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SSP Member FAQs

1. What is the TRS Supplemental Savings Plan (SSP)?

The SSP is an optional savings plan that allows you to dedicate a portion of every paycheck to a 457(b) deferred compensation plan administered by Voya Financial, a national leader in retirement security for millions of Americans.

The SSP is designed to supplement your existing TRS pension – not replace it. If you contribute to the SSP, when you retire and start receiving your monthly TRS pension, you may also be able to draw on the money you saved in your SSP account.

When you contribute to the SSP, you (not TRS) will choose how to invest your SSP account assets to help meet your future retirement needs. Voya administers your SSP account while TRS will continue to administer your pension.

2. Who is eligible to participate in the SSP?

Active TRS members who are full-time or part-time contractual employees are eligible to participate in the SSP. However, eligible TRS members can sign up for the SSP only after their employer formally agrees to participate in the SSP. View https://www.trsil.org/participating-ssp-employers for a list of SSP participating employers. Retired and inactive TRS members are not eligible to contribute to the SSP. Participation in the SSP by eligible members is voluntary.

3. Will I be automatically enrolled in the SSP?

Active TRS members who are full-time or part-time contractual employees first employed in a TRS-covered position on or after January 1, 2023 and employed by an SSP participating employer are eligible to be automatically enrolled in the SSP. Eligible members who do not cancel automatic enrollment prior to their automatic enrollment effective date will be enrolled in the SSP at 3% of pre-tax compensation.

4. How do I enroll in the SSP?

Active TRS Members eligible for the SSP can enroll using one of two methods after receipt of their PIN mailed by Voya:

  1. Enroll online through the participant website at trsilssp.voya.com. Select "Register Now" below the "Enter" button and choose the way you would like to create your online account access. Enter either your Social Security number and the PIN that was sent to you via mail by Voya or your Social Security number and date of birth. Create a username and password, which you will use to access your account going forward through the Plan website and the Voya Retire mobile app. Provide an alternate email address and your mobile number for future recovery of your username or password, if needed.
     
  2. Enroll by calling the TRS SSP Service Center at 844-877-4572 (844-TRS-457B), to speak with a TRS SSP Service Associate. Associates are available Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT., excluding stock market holidays.

Automatic Enrollment for Active TRS Members First Employed in a TRS-Covered Position On or After Jan. 1, 2023

Active TRS Members who are full-time or part-time contractual employees first employed in a TRS-covered position on or after January 1, 2023, and employed by a participating employer of the SSP, will be automatically enrolled in the SSP with contributions of 3% of their pre-tax compensation per pay period if they do not cancel their scheduled automatic enrollment prior to their automatic enrollment effective date.  

Members eligible for automatic enrollment in the SSP who do not wish to participate in the SSP should cancel their automatic enrollment prior to the automatic enrollment effective date indicated in the Automatic Enrollment Notification letter they will receive by mail at their home address on file with TRS. New TRS members will have 30 days to cancel their automatic enrollment in the SSP after they are first reported to TRS by their employer. Members receive instructions by mail at their home address on how to make an affirmative election to participate or not participate in the SSP in advance of the automatic enrollment effective date indicated in the Automatic Enrollment Notification letter, and this information is also on the SSP participant website. Members who are automatically enrolled in the SSP will receive a Confirmation of Enrollment.

Members who are automatically enrolled in the SSP will have their contributions invested in the Target Date Retirement Fund closest to their expected retirement date at age 65 based on the members’ date of birth (default Investment Option). 

Assistance with Enrolling in the SSP

Members may speak with a TRS SSP representative for assistance with enrolling in the Plan, receiving information regarding investment options, and using the tools and resources offered through the SSP. Go to https://trsssp457b.timetap.com to schedule an appointment with a local TRS SSP representative.

5. What types of contributions are allowed in the SSP?

There are three types of contributions that may be made into your 457(b) SSP account:

  1. employee contributions,
  2. employer matching contributions, and
  3. employer non-elective contributions.

