About Deferred Compensation
You’ve probably heard of the different types of retirement plans offered by employers. As an employee of Cook County, there is a plan created specifically for you.
As the plan administrator of the Cook County Deferred Compensation Plan, Nationwide® has worked with public sector employees for more than 30 years, so we know the kinds of questions you may have about your plan. We’ll give you the tools and information to help you feel confident about investing for retirement. Keep in mind that investing involves market risk, including possible loss of principal, and there’s no guarantee that investment objectives will be achieved.
A 457(b) deferred compensation plan is a retirement plan offered by Cook County, created to allow county employees like you to put aside money from each paycheck toward retirement. Your deferred compensation plan can help bridge the gap between what you have in your pension and Social Security (if applicable), and how much you’ll need in retirement.
Here are some frequently asked questions about deferred comp plans:
- What sets a 457(b) apart from other retirement plans? A 457(b) may offer benefits other retirement plans can’t, like penalty-free withdrawals once you stop working for Cook County.
- What does tax-deferred mean? Basically, you don’t pay income taxes on your deferred comp plan contributions or earnings until you retire and/or begin to take payments from your account. This may lower your taxable income now and in retirement.
- Can I combine retirement accounts? Our Retirement Specialists will work with you to combine, or consolidate your eligible retirement accounts into your Cook County Deferred Compensation account. This may make managing your retirement investments a little easier. Qualified retirement plans, deferred compensation plans and individual retirement accounts are all different, including fees and when you can access funds. Assets rolled over from your account(s) may be subject to surrender charges, other fees and/or a 10% tax penalty if withdrawn before age 59½.
- How much can I put into a 457 plan? Check out the current contribution limits.
For a full-spectrum overview of the plan, review the Plan Document (PDF).
Get the help you need
The sooner you enroll, the more you can possibly save. Take a look at the Enrollment Checklist to see what you’ll need to have handy and enroll today!
PDFs require Acrobat® Reader®
There are three steps to participating in a deferred comp plan:
Enroll in your plan – It’s easy to participate in Cook County Deferred Comp. Contributions are automatically deducted from each paycheck and deposited to your account, so you don’t have to remember to write a check.
Use the Paycheck Impact Calculator to see how saving pre-tax will affect your paycheck.
Invest your money – You’ll choose funds from the list of investment options available within your plan. Keep in mind, any investment involves risk and there’s no guarantee that any fund will achieve its investment objectives. But, we’re here to help.
Use My Investment Planner to get a personalized retirement strategy, including recommendations for your retirement income goal, savings rate and portfolio asset mix. You’ll need to enroll first and then set up online access to use this tool.
Receive income – Many public employees retire earlier than those in the private sector, and if that’s the case, you’ll want to invest enough to live in retirement on your terms. Before you begin taking payments, review our Retirement Checklist to make sure you’re ready to transition from saving to spending.
When you’re ready to receive income, these tips may help you do so wisely. Depending on the plan type you’re invested in, there may also be a 10% penalty on distributions prior to age 59½.
Get more information on how to consolidate your retirement accounts to potentially make managing your money in retirement easier. Qualified retirement plans, deferred compensation plans and individual retirement accounts are all different, including fees and when you can access funds. Assets rolled over from your account(s) may be subject to surrender charges, other fees and/or a 10% tax penalty if withdrawn before age 59½.
Get the help you need
The sooner you enroll, the more you can possibly save. Take a look at the Enrollment Checklist to see what you’ll need to have handy and enroll today! Then, talk with one of our Retirement Specialists about the Cook County Deferred Compensation Plan.
Deferred comp helps put you in control of when, where and how much you invest. And that's just the beginning—here are four more reasons why it's smart to participate in your deferred comp plan:
1. You can start anytime
Your deferred comp plan will work for you whether you're approaching retirement or just getting started investing – putting away money in a tax-deferred account can offer several benefits.
- See how your investment can potentially grow due to the power of time and compounding.
- Use the Future Value Calculator to see how delaying enrollment could impact your savings.
2. Every little bit helps
Even investing a little bit of money can really add up over time – it's just important to get started! And if you continue to bump up contributions on a regular basis, the overall impact to your paycheck may not seem too painful. Consider putting raises or bonuses into deferred comp – it's an easy way to invest a little more.
|Growth Period||Ending Balance|
|Deferral Per Pay||Paycheck Impact||Annual Pay Reduction||Accumulation 10 Years||Accumulation 20 Years||Accumulation 30 Years|
Chart assumptions: Biweekly deferrals, 25% tax rate for paycheck impact, 7% annual rate of return. This hypothetical illustration is not intended to predict or project investment results. It does not assume taxes, fees or account withdrawals during accumulation; if it did, results would be lower. This chart is not intended to project the performance of your deferred compensation account. Investments involve market risk, including the possible loss of principal. Actual investment results will vary depending on your investment and market experience. Income stream durations and amounts are not guaranteed.
3. This plan is made for you
Unlike other retirement plans, a 457(b) deferred compensation plan takes into account that you may retire sooner than workers in the private sector. Generally, you don’t have to worry about paying a penalty for retiring early or beginning to take income from the plan before age 59½.
Read Why Invest Now? to learn why it's smart to get started with your deferred compensation now.
4. You'll get service you can count on
Nationwide is ready and willing to answer your questions. We've been helping public sector employees save for retirement for more than 30 years and our Retirement Specialists have helped educate thousands of employees about investing through their retirement plans. Feel free to call today — we don't charge a fee to work with a Retirement Specialist.
Read more about why Nationwide may be right for you.
Get the help you need
The sooner you enroll, the more you can possibly save. Take a look at the Enrollment Checklist for tips on the information you'll need to have handy and enroll today.
As a participant in the Cook County Deferred Compensation Plan, you’ll have access to a wide range of investment options. Your investment options were selected by your Plan and can help meet your retirement planning needs. Keep in mind that investing involves market risk, including possible loss of principal. As you get started in the Cook County Plan, we’ll help you understand market risk and strategies that may help you deal with it.
Understand your options
The investment choices available to you fall into five major asset classes:
- Risk-based funds
- Time-based fund
- Stock fund
- Bond funds
- Short-term investments
There are four classes of stock funds we offer:
- International stock
- Small-cap stock
- Mid-cap stock
- Large-cap stock
Get the help you need
Talk to a Retirement Specialist about your investment options or learn more about how to choose funds. Information provided by Retirement Specialists is for educational purposes only and is not intended as investment advice.
It only takes a few minutes to sign up. Here are some things you'll need:
- Your employer's name or employer's ID
- Cook County ID #0035046001
- Cook County Forest Preserve ID #0035043001
- Your Social Security number
- Your annual income
- Contribution amount
- Investment selections
- Read about your investment options
- Beneficiary names and Social Security numbers
Get the help you need
We'll even walk you through it. If you need more help, call one of our Retirement Specialists.