is the ACTS Program?
The Additional Contributions Tax-sheltered
(ACTS) program allows eligible employees to obtain supplemental
tax-sheltered annuities with the same investment carriers available
to Alternate Benefit Program (ABP) participants. Contributions
for ACTS investments are voluntary and would be in addition to
the contributions required by mandatory membership in a State-administered
Employees of the county colleges,
State colleges and universities, the Commission on Higher Education,
the Department of Education, and the Office of Student Assistance,
are eligible to participate in the ACTS Program, as long as they
normally work 20 or more hours per week.
Participation in the ACTS Program
is also open those employees listed above who are now receiving
retirement allowances from a State pension system and would otherwise
be barred from joining another State pension system.
It is the employee's responsibility
to initiate the enrollment process by securing information and/or
forms for enrollments.
Current Investment Carriers
The following providers are currently
approved by the Division of Pensions and Benefits to offer annuity
investment accounts for ACTS members (as of April 1, 2004):
ING Life Insurance
and Annuity Co.
581 Main St., Fourth Floor
Woodbridge, NJ 07095
The Hartford/Gitterman & Associates Wealth Management, LLC
70 Wood Avenue South, 3rd Floor
Iselin, NJ 08830
(AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company)
333 Thornall Street, 8th Floor
Edison, NJ 08837
Teachers Insurance and Annuity
College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA/CREF)
Village Blvd, Suite A
Princeton, NJ 08540
MetLife (formerly Travelers - CitiStreet)
Mack Cali IV
581 Main Street, Sixth Floor
Woodbridge, NJ 07095
135 Route 202/206, Suite 13
Bedminster, NJ 07921
You can give employees a copy of Fact
Sheet 34, The Additional Contributions Tax-sheltered (ACTS)
Program (All Funds), which outlines the program and gives
the names, addresses and phone numbers shown above.
Worksite Visits by the Investment
Employers are reminded that each
carrier must be given equal access to worksites and staff. The carriers are always responsible
for making prior arrangements with each human resource office
before appearing on campus (see Carrier
The following guidelines apply to
- The carriers must register their
representative(s) with each employers' benefits office prior
to contacting eligible employees. Registration is to include
name, address, office, and telephone number of the representative(s).
- The carrier must advise and receive
approval from each employer's benefits office for all worksite
contact with plan participants.
- Carrier representatives may not
solicit business for plans or services outside the ACTS Program,
e.g. disability insurance or life insurance, unless they are
authorized to market such products by the employers.
- The carrier must not sell or otherwise
distribute mailing lists developed for the ACTS Program.
- The carrier must visit eligible
employers at least once annually.
- Customized literature published
by the investment carriers for eligible employees is subject
to the review and edit of the Division of Pensions and Benefits
prior to distribution.
- The investment carrier is responsible
and accountable for the accuracy of all program materials and
- The investment carrier's representatives
must provide complete, clear, and concise investment descriptions
including administrative costs to the participant, investment
objectives, risk level, performance history, and independent
rating analysis when available.
carrier representatives must adhere to these guidelines. Abuses
may lead to the reevaluation of the carrier's approval status.
Employers must designate an individual(s)
who is responsible to function as the carriers' worksite point
of contact; coordinate worksite marketing; advise carriers of
any unique characteristics of the employer; and investigate complaints
or policy infractions.
The employer will determine the frequency of informational seminars
and the arrangements will be coordinated with the benefits manager.
The employer will distribute the investment carrier representatives'
names and telephone numbers to eligible employees, and decide
if it is appropriate to provide eligible participants' names and
addresses to the carriers. Employees may initiate contact if additional
information is needed.
Employers may develop additional guidelines as they deem appropriate
subject to the approval of the Division of Pensions and Benefits.
With respect to participant complaints and marketing violations,
incidents must be reported to the employer's benefits office and/or
the Division of Pensions and Benefits for investigation and resolution.
The benefits office of each eligible employer is responsible
- Informing eligible employees
of their ability to participate in the ACTS Program.
