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    Frequently Asked Questions

      • Where do I find my employer's contributions on my Plan 3 statement?

        Your employer's contributions do not appear on your Plan 3 statement because they pay for the defined benefit component. Those contributions will fund a guaranteed monthly benefit for the rest of your life. You can estimate your monthly defined benefit by visiting the DRS website, logging into your account, and running an estimate. Quarterly statements are issued only for the defined contribution part of your retirement plan.

      • Does my employer match what I put into Plan 3?

        No. Your employer contributes to the defined benefit side of Plan 3. Those contributions will fund a guaranteed monthly benefit for the rest of your life. The amount they contribute will fluctuate based on actuarial needs. They are not matching funds, and you cannot withdraw them if you leave public service. You do not see employer contributions on your quarterly statement.

      • Which fund is the best?

        Choosing an investment program is a personal decision you should make after evaluating your risk tolerance and desired involvement level. You may decide you want to invest in only one asset category, or you might like the diversification in the WSIB TAP Fund. If you find you don't have the desire, comfort level, and/or time to devote to your investments, you may prefer to be invested in the Retirement Strategy Funds. Detailed fund information can be found on the Investments menu of this site.

        Also, Plan 3 educational seminars can be helpful in narrowing down your investment choices. See the list of currently scheduled seminars.

      • Which fund is more aggressive, the Washington State Investment Board's TAP Fund or the Retirement Strategy Funds?

        The WSIB TAP Fund is an aggressive investment. The Retirement Strategy Funds could either be more aggressive or more conservative, depending on which Retirement Strategy Fund you select. The higher the year, the more aggressive the fund is. The lower the year, the more conservative the fund is. So, for example, the 2020 Retirement Strategy fund is more aggressive than the 2015, 2010, 2005, or 2000 funds. Remember, however, that the Retirement Strategy Funds become more conservative over time. Because the mix of the TAP Fund can change over time, it isn't possible to say that the TAP Fund is always more or less aggressive than any particular Retirement Strategy Fund.

      • If I didn't make a choice, where am I invested?

        If you joined the plan on or after July 22, 2011, the default investment in the plan is a Retirement Strategy Fund that assumes you want to retire at age 65.

        If you joined the plan before July 22, 2011, the default investment in the plan was the WSIB TAP Fund.

      • Why can't I buy Microsoft stock for my Plan 3 account?

        Plan 3 offers investment funds not individual stocks or bonds. Consequently, the level of risk associated with each investment is reduced because the investment is diversified. That means if one company in a fund performs poorly, the performance of other companies may provide an overall gain. You can see the top ten holdings on each investment by looking at the fund sheets from the Investments tab.

      • Why does my account balance go down when I'm putting in contributions every month?

        Your contributions are put into investment funds. Those investment funds are subject to market fluctuations. Some months you'll see increases in value, and other months you'll see losses in value. If you do not sell out of your investments, then the losses you are seeing are unrealized, meaning it is possible for the fund to gain back the value it lost. The reverse would be true for any gains you see.

        To be assured that your contributions are adding value to your account, check the number of shares you own. You'll see that rise every month when you contribute money to your account.

      • When I leave service, am I still earning interest on my investments?

        Your investments will continue to rise or fall based on the performance of your funds. Remember, you can adjust how conservatively or aggressively your money is invested to meet your risk tolerance and time horizon. Simply log into your account or call the Plan 3 investor services team at 888-711-8773.

      • Why can't I see my personalized performance on the WSIB TAP fund?

        The WSIB TAP fund is a monthly valued investment. Valuations occur at the end of the following month. For example, July's performance is determined at the end of August. The share price of the fund will not change during the month. Therefore, period specific performance is not available. Monthly performance for the TAP fund can be viewed from the Investments tab.

      • Can I change investments and when?

        You can make changes to your investments at any time, even after retirement. Changes can be made via phone 24 hours a day at 888-711-8773, or, by speaking with a Plan 3 investor services representative between the hours of 5:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time. You can also log into your account and make changes online. Please note that transfers between the WSIB TAP Fund and Self-Directed funds must be done with a Plan 3 Investor Services Representative.

      • Can I change out of the default investment option?

        Yes. You can change your investments at any time. Changes can be made via phone 24 hours a day at 888-711-8773 or by speaking with a Plan 3 Investor Services Representative between the hours of 5:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time. You can also log into your account and make changes online. Please note that changes between the WSIB and Self-Directed Investment Programs must be done over the phone by speaking with a Plan 3 investor services representative.

      • How do I move money from the WSIB to the Self-Directed funds or vice versa?

        To move funds to or from the TAP Fund, you will need to contact a Plan 3 Investor Services Representative at 888-711-8773 between the hours of 5:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time, Monday through Friday. Because the TAP Fund is valued only once a month, the transfer of funds can take up to 60 days to complete. If you would like more information concerning the timing of the transfer process, please see page 8 of the Plan 3 Investment Guide.

        Also, remember that your payroll department makes a deposit into Plan 3 based on instructions that you have given them. If you would like your contributions to be directed to the same funds as your current balance allocation, you must fill out a Change of Investment Program form and return it to your payroll/benefits department.

      • How long does it take to get my first withdrawal check?

        If you've already left service and your employer has uploaded your termination date:

        WSIB Investment Program TAP Fund: 34 to 70 days

        1. Checks and direct deposits from the WSIB Investment Program are issued on the 2nd business day of the month.
        2. See the WSIB Withdrawal Timeline for an example of the 34 to 70-day payment timing.

