Dallas ISD

Please select your plan from the tabs below for more information about your plan and to gain access to your plan forms. If you have any questions or need assistance please contact us.

A 401(a) is a retirement savings plan that allows accumulation of tax-advantaged funds for retirement with contributions coming from the employer, the employee or both. Employers may match a fixed percentage of employee contributions or contribute without a required employee contribution. Since this plan type is often used as an incentive, vesting schedules for funds are often associated with it.
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What is the TERRP plan?

In September 2001, Education Service Center Region 10 established the Teacher/Employee Recruitment and Retention Program (“TERRP”) for employer educational organizations in Texas. This plan is a part of the Retirement Asset Management Services (RAMS) program.  This supplementary retirement program is designed to:

Encourage employees to increase their retirement savings.
Reward employees for helping improve employer attendance and student performance.
Provide financial incentives to encourage employees to stay with the organization employer.
Encourage achievement of other organization goals.

How does the TERRP plan work?

An employer will make contributions on the employees’ behalf to a TERRP account established for each participating employee. The ’employer’s contributions to an employee’s account are based on a certain formula. This may include a match of the employee’s own contributions to the employer’s 457 or 403(b) plan (“Tax-Deferred Annuity Plan”). The employer’s plan can also be established with a formula that offers employer contributions based on attendance, school site, student performance and other criteria established by the employer within the design features available.

Is there an enrollment process?

Participants are automatically enrolled in the TERRP program if they meet the eligibility criteria in the plan. No individual enrollment paperwork is necessary.

How much does an employer contribute to an employee’s account?

Contribution rates and formulas vary with each employer. TERRP allows employers to make a direct contribution on either a fixed dollar or a percentage of salary basis. It allows for match contributions of employee voluntary contributions to 457 or 403(b) plans based on a dollar ratio basis or as a percentage. Additional contributions may be made to certain plan participants if they meet other plan requirements.

Who is eligible for a match contribution?

An employee is only eligible for a “match” contribution from the employer if the employee contributes to a 457 and/or a 403(b) plan. Not all Employers, however, offer a match. Check the Employer’s Summary Plan Description (SPD) to see if a match is offered. If a match is offered, the SPD will provide information on eligibility to participate and the matching formula.

Can an employee make voluntary contributions to the TERRP plan?

No, only employer contributions are permitted to TERRP.

How are contributions invested?

Educational Service Center Region 10 has appointed an Investment Advisory Committee to make investment decisions. The Investment Advisory Committee will utilize professional investment advisory services from TCG Advisors, LP in managing Trust assets.

What are TERRP benefits?

TERRP is a “defined contribution” plan or an “individual account plan” that provides for an individual account for each participant and benefits are based solely on the amount contributed to a participant’s account plus any investment earnings (and may include forfeitures of accounts of other non-vested participants).

When does an employee become eligible to receive the account balance?

An employee is eligible to receive his/her vested account balance upon separation from employment with the employer due to voluntary or involuntary termination, retirement, death or disability.

What is a vested account balance?

Vesting is an employee’s right to receive a benefit upon termination from service. It refers to the percent ownership an employee has of his/her account balance should the employee separate from the employer as of today’s date and is tied the his/her years of service with that employer.  100% vesting means the employee is entitled to the full account balance upon termination.  Employers have different vesting schedules adopted under their plan rules; refer to the SPD on the RAMS website for greater detail on the specific plan.

How can a participant find out what his/her account balance is?

Participants will receive periodic statements. Employees can also call a toll-free number for account information or access the Region 10 RAMS website to view their account balance. 

How does an employee receive an account balance once eligible to receive a distribution from the plan?

For the TERRP administrator to begin processing the distribution of an employee’s account balance, an authorization from the employer to distribute the account balance will be needed.  Employers can authorize the administrator to automatically process distributions when notification of the employee’s separation from employment occurs.

What are the distribution options?

An eligible participant may receive a lump sum distribution, transfer the account balance to another tax-qualified plan, or roll it over into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

How can a participant defer taxation on distributions?

A lump sum distribution of an account will be subject to taxation, including excise taxes with termination of employment prior to the age of 59½ or retirement prior to age 55. A participant can defer taxation by rolling over the distribution into an IRA or transferring it to another tax-deferred retirement plan.

