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Benefits Administration

Retirement & Savings Programs

Tax Sheltered Annuities (TSA) Program

Note: Employees should consult with their own tax advisors to make sure they are within the limitations set for by the IRS.

What is a TSA program?

The Tax Shelter Annuity Program, also known as a (403)b, is a voluntary program that allows eligible CSU employees to save toward retirement under Internal Revenue Code [IRC Section 403(b)]. The method for this savings is to invest pre-tax contributions in tax-deferred investments, either annuities or mutual funds. TSA contributions are made solely by the employee through payroll deductions, prior to the deduction of federal and state taxes.

Who is eligible?

All CSU employees except Student Classifications.

What is the minimum contribution allowed?

$15 per month per company. Investments may be made with up to five companies.

What are the annual contribution limits?

Employees can defer up to $17,500 for the 2014 tax year (although the last 2013 deductions will come out of the December 1st pay warrant). 

*NOTE: New information regarding offsets*

  1. Contributions to a 403(b) plan are no longer offset by contributions to a 457 plan. For example, for tax year 2014, a participant could elect to contribute up to $17,500 to a 403(b) plan AND up to $17,500 to a 457 plan, for a total contribution of up to $35,000.
  2. Contributions to a 403(b) plan are offset by any contributions to a 401(k) plan in the same tax year. Employees contributing to both a 403(b) and a 401(k) plan are restricted by IRS regulations to a combined total of $17,500.
  3. Each employee is responsible for their own calculations and to make sure the IRS limits are not exceeded.

Where can I find information on the planned changes to the TSA program?

Information regarding the Master Administrator for the CSU program is available at:

How do I enroll in a TSA program?

Enrollment is now through the CSU Benefits Portal.

What companies provide TSAs for CSU employees?

The following companies will offer CSU employees the opportunity to establish TSA accounts:


VALIC Rachel Baroma 1 (800) 892-5558
Ext. 87378
FIDELITY INVESTMENTS Fidelity Representative 1 (800) 642-7131
ING LIFE & ANNUITY COMPANY Kam Nassiri (818) 774-0719
METLIFE RESOURCES Chris Maltese (805) 371-4217
(818) 648-0907
TIAA CREF Michael Johns (626) 432-6316

To see each company's contact information and website, please refer to the TSA Enrollment Kit

What are the submission deadlines?

The cutoff day to make changes in Retirement Manager (the CSU Benefits Portal) is the 5th of each month by 9:59 PM Pacific Standard Time (PST), or the next business day by 9:59 PM if the 5th falls on a holiday or weekend.

May I make additional contributions?

There are two "catch-up" provisions for making additional contributions; if you qualify, you may participate.

  • Under IRC Code Section 402(g)(7), employees that have at least 15 years of service (full-time equivalent) with the CSU may be eligible to contribute an additional $3,000 per tax year for up to five years, for a total of $15,000. To take advantage of this catch-up allowance, access the Maximum Catch-Up Allowance Worksheet.

    Log in to your Retirement Manager account to access the form. Complete the form and bring or send the completed form to the Benefits Office in Human Resources, University Hall 165.
  • Under IRS section 414(v), employees who are or will turn age 50 by the end of the current tax year (December 31) may contribute an additional $5,500 to a 403(b) plan or to a 401(k) plan, and also contribute an additional $5,500 to a 457 plan.

If an employee qualifies for both of the catch-up provisions, additional contributions will be first applied to the 15 year catch-up allowance and then to the age based catch-up provision.

How can I compare the different pre-tax investment opportunities [401(k), 457 and 403(b)]?

A Comparison Chart is Available

How, and how often, may I make changes to my 403(b) account?

An employee may change companies and/or dollar amounts as often as once a month through the CSU Benefits Portal

What is a tax year?

Tax years for CSUN employees are calculated by Pay Periods: December 1st through November 30th.

How can I cancel my account?

An employee may cancel any or all account(s) through the CSU Benefits Portal.

How many plans/companies may I have accounts with simultaneously?

An employee may contribute to up to five (5) TSA companies simultaneously. All companies must be listed when you register on the CSU Benefits Portal.

How can I save taxes on my unused vacation payout?

When you retire you may transfer your unused vacation pay to your 403(b) plan. Normally, when you cash out unused vacation credits the payment is taxable, but if you transfer it to your 403(b) plan you won't owe taxes until you withdraw the funds.

If you would like to proceed with the transfer, please contact Payroll Administration at ext 2314 at least 90 days before separating or retiring and put your request in writing at least 45 days in advance.

Where can I get more information?

Call Human Resources/Benefits Administration:
Monica Baskerville at x3810 if your last name starts with A-K,
or Cathy Salazar, x 2119, if your last name starts with L-Z.