FICA Alternative Plan

The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) implemented the FICA alternative plan, effective July 1, 2005, which is administered by the state’s Deferred Compensation Committee. The plan is for current and future NSHE employees who contribute to the FICA portion of Social Security. The state’s FICA alternative plan will allow affected employees to accumulate retirement benefits in a manner different from Social Security.

The FICA alternative plan is mandatory for all part-time, seasonal, temporary, and casual employees. Contributions will be made on a pretax basis, and participants become 100 percent vested upon enrollment. The plan’s vendor is Voya financial services group and offers guaranteed interest rates on all deposited funds. Current Medicare contributions, including the employee match, will continue unchanged under the FICA alternative plan.

Who qualifies under this plan?

All new employees hired July 1, 2005, or later who would normally contribute to Social Security are mandated to participate in the FICA alternative plan. Continuing employees will be granted the option of participating in either the Social Security program or the FICA alternative program.

Will employees have a choice not to participate in the plan?

Part-time, seasonal, temporary, and casual employees hired after July 1, 2005, who would normally contribute to Social Security are mandated to participate.

Returning employees on a letter of appointment will be considered new employees and mandated to participate if they have not been on the payroll for more than one year.

Continuing employees will be granted the option of participating either in the Social Security program or the FICA alternative plan if they have not previously enrolled in the FICA alternative plan.

Once an employee is in a FICA alternative plan, the option of returning to Social Security while employed with NSHE is not available.

What happens if a continuing employee currently enrolled in either the FICA alternative plan or Social Security fails to make a selection on the enrollment form?

The continuing employee will remain in either the FICA alternative plan or Social Security.

What percentage of the participant’s salary will be deducted and invested in the deferred FICA alternative plan?

A pretax deduction of 7.5 percent will be withheld from the participant’s total salary (not base salary) and placed in the designated deferred compensation plan.

Will participants receive credit toward Social Security retirement?

No. The FICA alternative plan will be in lieu of Social Security.

Will a participant be able to designate a beneficiary?

Yes. To designate a beneficiary, contact Voya.

Will participants receive statements from the vendor?

Yes. Statements are sent by Voya on a quarterly basis.

What happens to the funds when a participant separates from service?

Participants who separate from service and choose to withdraw their funds must notify Voya in order to receive funds.

Participants who separate from their employer and wish their funds to remain deposited will not need to notify Voya of their change in employment status.

Note: Voya has determined that separation means an employee has not been paid within the NSHE system for one month.

Can a participant withdraw funds early without a penalty?

There is no penalty for early withdrawal prior to retirement. However, a participant will be taxed on the amount of withdrawal. Refunds can take from four to eight weeks to receive.

Can a participant roll funds into another qualified plan?

Yes, a participant can roll his or her funds into another qualified plan. Voya will assist the participant with this process.