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403(b) Voluntary Retirement Saving Plan

403(b) Tax Sheltered Annuity Plan

A 403(b) Plan is a tax-deferred retirement savings plan permitted by Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code.  This Code Section allows those employed by certain employers to participate in a tax-deferred retirement savings plan.  The IRS defines 403(b) qualified employers to include public school systems.

Active Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) employees are eligible to make voluntary retirement contributions to the 403(b) Plan (sometimes referred to as a tax-sheltered annuity) through payroll deduction.  The minimum contribution to the APS 403(b) is $7.50 per pay period or $180.00 per year.  The maximum contribution* is set by the IRS, and is usually adjusted annually.  All APS employees, whether full-time, part-time, on an hourly status, a substitute teacher or a substitute educational assistant are eligible to participate in the 403(b) Plan.   

A third-party administrator, TCG Administrators (TCG), manages the 403(b) Plan for APS.  (TCG Administrators changed their name from JEM Resource Partners in 2016.)  The APS plan includes 34 different investment fund vendors for employees to select from; several of those investment fund vendors also offer a Roth 403(b) Plan.

Note: APS employees who work more than 25% of the time (.25 full-time equivalents) are required by state mandate to contribute to the New Mexico Educational Retirement Board (NMERB) pension plan.  The NMERB plan is a Defined Benefit Plan. Both you, as the employee, and APS, as the employer, contribute a percentage (established by the New Mexico State Legislature) towards your NMERB plan.  APS is contributing to your NMERB plan, therefore there is no APS match or contribution to the 403(b) Plan.   

* For 2019, the maximum annual contribution to a 403(b) Plan for employees under age 50 is $19,000.  The maximum is $25,000 for employees age 50 or over.

To enroll in the 403(b) Plan

If you elect to enroll in the 403(b) Plan, you will first need to select an investment fund vendor and complete any necessary paperwork (or on-line or in person enrollment) with that vendor.  The list of investment fund vendors is available on the TCG Administrators website at www.tcgservices.com.  TCG Administrators is the administrator for the APS 403(b) Plan. 

The vendors that offer a Roth 403(b) option are noted on the list with an asterisk.

 To locate information about the APS 403(b) Plan:

  • From the home page of the TCG Administrators website, click on “Forms” (black menu bar on the top left)
  • Start typing Albuquerque Public Schools in the search box
  • Select “Albuquerque Public Schools” from the list
  • Under “Plan Description” select “403(b) Albuquerque Public Schools Summary Plan Description”

 To set up payroll contributions to your 403(b):

Once you have an account open with your selected investment fund vendor, go to the TCG website at www.tcgservices.com.

 Click on “Login” (top right on the menu bar)

  • Click the “Group Retirement Plan Portal Login” (green box on the left)
  • The APS Plan Password is: albuq403
  • The default username is your Social Security Number (without dashes)
  • The default password is your date of birth in MMDDYYYY format
  • The system will prompt you to create a unique Username and Password
  • Enter your contact information and click “Next”
  • Under the Select Investments heading, click the “403b Pretax Deferral” (to set up a pre-tax deferral) or the “403b Roth Deferral” (to set up an after-tax deferral).  You will then see all the applicable investment fund vendor names.
    • Scroll down to your investment fund vendor and enter your contribution amount (per pay period deferral amount) in the white box to the right 
    • Click the Authorization checkbox at the bottom of the screen to proceed with your enrollment
  • Review and confirm that all information is correct, including your investment fund vendor name and per paycheck deferral amount.  Make any needed changes using the Edit buttons, then click “Submit”
  • Your six-digit Confirmation Number will be emailed to you.
    • If you do not receive a confirmation email, the election was not finalized.

 You may also set up payroll contributions by calling TCG Administrators at (800) 943-9179. 

 You may enroll in the 403(b) Plan at any time during the year, and your contributions will start with the first paycheck of the month following the date the APS Employee Benefits Department receives notification of your enrollment.  (TCG Administrators will notify APS of your enrollment.)  Note:  Payroll Department deadlines for summer payroll and prior to winter break may impact this date.  

 Contributions for the 403(b) Plan are taken out of two paychecks per month.  There are no contributions deducted from the third paycheck of any month.

 Contact Ann Johnson in the APS Employee Benefits Department at (505) 889-4821 or ann.johnson@aps.edu  if you have general questions about the 403(b) Plan, or want to find out when your contributions will start.  Note:  Sometimes employees have questions about which retirement savings plan will be best for them, or what investment fund they should select.  However, these are not areas that anyone at APS has expertise in.  Questions of that nature need to be researched by the employee; some of our employees elect to work with an independent financial advisor to address those questions.

 To make a change to your existing 403(b) Plan

To change the amount of your contribution to your 403(b) Plan (to any amount, including $0), you will notify our third-party administrator, TCG Administrators, via their secure website.  The TCG website is www.tcgservices.com, their phone number is (800) 943-9179.