Employee Contributions 

Once enrolled in the SSP, you can elect the amount you want to contribute per paycheck to your SSP account (in whole dollar increments or in whole percentage increments of your compensation beginning in January 2023). You must contribute a minimum of $30 per pay period on a pre-tax and/or Roth after-tax basis if you choose to contribute in whole dollar increments. Under the percentage method, contributions change proportionately as your compensation changes.

Note:  If a member is enrolled in the SSP and then is hired as a full-time or part-time contractual TRS-covered employee by a second employer that has adopted the SSP, the deferral contribution election will be applied with respect to employment at the second employer also.

  • Pre-Tax Contributions - Pre-tax, also known as before-tax dollars come out of your pay before federal, state and local taxes are deducted. This means you won’t pay taxes on the money now. Instead, your contributions will grow until retirement, and you won’t have to pay any taxes until you make a withdrawal. Upon withdrawal, the full amount (including any gains) is taxed at the tax rate for the year they are withdrawn. 
  • Roth After-Tax Contributions - Roth after-tax dollars come out of your pay after federal, state and local taxes are deducted. When you make Roth after-tax contributions, your taxable income is not reduced by the amount you contribute to the Plan. You pay income taxes on these savings today; however, withdrawals of Roth after-tax contributions and qualified withdrawals of earnings on those contributions will be tax-free. Visit voyadelivers.com/Roth for more information.

To avoid taxation and early withdrawal penalties on earnings from your contributions, your Roth account must be open for at least five years, and you must be at least age 59 ½ or the distribution must follow death or disability. Please note that the five-year holding period begins on January 1 of the year in which you make your first Roth contribution.

Employer Contributions

Your employer may individually negotiate or collectively bargain the amount of any contribution made on its behalf into your SSP account. Employer contributions can be a fixed dollar amount, a percentage of compensation, or a matching contribution based on your personal employee contributions. Employer contributions may be made as a pre-tax contribution only. Employer contributions are not subject to state or federal income taxes in the period contributed to your SSP account. Employer contributions are made as a benefit to you and do not reduce your compensation.

6. How do I change my SSP contribution amount or type or stop contributing to the SSP?

You may change your contribution amount and type or stop contributions at any time through the Contributions section of the SSP participant website by selecting "Change Contributions" or by calling the TRS SSP Service Center at 844-877-4572 (844-TRS-457B).

Changes to your contribution amount or type are effective as soon as administratively practicable following the date the change is requested, but no earlier than the pay period that begins on or after the first day of the month following the month in which the change is requested. Cancellation of contributions are effective as soon as administratively practicable after the request is made.

7. What are the contribution limits?

Federal law limits the maximum amount that may be contributed to the SSP each year on your behalf in several ways. Please see voya.com/IRSlimits.               

Catch-Up Contributions 

Members who are or will be age 50 or older by the close of the current calendar year and have reached the annual IRS regular contribution limit, are eligible to make additional “Age 50” catch-up contributions to the Plan. The Age 50 Catch-up contribution must be elected separately from your pre-tax and/or Roth after-tax contribution election. Age 50 Catch-up contributions will not be automatically deducted once the IRS regular contribution limit has been reached.

You can elect your Age 50 Catch-up contribution amount, change your contribution amount or stop contributions at any time through the Contributions section of the participant website by selecting "Change Contributions" or by calling the TRS SSP Service Center at 844-877-4572 (844-TRS-457B). Your Age-50 Catch-up elections are an agreement between you and your employer to reduce your salary accordingly.

Special Catch-Up Contributions

The SSP also allows for 3-Year Catch-up contributions. This catch-up provision is available to active members within three (3) years of retirement but not in the calendar year of their retirement. The total amount of contributions (normal and catch-up) cannot exceed IRS contribution limits. Please see voya.com/IRSlimits.

Please contact the TRS SSP Service Center at 844-877-4572 (844-TRS-457B) or go to the Forms section of the participant website to obtain the required form to elect the 3-Year Catch-up contribution.

Note: Members cannot make both Age 50 Catch-up and 3-Year Catch-up contributions at the same time.

