Select Your Contribution Amount to be Set Aside
You decide how much of your pay you would like to set aside for your retirement. You can start with as little as $20 per pay period and change the amount whenever you wish. Remember the more you put in, and the earlier you start saving the better the opportunity for your money to grow.
You can contribute any dollar amount up to the IRS Annual Plan Contribution limit. The 2021 limit is $19,500 for participants under age 50, and those over age 50 can contribute an additional $6,500 in 2021.
How Much to Save?
A way to think about this is, “How much of your pay will you need in retirement?” You may not need as much income because your daily working expenses may be gone if you stop working altogether. Or you may have paid-off your mortgage by the time you retire. On the other hand, you may have to pay for unforeseen health-related expenses as you grow older.
Keep in mind, you may have several forms of retirement income from Social Security, WRS Pension and retirement accounts from past employers. You can use the WRS Retirement Goal-Setting Calculator to help you think through these questions.
Choose Whether to Set Aside Money Before or After Taxes are Taken Out
You can elect to set aside money into your WRS 457 plan account before or after your federal taxes are taken out. It’s up to you!
If you decide to set aside money in your account before federal taxes are taken out, the reduction to your take-home pay is less than your contribution. If your employer contributes to your WRS 457 Plan account, these contributions have to be before-tax and will be taxed when you take money out of your account in the future.
If you decide to have money set aside in your WRS 457 plan account after federal income taxes are taken, your contribution to your account does not reduce the federal income taxes withheld from your pay.
Changing Your Contribution
You may increase, decrease, stop, or restart your contributions at any time. However, the WRS 457 Plan must receive your change request the month before you want the change to take effect.
Most participating employees should complete a Paycheck Contribution Election Form and send it to WRS. Your requested change will take effect the month after your completed form is processed.
Employees of Wyoming State Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches (state employees) can also change their contribution amount online. These employees may also use their online account to elect to save a percentage of their monthly pay, rather than a fixed amount.