How can a participant designate or change a beneficiary?

If the participant is married and designating the spouse as beneficiary or single, the participant may go online to the Region 10 RAMS website to designate his/her beneficiary. Otherwise, the participant will need to complete a TERRP Designation of Beneficiary Form, available by calling the toll-free TERRP phone number. If no beneficiary is designated, the participant’s spouse will be the automatic beneficiary if the participant is married and the participant’s estate if he or she is not married. Contingent beneficiaries may be designated online also.

How can I find out more information about TERRP?

For more information on TERRP, you may contact the TERRP Third Party Administrator, TCG Administrators, toll-free at: (800) 943-9179 or email at: 401a@tcgservices.com. 

A 403(b) is a retirement savings plan generally offered by public schools and other tax-exempt organizations that allows employees to make contributions on a pretax or post-tax basis. Most plans allow you to start, stop, increase or decrease contributions at any time. The employer determines the investment providers and employees must open an account with one of those providers to contribute. Employers may also make contributions on behalf of employees.
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Plan Description
Forms
Resources
FAQ's

Who is eligible?

Eligibility is determined by your Employer, so please contact TCG Administrators or your Employer Benefits Office to find out who is eligible under your Employer’s Plan. You may also find a list of who is eligible on the Summary Plan Description, which may be found on our website.

What is the ESC Region 10 RAMS 403(b) Administration Plan?

This plan is a part of the Retirement Asset Management Services (RAMS) program.  The 403(b) Plan is a tax-deferred supplemental retirement plan sponsored by your Employer. ESC Region 10 has implemented 403(b) plan administrative services through a competitive proposal process. These services are available to any Texas public education organization through an interlocal agreement. The Employer’s Plan is authorized by Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 403(b) and is subject to specific Internal Revenue Service regulations and other requirements. The Plan allows employees to voluntarily contribute a portion of their compensation on a pretax basis. The amount invested plus earnings is not taxable until withdrawn from the Plan.  The Plan also offers Roth contributions, if allowed by the Employer.  Roth contributions are taxed when made, but earnings grow tax free.

How is the ESC Region 10 403(b) Administration Plan provided to participants?

ESC Region 10 and your participating Employer contracted with TCG Administrators to provide administrative and communication services to participants. TCG Administrators is the main contact for participants. You can find out how to contact TCG Administrators by choosing “Contact Us” from the Region 10 RAMS website menu.

How does the Plan work?

You elect the amount you wish to defer from your gross salary each pay period. The amount you elect to defer is withheld from your paycheck each pay period before taxes (after tax for Roth contributions).

Who contributes?

You. There are no Employer contributions under this Plan.

How do I enroll?

You may join the Plan at any time by clicking the green ‘Login’ button and clicking ‘Register’ You will need your Social Security Number and the plan password provided on the Summary Plan Description for your Employer. The Summary Plan Description can be found in the plan description for your employer.  You can browse there by clicking the green  ‘Login’  button, and choosing your employer.  You will need to open an account with an approved vendor before entering your enrollment information on our website.

What is the contribution amount?

You decide the amount that you want to contribute. Please keep in mind that there are limits imposed under the Internal Revenue Code. The maximum amount you can contribute during each calendar year is up to 100% of your includable compensation or the maximum listed in the table below, whichever is less.

Maximum Yearly Contribution
Year Maximum
2016 $18,000

Catch-up contributions in 403(b) plans operate under the following rules:

In the year that you attain age 50, you become automatically eligible to contribute an additional $6,000 per year (2016; this is also indexed).

If you are not 50 years of age or older, and have 15 years of service with your current Employer, and have not contributed more than an average of $5,000 per year, you may be eligible to contribute an additional $3,000 per year, depending on your use of the age 50 catch-up.  Since the use of this special limit is dependent on the Employer and/or employee having records of all contributions the employee has made to the Plan since being employed, many Employers do not allow this limit.

The lifetime limit for Catch-up contributions based on years of service is $15,000.

For your convenience, TCG Administrators has provided a Maximum Allowable Contribution form, to aid you in calculating your Catch-Up contribution. It can be found by clicking ‘Forms’ from the left-side menu.  TCG Administrators monitors all payroll contributions by every participant in the Plan and works with the Employer to stop contributions that will exceed the annual limit.  This helps ensure that neither the Employer nor employee have a tax penalty for over contributing to the Plan.