8. Does the SSP accept rollover contributions?

Yes, the SSP does accept pre-tax and Roth after-tax rollover balances from eligible retirement savings plans. If you have a retirement plan account from a previous employer and you are interested in consolidating your assets into your SSP account, please contact the TRS SSP Service Center at 844-877-4572 (844-TRS-457B) for information on rollover eligibility and requirements. A rollover form is available in the Forms section of the participant website. A rollover contribution must be directly transferred from your prior employer’s plan or contributed by you within 60 days after you receive a distribution from your prior employer’s plan. To make a rollover contribution, you have to be eligible to participate in the SSP, but you do not have to be contributing to the SSP at the time the rollover is made.

You are encouraged to talk with your financial or tax advisor prior to requesting a rollover.

9. Are loans allowed from the SSP?

Loans are currently not allowed.

10. How is my SSP account vested?

Vesting means ownership of the money in your account. Under the SSP, you are always 100% vested in your own contributions, employer matching and non-elective contributions, any rollover contributions and any investment earnings on those contributions.

11. What are the costs of participating in the SSP?

Fees and expenses charged to your SSP account will reduce your retirement savings and fall into three basic categories:

Plan administration fees

To cover plan-related expenses, including but not limited to record keeping, member education and administrative professional services, the SSP assesses to each SSP account an annual, flat-dollar fee of $100, referred to as the Plan Administrative Fee. The Plan Administrative Fee is assessed on a quarterly basis ($25/quarter) and will be visible to you through the SSP participant website as part of your transaction history as well as on your account statements. The Plan Administrative Fee is in addition to asset-based fees associated with SSP investment options (discussed below).

Asset-based fees

Asset-based fees (e.g., investment management fees and other operating expenses) are used to cover the expenses related to running an investment option. When you invest your account in one or more investment options available under the SSP, asset-based fees are deducted directly from your investment returns. You can obtain more information about these fees as well as the documents that described the SSP investment options in the Fund Information section of the SSP participant website at trsilssp.voya.com.

Transaction-based fees

Transaction-based fees are charged directly to your SSP account if you elect to make certain transactions. For example, your account will be charged if you request an overnight delivery.

12. When can I withdraw funds from my SSP account?

In exchange for the tax advantages of the 457(b) SSP, and because it is meant as a savings vehicle for retirement, the IRS allows withdrawals from your account only under certain circumstances, listed below. When considering your withdrawal options, it is important to review the special tax notices provided by Voya Financial and discuss your specific situation with your tax advisor and/or financial planner as withdrawal rules can be complex.

Retirement or Separation from Service

You are eligible for withdrawal of your vested funds if you separate from service (end all employment) or retire from all TRS participating employers. If you are rehired or will be rehired by the same or different TRS participating employer, including any pre-arrangements for employment, you are not considered separated from service by the Internal Revenue Service and are not eligible to withdraw your funds. An individual on a leave of absence or a school employee at the end of a contract year is not considered to have separated from service.

  • Small Balance Force Out Distributions - Following separation from all eligible service, if you have an SSP balance equal to or less than $5,000 (not including rollover contributions), will be automatically forced out from the SSP via a rollover distribution to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) operated by Millennium Trust, if you do not elect your own withdrawal within 180 days of your separation from service.

    Participants will receive notification of their terminated status along with a notice of their withdrawal options 60 days following receipt of their separation date by Voya. Participants have 120 days from the date of the notification to make their withdrawal election. If no election is received in good order before the end of the 120-day period and the balance remains below $5,000, the account balance will be rolled over to an IRA operated by Millennium Trust.

Attainment of Age 59½

You may withdraw any amount up to your entire account balance beginning in the calendar year you turn age 59½.  

Rollover Contributions Account

If you have a Rollover Contribution account, you may elect to withdraw all, or any portion of the amount held in the Rollover Contribution account at any time.

