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About the Retirement Savings Plan (RSP) and the Deferred Compensation Plan

The Employees' Retirement Systems (ERS) provides three retirement savings options for eligible Retirement Savings Plan employees.

Employees are mandated to elect one of two options (termed “memberships”) and the third savings option is a voluntary election.

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You are eligible to participate if you are:

  • Newly hired or rehired after July 1, 2014 by either:
    • the City of Baltimore
    • Baltimore City Public Schools and you are not eligible for membership in the State of Maryland Teachers’ Retirement System or are receiving a retirement benefit from the State of Maryland Teachers’ Retirement System


  • In a job classification that requires more than 500 hours of work and you are not:
    • an elected official
    • eligible for membership in the Baltimore City Fire and Police Employees' Retirement System

If you meet these eligibility requirements, your eligibility mandates that you participate in the Employees’ Retirement Systems (ERS).

Election Type Hybrid Membership Non-Hybrid Membership
Mandatory election - 401(a) ERS Defined Benefit Plan AND a 401(a) defined contribution retirement plan 401(a) Defined Contribution Plan
Voluntary election - 457(b) 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan (DCP) 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan (DCP) with an employer match
Plan Type Hybrid Membership Non-Hybrid Membership
Defined Benefit Plan (ERS Class D)

Formula:

1% X your years of pension service X your average highest three years of base salary. *This formula may vary for participants who meet certain age and years of service requirements.

Contribution requirement:
You must contribute 5% of earnable compensation after you have completed one year of service.

NA
401(a) Defined Contribution Account Generally, your employer contributes 3% of your earnable compensation after 180 days of service. This contribution can be reduced to 1.5% of your earnable compensation based on the funding status of the ERS. You must contribute 5% of your earnable compensation commencing after 180 days of service and your employer will contribute 4% of your earnable compensation.
457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan (DCP) Minimum contribution is $10 per pay period, not to exceed $18,500 this calendar year for those under age 50. For those 50 and older, the maximum contribution is $24,500.

Minimum contribution is $10 per pay period, not to exceed $18,500 this calendar year for those under age 50. For those 50 and older, the maximum contribution is $24,500.

Your employer matches 50% of any contributions up to 1% of pay. Note: if you elect this option, this means that the additional 1% match brings the total employer contribution to 5%.

Special 457(b) Catch-up Provision:
In the three calendar years prior to normal retirement age, you may be able to contribute up to twice the annual contribution limit to the 457(b) DCP ($37,000 this calendar year).

Vesting Hybrid Membership Non-Hybrid Membership
Defined Benefit Plan (ERS Class D)

You are vested after 10 years of credited service or upon satisfying the eligibility criteria for early retirement or normal retirement.

NA

Note: if you are rehired after having a vested benefit with another City of Baltimore retirement system, you are automatically enrolled in the 401(a) as a Non-Hybrid participant.

401(a) Defined Contribution

You become 100% vested:
- after 5 years of eligible vesting service
- if you reach normal retirement age (age 65) and are still employed, or
- upon disability or death

You are always 100% vested in your 5% contribution portion of your 401(a) account balance.

You become 100% vested in the match portion of your 401(a) account:
- after 5 years of eligible vesting service
- if you reach normal retirement age (age 65) and are still employed, or
- upon disability or death

457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan (DCP)

You are always 100% vested.

Distributions Hybrid Membership Non-Hybrid Membership
While employed

No loans or in-service withdrawals are permitted.

After separation from service and before you are vested

If you separate from service before you are vested in your defined benefit component, you will receive the contributions you made to the ERS, plus interest in a lump sum distribution.

The 401(a) employer sub-account is forfeited in its entirety.

The 401(a) employer sub-account is forfeited in its entirety.

Your 401(a) account assets remain vested.

Your 457(b) account assets remain vested.

After separation from service and fully vested

Timing of ERS Defined Benefit Plan distributions:

  • If you separate from service after you are vested but before you are eligible for early retirement, you may receive a deferred vested benefit at a later date.
  • If you separate from service after you are eligible for early or normal retirement, you may receive an immediate benefit.

The following Deferred Compensation and 401(a) distribution options are available:

  • Leave your account with the Plan to continue to receive the same low cost solutions and personal service.
  • Receive your vested account balance as a lump sum or in installments, or convert your account balances to an annuity.
  • Move your account balance to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or another qualified employer plan.
  • If you separate from service after you are eligible for early or normal retirement, you may receive an immediate benefit.

The following Deferred Compensation and 401(a) distribution options are available:

  • Leave your account(s) with the Plan to continue to receive the same low cost solutions and personal service.
  • Receive your vested account balance as a lump sum or in installments, or convert your account balances to an annuity.
  • Move your account balance to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or another qualified employer plan.
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