Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority: 457 and 401(k) Retirement Plans

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    401(k) Plan

    • Pre-tax contributions made through payroll deduction
    • Tax-deferred growth for your account balance

    Comparing Metro's 401(k), 457, and Roth IRA


    Distributions are typically available only after you leave service with your employer. Distributions from your account will be taxable as income in the year in which the assets are withdrawn and tax withholding may be applied. Your 457 plan assets that remain in your 457 plan until they are withdrawn are never subject to an early withdrawal penalty. However, if you have rollover assets from a 401(a), 401(k), 403(b), or Traditional IRA in your 457 plan, those assets may be subject to the 10% early withdrawal penalty if withdrawn prior to age 59½.

    Payout Options

    Flexible payout options (lump-sum, periodic payments of a specific dollar amount, payments over a set period of time, COLA adjusted payments, rollovers, or a combination thereof) are available and may be changed at any time to meet your needs in retirement. Unless you elect to receive annuity payments, you will have the flexibility to request a withdrawal of a specific dollar amount whenever you need or want the funds. The IRS requires you to begin taking distributions from the plan by April 1 following the year in which you reach age 70½ or separate from service with your employer, whichever is later. Until that time, you may leave your money in the plan in order to continue taking advantage of the tax deferred growth. The amount of the IRS required minimum distributions (RMDs) after age 70½ will be based on your account balance and a life expectancy factor provided by the IRS.

    Loan provision

    This allows you to take loans from your 401(k) plan. Your employer makes loans available for any purpose. Changes were made to make loans available in both plans in 2006, but you can have only one outstanding loan.

    Maximum Contribution

    To view the annual maximum normal deferral amount, please visit www.missionsq.org/contributionlimits.

    "Age 50" Catch-Up Contributions

    If you are age 50 or older, you may make additional catch-up contributions to your account. These amount of these contributions may exceed the regular maximum contribution amount in effect for the year and may be used for every year from age 50 through the year in which you no longer participate in the plan. Note however that you may not make "age 50" catch-up contributions to a 457 plan in years that you make a "pre-retirement" catch-up contributions to a 457 plan. Please visit www.missionsq.org/contributionlimits to view the current age 50 contribution limits.

    Hardship Withdrawals

    These types of withdrawals are for immediate and heavy financial needs of the participant. Examples of allowable expenses are medical costs, purchase of a principal residence and tuition costs.


    You are eligible to rollover funds from a previous employer's retirement plan (i.e., 401(a), 401(k), 403(b), or 457) or a Traditional IRA into your current employer's 401(k) and 457 plan. Upon separation from service with your employer, the assets in your 401(k) plan will be eligible for a rollover to other eligible retirement plans such as those named above.

    Additionally, if your defined benefit pension plan allows you to take a distribution that qualifies for rollover, those funds are eligible to be transferred into your 401(k) plan.

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      Crystal Durazo
      Retirement Plans Specialist
      MissionSquare Retirement
      (202) 759-7054

      Jessica Sequeira
      Retirement Plans Specialist
      MissionSquare Retirement
      (202) 759-7155

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