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Retirement Savings Plans

Seniors Walking on Beach

The City of San Diego offers employees tax-deferred retirement savings plans to help employees achieve a financially secure retirement. Retirement benefit eligibility varies by hire date. For information regarding the City’s defined benefit (pension) plan, please visit the San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System (SDCERS) website.

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Employee Retirement Savings Plans Now Administered by Principal

Principal Financial Group has acquired Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement & Trust, which means they also acquired administration of the City’s SPSP, SPSP-H, 401a and 401k plans. With this change also comes new functionality, including:

  • Enhanced financial wellness and education resources, with an intuitive digital planner that has account aggregation to provide participants with a holistic view of their retirement;
  • My Virtual Coach, which helps break down complex financial topics into easy-to-understand conversations; 
  • Legal document resources, like will preparation, at no cost; and
  • Fully Spanish versions of Principal’s retirement website, mobile app, and educational resources.

Please review the following webinars to learn more about Principal:

You may also review this flyer for the various options you have for accessing your Principal account:
PDF icon Principal Account Access Flyer


Mandatory Defined Contribution Plans

The City’s mandatory defined contribution retirement savings plans include the SPSP-H, 401(a), and SPSP plans, which are overseen by the Defined Contribution Plans Trustee Board (the Board). For more information regarding the Board, including upcoming agendas and minutes, please visit: https://www.sandiego.gov/riskmanagement/dcptb.

The record-keeper for the City’s mandatory defined contribution plans is Principal. For assistance or questions regarding your mandatory defined contribution account, you may call the Principal Contact Center at 1-800-547-7754. You may access your account at https://www.principal.com/welcome.

Supplemental Pension Savings Plan - Hourly (SPSP-H)

Employees that meet the eligibility described below will be automatically enrolled in the City’s SPSP-H Plan:

  Standard Hour Employees Hourly (No Standard Hours) Employees
Eligibility
  • Police Recruits hired on or after July 20, 2012
  • All other employees originally hired between July 20, 2012 and July 9, 2021
All Hourly (no standard hours) employees, regardless of hire date.
Employee Mandatory Pre-tax Contribution Rates
  • Non-safety and legislative employees: 9.2%
  • Safety employees: 11%
3.75%
City Matching Contribution rates Mandatory SPSP-H contributions for standard hour employees are matched 100% by the City
  • MEA & Local 911: 6%
  • All other employees: 3.75%

 

401(a) Plan

Eligible employees include:

  • General Members originally hired on or after July 10, 2021
  • Employees originally hired between July 1, 2009 and July 19, 2012
  • Employees originally hired prior to July 1, 2009 and withdrew funds from SDCERs

Employees will be automatically enrolled into the mandatory portion of the 401(a) Plan at a contribution rate of 1% pre-tax, which is matched 100% by the City.

401(a) Plan participants may also make voluntary contributions to their 401(a) account, which are made on a post-tax basis. Employees must input any voluntary contribution amount through SAP Self-Services. Voluntary 401(a) contributions are not matched by the City.

Supplemental Pension Savings Plan (SPSP)

Eligible employees originally hired prior to July 1, 2009 that kept their retirement funds in SDCERS will be automatically enrolled in the mandatory portion of the SPSP Plan at a contribution rate of 3% pre-tax. Eligible employees may voluntarily contribute up to 3.05% post-tax (or 4.5% post-tax for eligible employees originally hired prior to April 1, 1986).  Voluntary contribution amounts are input through SAP Self-Services.

The City of San Diego matches all employee SPSP contributions 100% (City contributions are made on a pre-tax basis). Employees may make one withdrawal of their SPSP contributions per calendar year after two years of participation (note, the City match portion is not available for withdrawal). Loans and hardship withdrawals are also available from this plan, subject to IRS guidelines.


Voluntary Defined Contribution Plans

The voluntary defined contribution plans include the 401(k) and 457(b) Plans. All employees are eligible to participate in the City’s 401(k) plan and all standard-hour employees are eligible to participate in the City’s 457(b) deferred compensation plan, regardless of hire date.  More information regarding these plans is included below.

