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Do I have a government or non-government 457?

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  • Do I have a government or non-government 457?

    This seems like a dumb question, but I can't seem to answer it myself.

    I work at a county hospital, but the physician group is part of a 501c organization which runs the hospital and is itself owned by the county.

    So technically I work directly for a nonprofit, but within a larger government organization.

    I can't find any documentation from the 457 about which type it is. I'm going to call the custodian, but I have a bad feeling whoever I talk to is going to have no idea what I'm asking.

    Is there a clear way to determine whether a 457 is government or non-government? Any specific questions I should ask?

  • #2
    Sounds like private. But call to make sure/ask for the plan document...should say there

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    • #3
      Sometimes it is easier to tell what type of plan you have by what it offers: if there is a Roth option it is governmental, they aren't allowed in non-governmental.

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      • #4
        .
        Erstwhile Dance Theatre of Dayton performer cum bellhop. Carried (many) bags for a lovely and gracious 59 yo Cyd Charisse. (RIP) Hosted epic company parties after Friday night rehearsals.

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        • #5
          Bott said "if there is a Roth option it is governmental, they aren’t allowed in non-governmental."

          I'm not sure if that statement is true, but even if it is, there are countless govt 457b plans that do not offer Roth options. So I'm not sure how useful that dichotomy is. It is, however, interesting to note.

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          • #6




            Bott said “if there is a Roth option it is governmental, they aren’t allowed in non-governmental.”

            I’m not sure if that statement is true, but even if it is, there are countless govt 457b plans that do not offer Roth options. So I’m not sure how useful that dichotomy is. It is, however, interesting to note.
            Click to expand...


            Assuming it's true (and I'm not sure either) at least if they had one you could say it was governmental. So it would be useful at least some of the time.
            Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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            • #7
              It is true.  And it's valuable in the way Jim stated.  It is true that a governmental plan does not have to provide a Roth option. But as was found in this case often HR doesn't even know the answer.

              https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/irc-457b-deferred-compensation-plans

              Section on Roth specifically states governmental plans can have them.  I think it can be assumed they included the governmental designation because the non-governmental are excluded.

              https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/designated-roth-accounts

              This page on designated Roth accounts lists only governmental 457(b).

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              • #8
                Thanks for the responses.

                I called customer service at my custodian. I was told it is a governmental plan, but when I requested plan documents, I was told the only thing available was a one-page table comparing the basic details of the three plans available to us (401a, 403b and 457b). This seems wrong, and I'm waiting to hear back from our HR department.

                There is no Roth option in my plan, but I guess this is specific but not sensitive, so not helpful in this case.

                I forgot that I had previously transferred a small amount of money that I had put into a governmental 457b at a previous position into my current 457. Since that transfer was allowed, does that mean that my current 457b is governmental as well? (These accounts are both at my current employer, but I no longer have access to contribute to the initial 457b in my current position.)

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                • #9
                  Yes it should mean your current plan is also governmental. Non governmental plans can only be rolled over into an accepting non governmental plan. New plans don't have to accept rollovers however. If they do accept them they can only accept them from another non governmental plan. So if your prior plan was governmental it can't be rolled into a non governmental plan and the new one is also governmental. Rollover options for a governmental 457 are much more flexible, treat it like a 403b only you get early withdrawal options penalty free.

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