 

How are my Plan contributions invested?

Your contribution will be remitted to the available investment providers based on the percentage or allocation you choose to each vendor.
Specific investment elections will need to be chosen through the approved investment providers. For more information about specific products you will need to contact your investment provider.  A list of the available vendors in your Plan are on the Region 10 RAMS website.

What are my investment option choices?

Specific investment elections will need to be chosen through the approved investment providers. For more information about the investments available in a specific product you will need to contact your investment provider.

The Texas Teachers Retirement System (TRS) is authorized by the Texas Legislature to determine 403(b) vendors and products that are available to public school employees. You are not allowed to select a vendor or product not authorized by TRS. Certain “grandfathering” applies. If you have any questions about this please contact TCG Administrators.

The TRS website provides an excellent comparison of the fees charged by every vendor and product available in Texas.  You are urged to review this website before deciding where to invest your money.  A link to the TRS comparison is on the Region10 RAMS website.

How do I make changes to my elections?

If you are changing your elections for the first time, you will need to enroll by choosing ‘Login’ on the left-hand menu and clicking “New to the system? Enroll Now!” You will need your Social Security Number and the plan password provided on the Summary Plan Description for your Employer. The Summary Plan Description can be found on our website by choosing ‘Plan Description’ from the menu. The elections you make during the enrollment process will take the place of your current elections.

If you have already enrolled on our system, you can make future changes online by clicking the ‘Login’ button on the menu and accessing your account.

The following transactions can be made online:

  • Contribution Amount
  • Investment Provider Allocation Percentages

How do I keep track of my account?

Investment providers who choose to cooperate fully with the information sharing requirements of the plan will have information available for you by logging in to your account.  You are able to view the most recent account value provided to us by your vendor on the Region 10 RAMS website under your participant login.

Investment providers who do not fully cooperate with the information sharing agreements of the plan may display zero balances. You will need to contact those investment providers for more information.

All funds are ultimately invested at the investment providers and you may still need to contact them for certain information.

Are there fees to the participants in the Plan?

TCG Administrators is the Administrator and handles the ongoing administration of the Plan for monthly fees equal to $1.50 per month.

You will need to contact your investment provider to determine their fees. Fees for allowable vendors and products are also displayed on the TRS website.

The TRS website provides an excellent comparison of the fees charged by every vendor and product available in Texas.  You are urged to review this website before deciding where to invest your money.  A link to the TRS comparison is on the Region10 RAMS website.

When can I withdraw money from my account?

  • Attainment of age 59½
  • Death
  • Disability
  • Termination of Employment
  • Hardship (if allowed by your plan, see your Summary Plan Description)

What are my distribution options?

  • Receive a lump sum distribution (subject to ordinary income tax)
  • Rollover your account balance to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or other tax qualified vehicle.
  • Transfer your account to another Plan.
  • Some vendors and products allow payments in the form of a monthly annuity or periodic payments.

What happens if I leave employment?

The Internal Revenue Code allows distribution of funds upon termination of service with the participating employer under the options listed above.

When am I required to withdraw my money?

The later of when you retire or reach age 70½.

What happens to my money when I die?

Your designated beneficiary(ies) will receive the full value of your account. Your beneficiary(ies) must contact TCG Administrators to apply for a distribution.

Are loans available under the Plan?

See your Summary Plan Description  to find out if loans are allowed in your plan. Keep in mind that your investment provider may not allow loans, although your plan permits them.  The Summary Plan Description can be found in the plan description for your employer.  You can browse there by clicking the green  ‘Login’  button, and choosing your employer.

For further information on loans, please contact TCG Administrators at 800-943-9179.

How can I change my salary reduction?

You can change your salary reduction online at any time by logging on to your account.

How can I stop my salary reduction?

You can stop your salary deferrals online at any time by logging on to your account.

You may begin contributing again to the Plan online at any time by logging on to your account.

How can I move my funds to another company?

If the company is an active vendor in the Plan, depending on vendor rules and restrictions, you may be able to “exchange” your funds into a different annuity or investment account with another vendor.

How can I get more information?

To get more information about the Plan or enrolling in the Plan, please contact TCG Administrators at 800-943-9179, or visit the other areas of this website.