Unforeseeable Financial Emergency (as defined by the IRS)

A participant who has not separated from service and who has exhausted all other available in-service withdrawal options, may request a withdrawal due to an unforeseeable financial emergency, which is generally defined as a severe financial hardship resulting from:

  • An illness or accident of the participant, the participant’s spouse, or the participant’s dependent;
  • Loss of the participant’s property due to casualty (including the need to rebuild a home following damage to a home not otherwise covered by homeowner’s insurance); or
  • Other similar extraordinary and unforeseeable circumstances arising as a result of events beyond the control of the participant.

    The amount available for an unforeseeable financial emergency withdrawal is limited to the amount reasonably necessary to relieve the participant’s need. Documented proof of an unforeseeable financial emergency must be provided to Voya Financial for review as part of the withdrawal application.   You can request an unforeseeable financial emergency withdrawal and upload your supporting documentation through the participant website.

Required Minimum Distribution

Federal law requires that you take a required minimum distribution (RMD) from your SSP account no later than April 1 of the calendar year following the calendar year you turn age 72 (or 70½ if you were born prior to July 1, 1949), or, if later, April 1of the calendar year following the calendar year you terminated employment. The RMD is calculated using your account balance as of the last day of the previous year. The Internal Revenue Code imposes a 50% excise tax penalty on amounts that should have been distributed under the RMD rule but were not.
 

Permissible Withdrawal due to Automatic Enrollment

Members who are automatically enrolled in the SSP may elect to withdraw the automatic contributions from their SSP account within 90 days of the member’s initial contribution, as an exception to the general restrictions on SSP withdrawals. Any distribution request made as an exception to the general restrictions on SSP withdrawals will be treated as an affirmative election to stop having automatic contributions made to the SSP. The amount a member elects to withdraw will be adjusted for any gain or loss while invested in the applicable Target Date Retirement Fund under the SSP, the default investment option. Such withdrawals will be subject to federal income tax.   

A member who elects to withdraw their automatic contributions from their SSP account within 90 days of the member’s initial contribution will not be entitled to retain or receive a distribution of any employer matching contributions made with respect to such automatic contributions. Such employer matching contributions will be forfeited and used by the Plan to reduce Plan expenses.

Members that elect to stop automatic contributions more than 90 days after the member’s initial contribution will not be able to withdraw the automatic contributions until they are otherwise eligible for a withdrawal under the SSP. 

Note: Members who affirmatively elect to make pre-tax contributions and/or Roth contributions other than the scheduled automatic enrollment or affirmatively elect to change the investment selection from the default Target Date Retirement Fund will not be able to withdraw the automatic contributions until they are otherwise eligible for a withdrawal under the SSP.   

13. If I choose to make a withdrawal from my SSP account, what are my options for payment?

If you separate from service and have an account balance equal to or greater than $5,000 (not including rollover contributions), you can leave your entire account balance in the Plan until you are required to take required minimum distributions. Upon separation from employment service, retirement or death, there are several distribution options you or your beneficiaries may choose from when withdrawing from your Plan account.

  • You may elect to have your benefit paid in a single lump-sum payment.
  • You may elect to have your benefit paid in a partial payment.
  • You may elect installment payments. Installments can be paid out monthly, semi-annually or annually. Payment frequency can be changed. However, a lump sum can be requested at any time.
  • You may elect to roll over the balance of your account to another qualified Plan, 403(b), or governmental 457 plan, if the Plan accepts rollovers from other plans. 

    Note: The rules governing distribution provisions may be different than the distribution rules in other qualified plans. A plan’s withholding rules for distributions may apply to rollover money from other plans. Prior to rolling money over, you should check with the plan receiving the money about any changes that may affect the distribution options of the rolled-in money.

You can request a withdrawal through the participant website under "Account>Withdrawals." Withdrawal choices and rules can be complex. You are encouraged to talk with your tax advisor or financial planner before deciding how to take your distribution. Prior to making any withdrawal decisions, you should call the TRS SSP Service Center at 844-877-4572 (844-TRS-457B) to be sure you understand your options and the associated tax implications.

Distribution from the Plan may be subject to 20% federal tax withholding.