(These instructions apply if you are currently contributing to the APS 403(b) Plan but have never used the TCG website before.  If you have used the TCG website before, you will enter the unique username and password that you already created.)

  • Click on “Login” (top right on the menu bar)
  • Click the “Group Retirement Plan Portal Login” (green box on the left)
  • The APS Plan Password is: albuq403
  • The default username is your Social Security Number (without dashes)
  • The default password is your date of birth in MMDDYYYY format
    • If this doesn’t work, it means you previously had a username and password for the TCG site, and will need to call them at (800) 943-9179 to re-set your login credentials
  • The system will prompt you to create a unique Username and Password
  • Enter your contact information and click “Next”
  • Under the Select Investments heading, click the “403b Pretax Deferral” (to change your pre-tax deferral) or the “403b Roth Deferral” (to change your after-tax deferral).  You will then see all the applicable investment fund vendor names.

    • Scroll down to your investment fund vendor and enter your new contribution amount (per pay period deferral amount) in the white box to the right 
      • Leave the “New Election” column blank if you wish to stop your contributions
  • Click the Authorization checkbox at the bottom of the screen to proceed with your change
  • Review and confirm that all information is correct, including your investment fund vendor name and new per paycheck deferral amount.  Make any needed changes using the Edit buttons, then click “Submit”
  • Your six-digit Confirmation Number will be emailed to you.  If you do not receive a confirmation email, your election was not finalized.

If you have questions about completing the information on the TCG website, please call them for assistance. 

You may also change your contribution amount by calling TCG at (800) 943-9179.

You may make changes to your 403(b) contributions at any time during the year, and the change will start with the first paycheck of the month following the date the APS Employee Benefits Department receives notification of the change.  (TCG Administrators will notify APS of your new contribution amount.)  Note:  Payroll Department deadlines for summer payroll and prior to winter break may impact this date.  

 Contact Ann Johnson in the APS Employee Benefits Department at (505) 889-4821 or ann.johnson@aps.edu if you have general questions about the 403(b) Plan, or want to find out when your new contribution amount will appear on your paycheck. 

To request a distribution, loan or roll-over from your 403(b) Plan

  • If you have not already done so, please contact your current investment fund vendor to determine what paperwork they need you to complete, and then complete that paperwork. 

 TCG Administrators is the administrator for the APS 403(b) Plan.  To request a distribution or roll-over from your 403(b) Plan, you will need to complete the TCG Administrators Distribution Form. The form is available on the TCG website at www.tcgservices.com

  • Select “Forms” from the top menu bar (black with white font)
  • Start typing Albuquerque Public Schools in the search engine
  • Select “Albuquerque Public Schools” from the list
  • Under “Forms” select “403(b) Distribution Form”
    • The distribution form is 14 pages long (most of the pages are instructions for specific situations)
  • To complete the form: 
    • Section A – Your name, Social Security Number, date of birth, and contact information; Albuquerque Public Schools is the employer to which the request applies.
    • Section B – The reason for your request (which continue onto the second page of the form)
    • Section C – This applies to the investment fund vendor where you currently have your funds: The vendor name, your contract/policy number with them, and their contact information.
      • Most investment fund vendors require that their paperwork be signed.  The authorized signatory for Albuquerque Public Schools is TCG Administrators. 
    • If your investment fund vendor requires original signatures that will be indicated on their forms.  (If this is the case, you will need to mail all the paperwork to TCG instead of faxing it.)
        • If you want TCG to send you a copy of the signed forms, indicate that on the form and include the address or fax number for the copy to be sent.  (If you request a copy, realize that you will receive a copy of exactly what you submitted to TCG, it will just be signed.) 
      • Section D – Your signature and the date

 

  • For many distributions, TCG requires a copy of your most recent account statement from your investment fund vendor; this request is included in the important instructions on the top of the third page of the Distribution Form. 

 

  • Fax or mail all pages of your investment fund vendor’s paperwork, the first two pages of the TCG Administrators Distribution Form, and any required supporting documentation (refer to the third page of the form), to TCG Administrators.  The address and fax number for TCG Administrators is on the distribution form; they are located in Austin, Texas.

 

  • In many situations, you can fax your paperwork to TCG Administrators.  There is a Fax Cover Sheet on their website. (It is in the same location on their website as the distribution form.  See the instructions above for locating that form.)

 

Once they receive your paperwork, TCG Administrators will determine if you meet the IRS requirements that apply to the distribution, roll-over or loan that you are requesting.  If so, they will sign-off on your investment fund vendor’s form and send the form to the vendor (and a copy to you if you requested that in Section C).   If there is any information that is missing from your submission, TCG will contact you at the Contact Phone or Contact Email you indicated in Section A of the distribution form.

 

If you have questions about completing the TCG Distribution Form, please call them for assistance.  Ann Johnson in the APS Employee Benefits Department may be reached at ann.johnson@aps.edu or (505) 889-4821 if you have general questions.