The county secretary retirement plan has been designed to be a portion of an individual’s long-term financial plan and encourages secretaries to plan extended careers with the extension council. The plan is administered by Nationwide Retirement Solutions (NRS).
A county office secretary who is regularly scheduled to work at least ¾ time (.75 FTE or 30 hours per week) is eligible for participation in the retirement plan unless the secretary is enrolled in another public fund supported retirement plan.
The extension county secretary retirement plan is not intended to duplicate other public fund supported retirement plans. If a county extension council has made prior arrangements for secretaries to be payrolled by the county commission, which allows participation in a county retirement plan such as LAGERS or CERF, the secretaries cannot participate in the extension retirement plan. However, private plans established by the extension council would be eligible for participation.
Plan participation is optional. For those who choose to participate, the plan allows a monthly payroll deduction for secretaries and provides for contribution by extension, as well as allowing for voluntary county extension council contributions. County extension councils may establish their own vesting period (different than the extension vesting period). Plan flexibility allows each individual to select from an array of investment options, and to change those selections over time.
Eligible secretaries may enroll in the plan at any time by completing the NRS Enrollment form (either online or downloading and completing a paper enrollment). In either case, the MU Extension plan administrator must be notified when a secretary has enrolled in the plan. The Employer ID is 0038730.
Eligible secretaries must be enrolled in the plan before any contributions may be made.
457 component — Eligible secretaries may make voluntary contributions via payroll deduction that will be deposited into a 457 account. Extension councils may or may not have their own vesting period before a secretary may begin voluntary contributions. These contributions may begin before the MU Extension plan vesting period is completed.
401(a) component — County extension council contribution and the MU Extension contribution are deposited into a 401(a) account.
- Council contributions are voluntary and councils may have their own vesting period before any council contribution is made.
- University extension has a one-year vesting period (must be benefit eligible for one year) and enrolled before the automatic contribution will begin.
MU Extension contribution
After the one-year vesting period is complete, MU Extension will contribute a percentage of the monthly rate of pay to each individual’s 401(a) account. The MU Extension contribution is a tiered contribution:
- An automatic 3 percent contribution to all eligible, enrolled secretaries
- An additional contribution of 2 percent to participant's retirement plan for secretaries who contribute a minimum of $25 to the 457 plan (receipt deadline is the 20th of the month)
- The maximum MU Extension contribution will not exceed 5 percent
Beginning January 2015 the MU Extension contribution will increase to potentially a 7% monthly allocation. The automatic Extension allocation to eligible secretaries who are enrolled and vested in the program will increase to 4% a month. The additional allocation will increase to 3% for secretaries who contribute a minimum of $25 a month to the plan.
County extension councils must submit employee contributions via payroll withholding (deferred pay) and any voluntary contributions monthly to MU Extension. Checks should be made payable to the University of Missouri and submitted on the Retirement Remittance Form (XLSX).
Funds are transmitted monthly to NRS by the plan administrator. Secretary (457) and council (401a) contributions received by extension before the 20th of the month will be deposited with that month’s funds. Secretary funds (457 contributions) must be received by the 20th of each month to receive the additional 2 percent extension contribution (there will be no retro-active adjustments). When checking your balance with NRS, remember that funds received after the 20th of the month will not show up until the following month’s transmission.
MU Extension Secretary Retirement Plan (DOCX) (detailed)