The employees can obtain detailed information on investment
options by contacting carriers individually;
- Overseeing the investment
carriers' contact with their employees;
- Disseminating publications
and providing products/services information to employees through
orientation programs and informational meetings, which may include
presentations by the investment carriers;
- Establishing guidelines
for the number of times in a year participants can switch investment
carriers or change the percentage of allocation among the investment
carriers. (Participants employed by the Commission on Higher
Education, the Department of Education, and the Higher Education
Student Assistance Authority are permitted to change their choice
of investment carriers, or the percentage of allocation among
investment carriers, twice during the calendar year.), and;
- Timely processing of the
Carrier Election and
Allocation Form and the Salary
Reduction Agreement. (Please note that many
county colleges and State colleges and universities of New Jersey
have their own internally-developed forms for use with the ACTS
Employer Processing of ACTS Forms
There are two forms that the employer
is responsible to file on behalf of the participants*:
*Many county colleges and State
colleges and universities of New Jersey have their own internally-developed
forms for use with the ACTS Program. See note below regarding
the establishment of filing and processing procedures, and use
of forms by county colleges and State colleges and universities.)
Agency Carrier Election and Allocation Form
Once an employee establishes an account
with the carrier (or carriers) of choice by contacting the carrier
directly, the employer must provide the employee with the Carrier
Election and Allocation Form. This form indicates the investment
carrier is authorized to receive the participant's voluntary tax-deferred
contributions and shows the allocation of contributions. This
form must be completed and filed with the employer each time the
participant desires to change any investment carrier, or the percentage
of allocation among multiple carriers. ACTS employers have the
discretion to establish guidelines for the number of times in
a year their participants can switch investment carriers or change
the percentage of allocation among the investment carriers.
Agency Salary Reduction Agreement Form
The Salary Reduction Agreement
(SRA) establishes a contract between the employee and the employer
whereby the employee's eligible earned base salary will be reduced
by voluntary contributions beyond those required by mandatory
membership in any State-administered retirement system. The reduction
shall not exceed the employee's statutory exclusion allowance
under Section 403(b), or the limitations of Section 415 and the
regulations thereunder of the Internal Revenue Code.
- The rate of salary reduction must
be stated as a percentage of the employee's includable compensation
(base salary minus required deductions under payroll guidelines).
- No fractional percentages will
be permitted for employees of the Commission on Higher Education,
the Department of Education, and the Higher Education Student
- State agencies' employees paid
through Centralized Payroll are permitted to change their rate
of salary reduction once per calendar quarter.
- State colleges and universities
and county colleges may establish their own policies regarding
the number of salary reduction agreement changes allowable per
- State colleges and universities
and county colleges may establish their own policy regarding
whether fractional or whole-number percentage deductions will
- Suspension of contributions does
not constitute a change.
- To change the rate of salary
reduction, a participant must file a Salary Reduction Agreement.
Maximum Exclusion Allowance
Although it is the responsibility
of the investment carriers to compute the maximum exclusion allowance
for ACTS participants upon request, it is the ACTS employers'
responsibility to ensure that the employees' contributions do
not exceed the statutory exclusion allowance under Section 403(b)
or the limitations of Section 415 and the regulations thereunder
of the Internal Revenue Code.
Employers under the State Centralized Payroll System must certify
both the Salary Reduction Agreement and the Carrier
Election and Allocation forms. These forms must be forwarded
to the ACTS Program office at the Division of Pensions and Benefits.
The employer and participant will receive confirmation copies
with an effective date of deductions.
The benefits offices of State colleges or universities or county
colleges must determine their own filing and processing procedures,
and the format of their Salary Reduction Agreement and
Carrier Election Forms.
The Division of Pensions and Benefits
offers the following payroll guidelines to assist your location
in the payroll functions involving deductions. The State's
Centralized Payroll Office follows this priority order.
For example purposes, the base salary considered here is $40,000.
Less Pension 414(h) = Mandatory
Adjusted Net Salary
Less Section 125 = Pretax
Adjusted Net Salary
Less TSA - 403(b) = ACTS
Adjusted Net Salary
Less Deferred Compensation
- 457 = Tax-Deferred Supplemental Retirement Account
Wages Subject to Federal
In accordance with recent federal
statutes, all 403(b) money withheld on behalf of an employee must
be remitted and credited to the member's account within five working
days after any pay date. It is very important for both the
member and the employing location to process any transfers and
reports of 403(b) money in a timely way.
Each provider has its own procedures
for remitting employee contributions. Any questions should,
therefore, be directed to the providers.
All records of member contributions
are kept locally with the employer (except for State agencies
covered by Centralized Payroll).
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