Your Turn to Ask

November 2023
A man smiles and points his finger at the viewer on the left. On the right is text which reads your turn to ask.

I’m in the Hybrid Retirement Plan. How do I make a voluntary contribution?

You may have read the Pay Yourself First article in the August issue of Member News and thought, “That sounds great. But how do I start?”

Let’s explore the three ways you can set your voluntary contribution to the Hybrid Retirement Plan. Remember, the more you contribute, the more you’ll receive in employer matching contributions, up to a 2.5% match when you contribute the maximum 4%.

1. Set Your Contribution Manually

Log in to your Defined Contribution Plan Account Access and select the percentage of your paycheck you want to allocate to your voluntary contribution. You can choose to save up to 4% immediately. You can also change your contribution by calling Participant Services at 877-327-5261 and selecting Option 1.

Hybrid plan members may adjust their voluntary contribution every quarter (January, April, July, October).

Deadline to Request Changes (until 4 p.m.)Contribution Effective Date
December 15, 2023 January 1, 2024
March 15, 2024 April 1, 2024
June 17, 2024 July 1, 2024
September 16, 2024 October 1, 2024

2. Use SmartStep for Incremental Growth

If saving 4% right away feels challenging, SmartStep can help you get there gradually, with minimal impact on your paycheck.

To get started, log in to Account Access. Choose your annual increase amount (from 0.5% to 3.5%) and the month for your increase (January, April, July or October). Your contribution will increase automatically until you reach the maximum 4%.

3. Take Advantage of Auto-Escalation

To help you maximize your retirement savings, the Hybrid Retirement Plan includes an auto-escalation feature. Unless you opt out, your voluntary contribution will automatically increase by 0.5% on a three-year basis. This continues until you reach the maximum 4%. The next automatic escalation takes place January 1, 2026. If you’re able, increase your contribution sooner rather than later to ensure you get the highest employer match over time.

Your defined contribution savings are a crucial component of your future retirement benefit. Ensuring your voluntary contribution aligns with your goals is essential for a comfortable and secure retirement. Take advantage of these options to tailor your savings strategy to your needs.

Check out this Defined Contribution Plans webpage for more tips on supplementing your savings – consider enrolling in the Commonwealth of Virginia 457 Plan, learn more about SmartStep or start building a plan with the Paycheck Calculator.