Are You Ready for Retirement?
All DPS employees and most of Colorado’s other public employees contribute to the Colorado PERA retirement program rather than social security. The PERA retirement plan offers a sound foundation for retirement income, but there is more that you can do to ensure your desired retirement lifestyle. Saving for retirement starts now, and DPS has many opportunities for you to invest in your future!
Retirement readiness means that you are financially prepared (or are on-track for being financially prepared) to meet your income needs to maintain your preferred lifestyle during your retirement years. Retirement planning is an important step in preparing for your future. Do you know what your goals for retirement are? Talking to a financial advisor or retirement planner can be a really helpful step in figuring out what you need to do to be ready to retire.
External Resources for Getting Started: we have compiled some helpful external resources - however DPS cannot guarantee the safety of any external site.
The IRS allows you to make contributions to your retirement plans on a pre-tax or post-tax basis. You can contribute up to the maximum amount each year. If you turn 50 or older during the calendar year, you are also able to add Catchup Contributions on top of the yearly maximum.
DPS partners with AIG Retirement Services (formerly known as Valic) to provide savings options that meet your needs.
*Please note: DPS PERA members are not able to enroll in the 457 PERAPlus plan.
DPS’ Sick Leave Payout:
Some qualifying retirees may receive a payout of accrued sick and personal leave time at a rate determined by Bargaining Unit Agreements and Board Policy.
If you are not retiring through COPera: send HR Connect (firstname.lastname@example.org) a letter from COPera that reflects eligibility to retire. This will trigger the Sick Leave Payout process.
Retirees can receive their Sick Leave payout in two forms:
- Lump Sum: paid 6-8 weeks after final regular paycheck is received; default option
- Deferral of Funds: transfer of payout funds to an active retirement account (403(b), 457(b), or 401(k)) through DPS. The retirement account must be active for at least 30 days prior to retirement and a contribution must have been made from the employee’s final paycheck. To select a deferral of funds, complete the Sick Leave Deferral Agreement and submit to email@example.com 30 days before your retirement date.
Sick Leave Payout Calculator (you must download to use)
AIG (Valic) gives you the ability to select your funds depending on market segment. We would advise speaking to an AIG financial advisor regarding your investing options.
Things to Consider
- The IRS allows you to contribute up to a maximum amount each year. It is your responsibility to make sure that your total annual contribution doesn’t exceed the maximum amount allowed by the IRS.
- As a DPS employee, you’re eligible to enroll in a 403(b) or a 401(k), and a 457(b) plan to save twice the amount of the IRS limit (contributing the maximum amount towards each account).
- Contributions into these plans do not reduce the calculation of PERA salary or the Highest Average Salary.
- DPS charges a $0.50 per paycheck administration fee for all team members enrolled in the 401(k) plan with PERA and the 403(b) and 457(b) plans with AIG. This fee covers the cost of an external retirement consultant to ensure our plans meet all federal guidelines and to ensure a high-performing investment line up.
Partnering with Innovest
DPS partners with Innovest Portfolio Solutions to advise on our retirement plans and help us provide the highest quality retirement plans we can.
Innovest Portfolio Solutions, LLC is a nationally recognized retirement plan consulting firm based in Denver that has assisted the DPS retirement plan committee since 2017 in improving and modernizing our 403(b) retirement plan. Through their efforts and the efforts of our internal retirement plan committee, a low cost, high quality institutional retirement plan solution has been created to benefit our employees. Innovest is a proud supporter of the DPS Foundation and has a philanthropic mission of improving education opportunities for the underserved. Most recently, President Wendy Dominguez of Innovest Portfolio Solutions has accepted an appointment to the Colorado Public School Fund Investment Board, which benefits public schools. She was appointed to the board of this billion-dollar fund by the Colorado State Treasurer.
Innovest Quarterly Reports and Participant Notices
myaccount.valic.com is your go-to spot for changing or viewing your retirement plan information.
Here you can:
- Enroll in retirement plans such as 403(b), or 457(b)
- Make changes to your contributions
- Change your investments
- View your account information
This convenient, secure, web-based access point allows you to access and manage your retirement accounts anytime, anywhere. Go to MyRetirementManager or Call 1-866-294-7950 to set up your account.
Here you can:
- Learn more about your retirement plans
- View balance information
- Request Distribution Eligibility Certificates for
loans, hardship withdrawals, unforeseeable emergencies,
severance of employment, In-Service Distribution (age 59.5), inservice exchange
- Discover information on a wide range of financial planning topics
Calculate what you need to stay on track for
retirement with easy-to-use calculators
I'm Ready to Retire. Now What?
In your last year, be sure to notify your supervisor or principal as far in advance as you can. You will also need to connect with CO PERA about your retirement funds.The Sick Leave calculator can help to determine if you are eligible for a great benefit DPS offers when you retire - sick leave payout. We know there’s a lot to do in your last year, so don’t worry! Our Retirement Checklist has you covered from start to finish.
*Sick Leave Payout eligibility is dependent on your Bagaining Unit at the time of retirement. If you transfer out of the Bargaining Unit or reduce FTE, you may lose eligiblity for Sick Leave Payout at the time of retirement.
Early Retirement Stipends Available!
Did you know? DCTA employees, Assistant Principals, and Principals are eligible for a $1,200 early retirement stipend!
Submit this form by February 1 and complete the school year to qualify: