Update—Your Retirement Security: April 29, 2021

Dear OCEA member,

Your retirement security is administered by the Orange County Employees Retirement System (OCERS). Adele Tagaloa and Chris Prevatt are not just OCEA Board members, you have also elected them as OCERS trustees to oversee OCERS' operations on behalf of you and thousands of other members. Adele and Chris are joined on the OCERS Board by retiree member and former OCEA President, Frank Eley.

The OCERS Board of Retirement also includes members appointed by the Board of Supervisors, the County Treasurer-Tax Collector, and public safety workers.

In addition to your Defined Benefit Pension Plan, the County offers an IRS section 457 Defined Contribution Program- a voluntary retirement savings program that allows you to contribute a portion of your bi-weekly salary on a pre-tax basis. Because the County deducts your contribution from your paycheck before taxes, you reduce your taxable income and pay less in taxes right now. Plus, all of your savings grow tax-free until you remove money from your account at retirement or separation of employment.

"The 457 Program is an important supplement to your pension," says Board of Retirement Trustee Chris Prevatt. "Your own personal tax-free savings is one of the ways you can make sure your retirement income meets your needs." 457 Plan participants recently received an email from the County regarding the voluntary 457 Defined Contribution Plan offered through Great West Retirement Services. You can see the email below. Effective March 10, 2021, participants now have the option to defer their 457 contributions either as a fixed dollar amount or percentage of pay. "Should your pay fluctuate for any reason, the deduction rolls with the changes," says Prevatt. "That can affect your take-home earnings so it's a good option."

To make any 457 Program changes, call (866) 457-2254. It’s critical you and your coworkers have representation on the OCERS Board of Retirement like Chris and Adele. OCEA is committed to your retirement security and makes sure those representing you do so with the utmost care and commitment.

In Solidarity,

Charles Barfield
OCEA General Manager


Publication Date: April 29, 2021