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BENEFITS


FAQs - PROSPECTIVE TRANSFER

  1. What is a Prospective transfer?

    A Prospective transfer allows you to change plans and begin monthly contributions to Plan D without purchasing any of your Plan E service credit. You may choose to purchase and convert some or all of your Plan E service credit to Plan D.

    Use the Plan Transfer Calculator to see the cost of a Prospective Transfer that includes purchase of prior service and conversion of Plan E service credit to Plan D.

  2. If I transfer prospectively from Plan E to D and don’t buy all of my E time, which plan will my retirement be based on?

    When you retire, you will have service credit in both plans, so your retirement benefit will be a combined allowance. First, your retirement allowance under each plan will be calculated separately, based on the service credit you earned under that plan. Then, the two amounts will be added together to determine your total monthly allowance. You may retire from each plan when you meet the minimum retirement age (age 50 for Plan D; age 55 for Plan E) and service credit requirements (10 years of combined Plan D and Plan E service credit).

    If you become vested in Plan D and leave your contributions on deposit (deferred membership) when you terminate, you will be eligible to retire from D on the date you would have earned the required service credit . (8-31-06)

  3. If I transfer prospectively, when can I transfer back?

    If you transfer prospectively, you must remain in your new plan for three years. After three years, you may choose to transfer back.

    NOTE: If you transfer from Plan D to Plan E and, after three years, you elect to transfer back to Plan D, your cost for monthly Plan D contributions will be higher (based on your age at the time you transfer back to Plan D. (10-24-06)

  4. I want to transfer prospectively to Plan D now and retire at age 50. When will I get my Plan E benefits?

    You will be age-eligible to retire from Plan D at age 50. If you choose to retire at age 50, you will be eligible to receive only your Plan D benefit at that time. You may apply to receive your Plan E benefit when you reach age 55.

  5. With a Prospective transfer, may I use money from my 401(k) plan to purchase service credit?

    Yes, LACERA accepts rollovers of before-tax funds from 401(k) plans for purchase and conversion of Plan E service credit.

    Contact Great-West at 800-947-0845 to determine the amount you are eligible to roll over from the County 401(k) Savings Plan. The amount an active employee may roll over is limited by age, years in plan, and contribution type. (10-24-06)

  6. If I transfer prospectively to Plan D, how much Plan E service credit can I purchase?

    You may opt to purchase and convert any or all of your Plan E service credit. The minimum amount is one year, unless you have less than one year of Plan E service credit. In that case, your purchase must convert all of your Plan (10-24-06)

    For a cost estimate, try our Plan Transfer Calculator.

  7. If I prospectively transfer to Plan D and purchase some of my prior Plan E time, how will my monthly Plan D contributions be affected?

    Your monthly Plan D contributions will continue in addition to any monthly payment you make for additional service credit purchases.

    Once your contract is paid in full, LACERA will adjust (reduce) your monthly Plan D contribution rate to reflect the age you were when you began the Plan E service you just purchased. (8-31-06)

  8. In a Prospective Transfer, how is the cost to purchase prior Plan E service credit calculated?

    Your cost is the amount you would have paid in contributions if you had been a Plan D member for the period of Plan E service credit you are purchasing; monthly contributions are based on your age at the birthday nearest the first date of the period to be purchased, plus interest. (9-6-06)

  9. If I transfer prospectively from Plan E to Plan D, what types of funds may I use to purchase my service credit?

    Under the Pension Protection Act of 2006, prior service may be purchased using any of the following types of funds:

    • Payroll Deductions
    • Qualified Plans: 401(k)/KEOGH 457 Plans In-Service
    • 457 Plans After Termination
    • IRAs: Non-Roth/Non-After Tax
    • 403(b)
    • After-tax dollars (including savings, funds from mortgage refinance, cash-on-hand, etc.) (12-30-06)
  10. What payment options are available?

    You have a choice of three payment options: lump-sum payment, payroll deductions, or a combination of both.