401(k) Plan

The City’s 401(k) Plan is an IRS-qualified defined contribution plan that allows employees to contribute monies on a pre-tax or after-tax basis for additional savings upon retirement. There is no City match. Employees choose how their contributions are invested from the same options available for the SPSP/401(a) plans as selected by the Defined Contribution Plans Trustee Board. Hardship withdrawals and loans are available for this plan. Employees may make pre-tax or after-tax (Roth) contributions from their pay within IRS limits. You must input any contribution amounts through SAP Self-Services.

The record-keeper for the City’s 401(k) Plan is Principal; for assistance or questions regarding your 401(k) account, you may call the Principal Contact Center at 1-800-547-7754.

View more information about this plan:

457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan

The City of San Diego participates in the CalPERS Supplemental Income 457 Plan (CalPERS 457 Plan). The CalPERS 457 Plan affords you an opportunity to help accumulate money for a secure retirement. You contribute pre-tax dollars automatically by convenient payroll deduction, which might lower current income taxes. There is no City match. Employees may make pre-tax contributions from their pay within IRS limits. You must input any contribution amounts through SAP Self-Services. Hardship withdrawals and loans from the CalPERS 457 Plan are available. Note: contributions to the CalPERS 457 Plan will decrease mandatory savings contribution calculations (including the City match) for the SPSP-H and 401(a) accounts.

If you have any questions, please contact CalPERS at 1-800-260-0659 (press 2 for a Participant Service Representative). You may access your account at https://calpers.voya.com.

View more information about this plan:


One-time Savings Contribution Request

All employees are allowed to make a one-time payroll contribution to one or more voluntary retirement savings accounts, due to a special cash influx such as: Flexible Benefits cash, Uniform Allowance, Overtime, Pay-in-Lieu, or Final Pay Check. Employees are able to make contributions to their 401(k) or 457(b) Deferred Compensation plans, up to the annual limit (limit is subject to changes per the IRS). To make a one-time savings contribution, please follow the instructions included in the request form:  PDF icon One-time Savings Contribution Request Form.


Additional Financial Tools and Tips


Post-employment Health Benefits

Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA)

An HRA provides a tax-free source of funds to reimburse the cost of medical care expenses for you, your legal spouse, and qualified dependents. An HRA may be used to reimburse you for qualified medical, dental, or vision out-of-pocket expenses (deductibles, co-payments, co‑insurance, etc.). It also covers premiums for qualified medical, dental, or vision insurance, Medicare Part B and Part D, Medicare supplement plans, and tax-qualified long-term care insurance. Claims may be submitted following separation of service from the City of San Diego.

Retiree Medical Trust

Eligible non-safety and legislative employees who were hired on or after 7/1/2009, contribute 0.25% pre-tax, which is matched 100% by the City.  

The Retiree Medical Trust account is administered by Voya/TASC 1-866-678-8322.  You may access your account at https://www.voya.com/hra.

Option C

Eligible employees who were hired prior to 7/1/2005 and who elected Option C, will receive an allocation to their HRA account when they meet the applicable age and years of service requirements. You will receive an enrollment packet from your trust account administrator within 60 days of funding. Please contact the Risk Management Department Savings Section at 619-236-6600 if you have not received your packet within 60 days.

Option C trust account administrators are as follows:

  • For unrepresented/unclassified employees and deferred vested employees: : Voya/TASC 1-866-678-8322 https://www.voya.com/hra
  • For represented employees other than Local 145 members: Gallagher 1-844-342-5505
  • For Local 145 members: Benefit Programs Administration, 1-844-353-7839 or 213-406-2370

Other Retiree Health Plans (Options A and B)

Options A and B are defined benefit-style retiree health plans for eligible employees hired prior to 7/1/2005. SDCERS manages the health reimbursements for eligible retirees. For more information, contact SDCERS at 619-525-3600 or toll-free at 1-800-774-4977 or visit the SDCERS website