Preparing For The Future
Harris County helps you prepare for your future in two ways:
- Automatic enrollment in a defined benefit plan with the Texas County & District Retirement System (TCDRS)
- Voluntary enrollment to make additional long-term investments through a 457 deferred compensation plan
TEXAS COUNTY & DISTRICT RETIREMENT SYSTEM
As a County employee, you will contribute a portion of your salary each paycheck into your TCDRS account. Harris County Commissioners Court defines this percentage along with the amount that will be matched by the County when you retire and what you must do to be eligible to retire. The Texas Legislature sets the rate at which your account will earn interest.
You are considered “vested” when you have eight (8) years of service credit. Once vested, you may stop working for Harris County but still keep the right to a future retirement benefit. Your TCDRS account will keep earning interest each year until your membership ends.
OTHER WAYS TO GET SERVICE TIME
The Proportionate Retirement Program lets you use service credit from any of the systems listed below to qualify for retirement benefits.
- City of Austin Employees’ Retirement System (COAERS)
- Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS)
- Judicial Retirement System of Texas (JRS)
- Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS)
- Texas Municipal Retirement System (TMRS)
For more information about the Proportionate Retirement Program, please contact TCDRS Member Services.
ELIGIBILITY FOR RETIREMENT BENEFITS
You are eligible for a retirement benefit when you meet one of the following requirements:
- You are age 60 or over and have accrued 8 years of service time
- You have accrued 30 years of service time (regardless of age)
- Your age plus your years of service total 75 (also called the Rule of 75)
- Disability Retirement
TCDRS MAKES IT EASY
- Get your questions answered
- Designate your beneficiary
- Estimate your retirement benefit
Call 800-823-7782 or login at tcdrs.org.
Put even more money toward retirement with the 457 deferred compensation plan (deferred comp). It’s designed to be a supplement to your pension and is an additional way to invest long-term directly from your pay. You’re in control of how to use deferred comp to help achieve your goals. Roth 457 Accounts are also available.
TAX-DEFERRED 457 ACCOUNT
Save money now by postponing taxes until you make a withdrawal. With the tax-deferred 457 plan, your money goes into your account before taxes come out of your check. When you make withdrawals from the account in the future, you pay the income taxes then.
EXAMPLE: Let’s say you pay around 25% in income taxes. Because you contribute to your deferred comp plan pre-tax, putting $100 in your account only costs you $75 from your take-home pay.
ROTH 457 ACCOUNT
If you like the idea of having your taxes out of the way in retirement, then a Roth 457 account can be a great choice. When you contribute to a Roth 457, you pay taxes on the portion of your salary that goes into the plan; however, withdrawals of contributions and earnings can be tax free during retirement if certain conditions are met. If you wish, you can even split your contributions between traditional pre-tax contributions and Roth after-tax contributions.
Both 457 plan types are available to Harris County employees through one of our deferred compensation vendors (Nationwide, Valic or Voya). Contact any of them for guidance and additional information. If you decide to participate, log in to your STARS Employee Self-Service portal and click on Payroll >> Voluntary Deductions. The minimum deduction is $25 per month or $12.50 per bi-weekly paycheck. An account must be set up with one of the vendors before you complete the enrollment in STARS.
Choose a Deferred Comp Vendor and Get Started
Ele Hawthorne, MBA
2777 Allen Pkwy, Ste 285
Houston, TX 77019
Brian Orner, CLTC
2777 Allen Pkwy, Ste 285
Houston, TX 77019
Corebridge Financial professionals serve Harris County employees from enrollment through retirement. Once enrolled in the 457b retirement plan, knowledgeable professionals will help you through:
- Financial planning at no cost to you
- Educational materials that are simple to understand
- Virtual service to fit your schedule
- Information and guidance for your financial situation