How the Plan Works
This is a supplemental “qualified” retirement plan. Essentially, you put aside an amount from each paycheck and invest it until withdrawal.
All employees in the Exempt Unit and Elected Officials are eligible to participate in the County's Traditional or Roth 401(k) Plan.
If you are interested in joining the 401(k) Plan, contact the local office of Voya Financial Services at
1.909.748.6468 or 1.800.452.5842 to schedule an appointment. For full contact information, visit
Voya's Contact page. A representative will be happy to meet with you at your work site to advise and enroll you into the plan. You can also view the relevant EMACS Salary Savings Forms webpage.
Two Plan Options
The 401(k) Plan provides two savings options:
You make pre-tax contributions and any earnings that accumulate over the years are not taxed until you receive them. This is generally at retirement when participants are usually in a lower tax bracket.
You make after-tax contributions and any earnings that accumulate over the years are taxed up-front so that you can receive tax-free income upon retirement, as long as you meet certain qualifications.
You also benefit from contributions made by the County. Both the County and you contribute to this plan.
You decide what percentage of your salary you wish to contribute, within certain
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) limits.
As explained above, you may choose to make pre-tax contributions under the Traditional 401(k) Plan or after-tax contributions under the Roth 401(k) Plan.
The County will reduce your paycheck each pay period by the requested amount and will forward it directly to an investment service provider (currently Voya Financial Services) who will place it in an account on your behalf.
The County matches your contribution at a ratio of 2 to 1.
- Elected Officials and Exempt A, B & C receive a match on their contribution up to 4%.
- Exempt D employees receive a match on their contribution up to 3%.
Example 1: If Exempt B employee contributes 4% or more of his or her bi-weekly base salary, the County contributes 8% (i.e., 4% x 2) of the bi-weekly base salary.
Example 2: If Exempt B employee contributes 2% of bi-weekly base salary, the County contributes 4% (i.e., 2% x 2) of the bi-weekly base salary.
County contributions are also forwarded directly to an investment service provider (currently Voya Financial) who will place the money in an account on your behalf.
You decide how to invest the money in your account. The plan offers various investment options. You are solely responsible for choosing the investment options for your account. Refer to the
Investment Terms section and the Comparison of Investment Options to assist you in making choices that are right for you.
The County, as Plan Administrator, monitors the investment options and will delete or remove funds that fail to perform according to the guidelines set forth in the County of San Bernardino
Statement of Investment Policies and Guidelines. As such, the investment options offered under the plan are subject to change from time to time. Any money invested in an investment option that is removed or replaced will be mapped to another fund offered by the plan. You always have the ability to change the way an investment is to be mapped by directing your balance to another option offered under the plan.
Taxes and Withdrawals
There is a substantial early withdrawal penalty that will be assessed against any distributions made prior to age 59 ½ (or age 55 if you are an Elected Official or Exempt employee or age 50 if you are a Safety Exempt employee and eligible to retire under SBCERA at that age). County contributions are not taxed up-front.
You may take a loan against your account balance while you are still employed. Loans are subject to several restrictions and you should make yourself thoroughly familiar with the loan provisions in the
401(k) Plan document before requesting a loan.