457 Program

The MERS 457 Program is a supplemental retirement program especially for employees of counties, cities, townships, and other municipalities.

Experts estimate that you’ll need as much as 80% of your working income to continue your standard of living in retirement.

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How It Works

MERS 457 Handbook (pdf)

The MERS 457 Program is an employer-sponsored deferred compensation program, meaning with the pre-tax option, taxes on the contributions are deferred until they are withdrawn.

MERS 457 Program offers you a self-directed account in which you choose a portion of your salary to be contributed. You decide the level of contributions and how to invest the assets. There is also an available Roth contribution option employers can adopt for employees, which helps you save with post-tax dollars.

Your MERS 457 Program benefit is made up of any contributions from you and your employer, and investment interest earned. When you enroll in the program, you select from the streamlined MERS Investment Menu. For more information, please read Understanding the MERS Investment Menu (pdf).

Contributions are deposited into your individual account, and invested under your direction. At retirement, your benefits are based on the total amount of money in your account. This amount is determined by:

  • your contributions
  • any employer contributions
  • market performance, minus fees

You can begin using your account as soon as you leave employment, or you can continue to keep your assets invested.

After leaving employment, your benefit is based on the total amount of money in your account. You can also claim any available Roth savings at retirement age.

Please remember, you must begin taking Required Minimum Distributions when you reach age 72 for any pre-tax assets held in your account.

Insurance Premium Option Public Safety Officers
If you are a former public safety officer as defined by the IRS*, you may be eligible for a tax exemption for using funds in your 457 account. Please consult a tax professional.

* A public safety officer as defined by the IRS is an individual serving a public agency in an official capacity, with or without compensation, as a law enforcement officer, as a firefighter, as a chaplain, or as a member of a rescue squad or ambulance crew.

MERS Investment Menu

Streamlined MERS 457 Investment Menu.

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Disclaimer: The information contained in this Web site is being made available as a public service. The information is not intended to constitute legal, tax, accounting or investment advice, or to replace official versions of that information. Benefit Estimates or Service Credit Purchase estimates requested through this Web site are not official descriptions of any benefits, and do not represent a promise by MERS to provide any benefit(s) to any person(s). No one can detrimentally rely upon the information provided in, or requested through this Web site. MERS reserves the right to correct any errors, and presents this information without warranties, express or implied, regarding the information's accuracy, timeliness or completeness. If you believe the information is inaccurate, out-of-date, or incomplete, or if you have problems accessing or reading the information, please call MERS at 800.767.6377.