    • Lump-Sum Payment: a single payment for the total cost of your service credit, including interest calculated through the contract expiration date.
    • Payroll Deductions: automatic monthly deductions from your paycheck, determined by dividing the total dollar amount of your contract by the term (number of months) of your contract. Interest is calculated over the term of the contract; therefore, the amount you pay through payroll deductions is greater than it would be through a lump-sum payment.
    • Combination Lump-Sum Payment/Payroll Deductions: allow you to pay an amount of your choice in a single upfront payment and pay off the balance of the contract through monthly payroll deductions. (3-26-07)
  11. What are the payment terms on a Prospective Transfer contract?

    You may choose a contract term (payment period) from one month to 10 years (120 months). Generally, your payment contract must be completed before you retire or terminate County employment. However, if you terminate County service or retire earlier than anticipated, you may pay the balance due within 120 days after your effective date of retirement or termination. (4-6-07)

  12. If I transfer prospectively and purchase some of my prior service, can I terminate my contract if I change my mind?

    The ability to change or revoke your contract hinges on the type of payment method you select. Once you sign a contract that includes payroll deductions and/or payments using other before-tax funds, the contract is irrevocable. Only contracts that indicate your payments will be made exclusively with after-tax dollars may be revised or revoked. (3-19-07)

  13. How does my Prospective Transfer to Plan D affect my eligibility to apply for disability retirement?

    If you transfer prospectively to Plan D you are eligible to apply for a service-connected disability retirement (regardless of the date of injury) when either of the following conditions is met:

    • Completed two years of continuous service as an active Plan D member after your most recent effective date of transfer. (During that two-year period, you must not take a medical leave necessitated by a preexisting condition.)
    • Or, if you had a break in service, you must have earned five years of service credit as an active Plan D member after your most recent effective date of transfer.

    To apply for a nonservice-connected disability retirement, Plan D members must have earned a minimum of five years of County service credit. The credit may include Plan D, Plan E, or reciprocal service credit, but must include one of the Plan D service credit options listed above. (1-3-11)

  14. I transferred to Plan D from Plan E via a Prospective Plan Transfer (PPT) and want to apply for disability retirement, but I don’t meet the two-year/five-year requirement. What can I do?

    Disability benefits are available to Plan D and Plan E members under the County Long-Term Disability Plan (LTD). For information on the County LTD plan, call the Los Angeles County Employee Benefits Hotline at 213-388-9982. LACERA does not administer this plan. (1-3-11)

  15. Is there an advantage to transferring back to Plan E for disabled PPT transferees who the Board of Retirement determines fail to meet the required disability application eligibility conditions? 

    Under certain circumstances, it may be more advantageous for the affected member to continue LTD benefits under Plan E than under Plan D. Factors such as the member’s age, amount of service credit, and election of LTD Health Insurance may influence whether the member transfers back to Plan E or remains in Plan D. Effective January 1, 2011, Plan D PPT transferees can to transfer back to Plan E and continue under the County LTD program as a Plan E member if  the Board of Retirement determines they do not meet the required disability application eligibility conditions. (These members are exempt from the three-year waiting and active employment requirement that applies to other PPT transferees who want to transfer back to Plan E.) (1-3-11)

  16. What happens if I stop working, retire, or die before I complete payment for my prospective transfer service credit purchase?

    If you terminate employment or retire before your contract is paid in full, you may complete payment within 120 days after your termination or retirement date. If you die, your eligible surviving spouse or domestic partner (or minor child) would be eligible to complete payment within 120 days after the date of death. If not paid in full, the retirement allowance or survivor allowance would be prorated to include service credit for whole months already paid. (10-24-06)

  17. I transferred prospectively from Plan E to Plan D and I have double accounts with LACERA. Can I withdraw my Plan D retirement contributions and keep my vested Plan E service credit?

    No. If you withdraw your Plan D contributions, you will forfeit all your future retirement benefits, including any disability or vested Plan E benefits. LACERA is a single-plan benefit administrator. A double account status reflects one active and one inactive plan. You cannot terminate and withdraw some of plan benefits without losing all your future benefits. (4-10-07)

1/2/13