14. What happens to my SSP account if I die?

It is important to make your beneficiary designation once you’re enrolled in the SSP and to periodically review your beneficiary designations to make sure they are still current. In your SSP online account, go to "Personal Information," then "Beneficiary Information." Next, select "Add/Edit Beneficiary." If you do not designate a beneficiary for your SSP account, it will be paid to your spouse or civil union partner, or if none, to your estate in the event of your passing. You may change your beneficiary designations at any time through the participant website or calling the TRS SSP Service Center at 844-877-4572 (844-TRS-457B).

15. How do I choose where to invest my SSP money?

The SSP offers a diverse array of investment options for participants to choose from. You have the right to direct your SSP account contributions among the Plan’s diversified lineup of investment options in whole percentage increments.

Detailed information about the investment options, including an explanation of the investment objectives and risk and return characteristics, fund expense ratios and historical performance information, is available in the Fund Information section of the SSP participant website at trsilssp.voya.com. You should review this information before investing in any investment option.

Before you make your investment decisions, you should evaluate your choices carefully by reviewing each investment option’s performance as well as any other available information about the investment. You should consider the degree of risk with which you are comfortable, the extent to which you wish to diversify your investments to manage investment risk, and the amount of time available to you to achieve your financial goals. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results, and investments in investment options are not deposits into a bank or insured or guaranteed by the FDIC or any other government agency. Investment in the investment options involves risk, including loss of principal.

You are responsible for choosing how to invest your SSP account and will be responsible for any losses that result from your investment choices. TRS and your employer are not responsible for any such losses. It is your responsibility to monitor the performance of the investment options you select. The value of your account will fluctuate based on the performance of the investment options. It is wise to give your investment decisions thoughtful consideration and regularly review your investment allocations. TRS and your employer are not authorized to give you investment advice, and neither is Voya Financial. You should seek advice from your own financial advisor with respect to your investment elections.

If you do not make an affirmative investment election on your own, including in the event of automatic enrollment, you will be defaulted to the Target Date Retirement Fund closest to your expected retirement date at age 65 based on your date of birth. If this occurs, your lack of an affirmative investment election and resulting default to the Target Date Retirement Fund will be deemed your investment direction to invest your SSP account in the Target Date Retirement Fund.

You may change your investment options at any time through the Manage Investments section of the SSP participant website at trsilssp.voya.com. Simply select "Change Elections." You may also change your investment options through the Voya Retire mobile app or by calling the TRS SSP Service Center at 844-877-4572 (844-TRS-457B). Please see the Fund Information section of the SSP participant website at trsilssp.voya.com for more information on the available investment options.

The value of your SSP account changes with the performance of the investment options you select and as you and the employer, if applicable, make contributions. After the end of each business day, your account balance is updated to reflect all account activity. Your account balance is available at trsilssp.voya.com or by calling the TRS SSP Service Center at 844-877-4572 (844-TRS-457B). You will receive electronic quarterly statements of your SSP account reflecting all activity for the previous quarter generally within 30 days following the end of each calendar quarter.

16. Where do I find information about filing a Qualified Illinois Domestic Relations Order for my SSP account?

To obtain information about filing a QILDRO with TRS for your SSP account, visit trsil.org/QILDRO/Divorce-information.

17. Who can I contact for information about the SSP?

Members can contact a TRS SSP representative with Voya for information about the SSP, including for assistance with enrolling in the Plan, receiving information regarding investment options, and using the tools and resources offered through the SSP by Voya. The TRS SSP representatives from Voya are:

Northern Illinois:
Tonya Coleman
(312)342-5408
Tonya.Coleman@voya.com

Eastern/Southern Illinois:
Terri Bailey
(217)306-2455
Terri.Bailey@voya.com

Western/Metro East Illinois:
Stacey Russell
(217) 502-9711
Stacey.Russell@voya.com

To schedule a virtual appointment, go to: https://trsssp457b.timetap.com and follow the prompts.

The TRS SSP representatives from Voya provide information and education only and are not authorized to provide investment advice or recommendations to SSP participants.

18. How do I access my SSP account?

Instructions for accessing your SSP account are located here: https://trsilssp.voya.com/einfo/pdfs/forms/trssoi/TRSSSPAccountAccessFlyer.pdf