Inside Rensselaer
* Curtis Powell

Curtis Powell

A Word From Human Resources Supplemental Retirement Options

After experiencing one of the most difficult winters in several years, it is time to face the inevitable task of filing tax forms with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and New York state. Also, as we file our taxes, we focus on ways to find tax deductions; do our financial planning and think ahead about saving for retirement.

For those interested in enhancing retirement savings, employees should consider the Rensselaer Supplemental Retirement Plan.


In addition to federal, state, and Medicare withholding tax, Rensselaer employees have been paying 6.2 percent up to the first $106,800 of their salary to Social Security. However, as a result of legislation signed by President Barack Obama in December 2010, the employee’s portion of the Social Security tax rate dropped from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent for only the 2011 tax year. This has resulted in a 2 percent increase in take-home pay for many U.S workers for 2011.

What does this change mean for you? For example, a person making $50,000 during 2011 will see an annual increase in take-home pay of $1,000 or $83 per month.

For those interested in enhancing retirement savings, this unexpected increase in take-home pay presents an ideal opportunity for employees to consider the Rensselaer Supplemental Retirement Plan (Voluntary 403(b) Savings Plan). The Supplemental Retirement Plan allows employees to set aside money for additional retirement income through tax deferred investments. Rensselaer faculty and staff have the option to save additional funds beyond the basic 1 percent employee contribution and 8 percent employer match.

Within this plan, employees pay no income tax on these savings or on any of the investment income the savings earns until they begin to collect retirement or upon withdrawal. Participating employees also have the option to increase their contribution to the Supplemental Retirement Plan.

To start the process, interested individuals may choose to save the extra 2 percent of pay that they are now receiving as a result of the reduction in Social Security tax. Additional options include contributing as little as $10 per pay period or the maximum allowable amount.

For more information regarding the Rensselaer Supplemental Retirement Plan or any other retirement-related questions, contact Marjorie Bertram, senior human resource specialist in the Division of Human Resources at bertrm@rpi.edu or at 276-6369.

We wish you the best with filing your taxes and in planning for your future.

Curtis Powell, SPHR
Vice President for Human Resources

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 5, Number 6, April 1, 2011
©2010 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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