Governmental 401(a) Plans

For employees of state, county, and local governments, including public education institutions

Contributions Limits

In the annual limit per participant is $66,000 (or 100% of compensation, if less).

Types of Contributions

Depending on plan rules, employer contributions, employee pre-tax, and/or employee after-tax contributions may be permitted. Check your employer's plan summary to see which types of contributions are available under the plan.

Account Consolidation

If permitted under your current and prior employers' plans, you can transfer your vested account balance from a prior employer's retirement plan to your current employer's plan. This can make it easier for you to track your retirement savings and maintain a suitably diversified investment portfolio. Always make sure that you find out what, if any, surrender charges may apply before you initiate a transfer.

Vesting Status

You are always 100% vested in your own contributions, transferred and rollover contributions, and any earnings they generate.

A 401(a) plan may require completion of a specific number of years of service for vesting in employer contributions. If your employer's plan includes employer contributions, check the plan summary to find out the vesting rules.

Withdrawals and Distributions

Generally not available before age 59½ unless you terminate employment, are disabled, or die. A plan may also permit an in-service distribution for Childbirth and Adoption Expenses without a federal income tax penalty. Amounts distributed are taxable as ordinary income and, if taken before age 59½, may incur a 10% federal income tax penalty.

You must begin taking distributions when you reach age 70½, or 72 only if you attain age 70 ½ on or after January 1, 2020, or retire from the employer sponsoring the plan, whichever occurs later.


Availability of loans varies by plan. Check your employer's plan summary to see if loans are offered.

Learn More

Refer to your employer's 401(a) plan summary.

Account Access

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