CRA 401(a) Plan
Valuable. Flexible. Unique.
A 401(a) plan is a special retirement plan sponsored by employers for government employees.
Our CRA 401(a) plan, previously known as the CCOERA 401(a) plan, is a unique retirement plan especially designed to help employees of Colorado local governing bodies reward themselves for their years of service and enjoy their retirement.
Key Features of 401(a) Plans
Both employer and employee contributions are mandatory to ensure consistent savings and help you realize your retirement goals. The details regarding the employer contribution amount and requirements for employees to participate are specified in each employer member’s participant agreement.
The contribution amount is set for an employee’s 401(a) plan by the employer.
Once set, that amount does not change for the duration of that employee’s employment, or until the member employer adopts a new participation agreement with new elections.
Some member employers allow employees to choose the employee contribution amount within specific limits. In that case, if an employee does not actively choose a contribution amount, the employer will automatically deduct a specified amount (typically a percentage of compensation) from the employee’s paycheck toward the 401(a) plan, and that amount will not change until the aforementioned criteria is met.
With the CRA 401(a) plan, your employer contributes toward your retirement savings in addition to the contributions that are automatically deducted from your paycheck.
Most employer members offer a vesting schedule to encourage employees to build tenure within their organization.
If an employee leaves the organization before they are fully “vested” (typically five years), a percentage of the employer contributions into their CRA account is forfeited – unless the employee begins employment at another CRA member employer within 30 days of leaving the prior member employer.
All employer contributions and investment gains are tax-deferred, and most employee contributions are before-tax. Those contributions and their earnings are not taxed until money is withdrawn.
You can rollover a range of other retirement income into your CRA account. Types of plans that you can move into your CRA account include: 401(a), 401(k), 403(b), 457(b) and most IRAs.
Eligibility to access your savings through a distribution begins once you retire or leave your employer. It also may be accessible for people with a disability, or to designated beneficiaries if an employee participant dies. Some employers also allow employees to take out a loan on their retirement account.
It’s important to know that you don’t ever have to close your CRA account – even after you retire. It’s advantageous to keep your CRA account so you can continue investing, postpone taxes assessed on those earnings and keep growing your savings through compound earnings.
However, no further contributions are permitted after you retire. We offer many flexible distribution options so you can choose how much you want to withdraw and when, while also allowing the remainder to remain secure and to continue growing for you.
Unique CRA 401(a) Benefits
We’re not just Colorado-based, we’re Colorado-only.
Our certified retirement counselors are dedicated to helping you reach your retirement goals. We offer one-on-one counseling meetings to answer questions about your retirement accounts and provide resources for smart financial management.
We recognize that while some might consider themselves to be knowledgeable investors, others might be less comfortable choosing investments.
That’s why we offer both automatically allocated “target date portfolios” as well as a wide range of individual funds to select.
With a CRA 401(a) plan, you have access to a full portfolio of investment funds, all of which are institutional class and have been selected for their performance and rate of return by our Board of Directors with guidance from Innovest Portfolio Solutions, a Denver-based registered investment advisory firm.
As a not-for-profit organization, CRA’s focus is on helping our members save and invest for the future. Our low-cost fiduciary service fees allow you to make the most of each contribution.