferred compensation plan because a portion of your current compensation is applied toward future retirement savings.
The 457(b) plan is voluntary and receives no employer contributions. It is especially beneficial in helping employees increase their retirement savings beyond the contributions in their 401(a) plan – especially considering today’s investing experts recommend putting 15%-20% of current compensation toward retirement.
You may choose to move other prior retirement plan savings into your CRA plan, which is called rollover contributions. Most types of retirement benefit payments you receive as a participant or a surviving spouse can be rolled over.
In some cases, CRA member employers may decide to make Prior Service Benefit contributions to provide past service benefits to certain eligible officials and employees