        Self-Directed Investment Program: 1 to 31 days

        1. For lump-sum payments, shares are redeemed daily if received by 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time in good order, and if the 30-day waiver is checked, the checks or direct deposits are issued the next business day. One caution: if there is after-tax money in your account, allow an additional 1-2 business days.
        2. For scheduled payments, shares are redeemed on the 15th of every month, and checks or direct deposits are issued on the next business day. If the 15th falls on a weekend, then this occurs on the next business day.
        3. See the Self-Directed Withdrawal Timeline for an example of the 1 to 31-day payment timing.

        If your employer hasn't uploaded your termination date yet, it may take an additional 30 days beyond the timeframes given above.

      • Why does it take longer to withdraw money from the TAP Fund than it does from other funds?

        The WSIB Investment Program TAP Fund is a monthly valued investment. Valuation for the current month occurs on the last business day of the following month. Withdrawals cannot occur until a valuation has been placed on the TAP Fund. Therefore, if you request a withdrawal on or before the third-to-last business day of the month and your paperwork is in good order, you will be paid on the 2nd business day of the month after valuation occurs, or approximately 34 days after you put in your withdrawal application. See the WSIB Withdrawal Timeline Example.

      • Can I eliminate the withdrawal delay from the TAP Fund?

        You can eliminate a withdrawal delay by transferring the money you'll need from the TAP Fund into a Self-Directed Fund 34-70 days before you need the check. With money in the Self-Directed Funds, if your paperwork is received in good order and a separation date is on file, your distribution will be posted that business night and a direct deposit can be made on the next business day for lump-sum payments. The direct deposit is normally received by your banking institution one business day after we send the funds out. Please remember to put a checkmark in the 30-day waiver box on the Request for Payment of Defined Contribution Funds application to avoid a 30-day delay.

      • How do I change my address on your system?

        If you are still employed under Plan 3, you must contact your payroll department and update your address with your employer. Your address will then be electronically updated here at ICMA-RC.

        If you are no longer employed under Plan 3, you may contact us at 888-711-8773 between the hours of 5:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time, Monday through Friday and a representative will gladly assist you with the address change. For security reasons we are not permitted to change addresses through email requests.

        Alternatively, you can download a copy of the Name Change/Address Change form from the DRS website. Please return the completed form to DRS. Once you have updated your address with DRS, they will electronically update our system here at ICMA-RC.

      • How do I change my email address?

        You can update your email address through your account online. Please follow the instructions below:

        • Click on the "Manage My Account" tab
        • Then click on the "Personal Information" link
        • Then click on the "Change Email" link under the "Personal Information" heading
        • Type in your new email address next to "New Email Address" and click "Submit" 

        Or you can contact DRS at 360-664-7000, or toll-free (outside the Olympia area) at 800-547-6657.

      • How do I change my account to my married name?

        Before you retire, be sure to change your name through your employer and fill out a copy of the Name Change/Address Change form on the DRS website. After you retire, you only need to fill out the form. Please return the completed form to DRS. Once you have updated your name with DRS, they will electronically update our system here at ICMA-RC.

      • Can I see both my defined contribution and defined benefit information by logging into my Plan 3 account?

        Not from the ICMA-RC website. However, you can now view all of your retirement accounts with one user ID and password by logging into DRS online account access. In the past, if you had more than one retirement account, you were required to log on to each of your accounts separately with a different user ID and password. In some cases, that meant three different user ids and passwords you had to keep track of.

      • Where do I get help logging into my Plan 3 account? I've tried resetting everything, but it still won't let me in.

        Certain settings on your browser may be preventing you from resetting your information. The best course of action would be to log into your account from the DRS website. Single sign-on allows you access to all your retirement accounts. Once you're logged into your DRS account, you can click on the link for your Plan 3 investments and you'll be redirected to your Plan 3 account. If you need help with using online account access for single-sign on use, please call DRS at 360-664-7000, or toll-free (outside the Olympia area) at 800-547-6657.

      • I emailed a question and was told to call the phone line. Why can't you just email your response?

        For security reasons, we are unable to provide specific account information or make changes to your account and account profile (including email addresses) through email requests. To protect the security of your account data, you must call our Plan 3 Investor Services team to verify your identity in order to provide the information or assistance you seek. For your convenience, our toll free investor services line is available twenty-four hours a day, automated, or from 5:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time, Monday through Friday. Call 888-711-8773, press 1, then press 0 to reach an investor services representative.

      • When can I expect to receive my statement?

        If you are in the Self-Directed Investment Program, statements are mailed 10 days after the quarter ends. If you are in the WSIB Investment Program, statements are mailed 45 days after the quarter ends. If you are in both, you will receive two statements, one 10 days from the end of the quarter and one 45 days from the end of the quarter.

        For members who would like to see the quarterly information sooner, you can sign up for electronic statements by logging into your account.

      • What is the Short Term Investment fund?

        The WSIB Total Allocation Portfolio is a monthly valued investment. When you make a contribution each month, your money goes to the Short Term Investment Fund where it will earn interest for up to 30 days until the next Total Allocation Portfolio valuation. At that time, your contribution plus the interest earned in the Short Term Investment Fund will be transferred to the Total Allocation Portfolio.

      • I used to be an instructional aide at my last school district, but now I'm a teacher. Why am I getting four statements from you?

        When you were an instructional aide, you were in SERS Plan 3. Now that you're a teacher, you're in TRS Plan 3. Those are two different systems, making you a dual member. The investment accounts cannot be combined.

        If you are receiving four statements, you are invested in both the WSIB and Self-Directed Investment Programs in both accounts. To reduce the number of statements you receive, you can transfer the balance in one program to the other for both your SERS and TRS accounts. You'll want to make sure your contributions are being directed to the same investment program in your current TRS account. This will bring your statement count down to two: one for SERS and one for TRS.

        Perhaps the best way to manage these multiple statements would be to sign up for electronic statements so that you won't be receiving two/four different paper statements. You can do this by logging into your account.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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