What is the Part-time, Seasonal, and Temporary (PST) Employees Retirement Program?
The PST Employees Retirement Program is a mandatory retirement savings program authorized by federal law for employees who are not covered by a retirement system or Social Security. Savings Plus, part of the California Department of Human Resources, administers the PST Program for California State employees and California State University (CSU) employees.
If you are a State or CSU employee who is not covered by Social Security and you are excluded from coverage under under the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), you are automatically enrolled in the PST Program. The program deducts a portion of your wages and deposits it in an account for you, allowing you to build retirement savings. It is set up as a 457(b) Plan, a type of retirement savings plan governed by IRS rules.
You may be excluded from membership in CalPERS if you:
- Work less than half time
- Are in a seasonal position
- Are an intermittent or temporary employee. Note: Temporary and PI employees are generally not excluded from CalPERS membership if:
- You work longer than six months, or
- Employed on a per diem basis, they work more than 125 days in a fiscal year (July 1 through June 30), or
- Employed on an hourly basis, they work more than 1,000 hours in a fiscal year (hours are accumulative regardless of the number of departments the employee works for).
- Half-time California State University (CSU) employees who are not yet eligible for membership in a state retirement system
Check with your Personnel Office if you have questions about how you qualify for PST.
Active participants in the PST Program are also eligible to enroll and contribute to the 401(k) and 457(b) Plans. The 401(k) and 457(b) Plans provide you an opportunity to invest a portion of your salary on both a pre-tax and Roth basis and allows you the flexibility to select from an array of investment options.
For more information, read the Part-time, Seasonal, and Temporary Employees Retirement Program Fact Sheet and the current PST Newsletter.
7.5 percent of your pretax wages are deducted from your paycheck and deposited in your PST Program account.
Your PST Program deductions from your paycheck are invested in the Short Term Investment Fund – PST (STIF-PST). The Fund seeks to maximize total return consistent with capital preservation. Your account balance consists of employee contributions, attributable earnings or losses, and asset-based fees that are netted out of the performance of the Fund.
For more information on the STIF-PST, you can view the fund detail page at any time by accessing your account on the Savings Plus website.
To learn more about changes in employment status and how they affect you and your PST account, review the information below.
If your employment status changes (length of employment or time base), and you become eligible for enrollment in CalPERS, your Personnel Office will discontinue the 7.5% PST deduction from your paycheck.
Savings Plus automatically transfers your entire PST account balance to a 457(b) Plan with the Savings Plus Program. We will notify you of the transfer and send you information about how you can begin contributing to your newly established 457(b) Plan account.
If you contribute to a 457(b) Plan during the same year you were automatically enrolled in the PST Program, your 457(b) Plan normal deferral limit for that year must be reduced by the amount deducted from your salary for the PST Program.
What happens if I do not do anything with my PST account?
If your account balance is under $1,000 and has been inactive for more than 2 years, we will send you a check in the amount of your account balance. If you have not had any paycheck deductions into or out of your PST account for the past three years, your account may be considered “unclaimed” (dormant). Savings Plus transfers dormant accounts to the State Controller's Office's (SCO) Division of Unclaimed Property. Once this happens, you need to submit a claim form to the SCO to get your money back.
Learn more about unclaimed PST retirement accounts.
How do I know if my account is dormant?
If your PST account becomes dormant, Savings Plus sends a Final Notice of Account Closure letter to the last address we have on file for you.
The letter informs you to take action (take a payout or rollover your funds) by a specific date or your assets will be transferred to the SCO Division of Unclaimed Property.
For more information, visit sco.ca.gov or call the Unclaimed Property Unit at (916) 323-2827.
You are eligible for a distribution after you separate from all State employment. Your eligibility will be verified before payment is issued. A Participant is deemed to have had a severance from employment ninety (90) days from the last contribution posting with no future appointments or expectation of employment by the respective State employer. You have the following options to close your PST Retirement Program Account:
- Payment: You can request 100 percent direct payment of your account balance. This payment is made directly to you and is reported as ordinary income. Choose direct deposit – a fast, simple, and secure way to have your payment deposited automatically into your checking or savings account.
- Rollover: You can request to roll over the funds in your PST account to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), 401(k), 403(b), or a 457(b) Plan. Prior to requesting roll over of your funds, it is always a good idea to confirm that the receiving entity will accept the funds since not all 401(k) plans accept 457(b) money. The payment is made payable to the IRA or plan provider and mailed directly to your address of record for you to forward to the provider. This is reported to the IRS as nontaxable. Your funds become subject to the rules that apply to IRAs or the other plan. If you are 72 or older and roll over funds from a Savings Plus account, Treasury Regulations generally require that Savings Plus pay your required minimum distribution for the current year to you directly before processing the rollover.