Frequently Asked Questions

How do I enroll in the Plan?

  • You can enroll anytime at (click the yellow box to the right of the hikers) Your contribution will start after the 1st of the following month of enrolling.

What does “tax deferred” mean?

  • You don’t pay taxes on that portion of income going toward your deferred comp account until you retire and/or begin to take payments from your account. This may lower your current taxable income.

What is a Roth 457b?

  • A Roth 457b Plan consists of "after tax" bi-weekly contributions; when you retire, your distributions are not taxed, granted you met the 5 year seasoning period. A Roth option might be beneficial for someone who will pay more income tax in retirement.

What is the least and most I can contribute?

  • Currently, the minimum contribution amount is $10 per pay period; the maximum contribution for 2024 is $23,000 per calendar year. If you are age 50 or older, you can contribute up to $30,500 per calendar year.

Can I rollover my annual leave payout into my deferred comp when I retire?

  • Yes, as long as the amount is within the maximum contribution amounts.

Can I stop my contributions at any time?

  • Yes, you can stop your contributions at any time. However, you cannot withdraw your funds until you terminate employment.

Do I have to pull out all of my deferred comp balance when I retire?

  • No. You can leave your deferred comp funds on account until you are ready to use them. You may also set up systematic payments, ie: monthly, quarterly. The IRS will require you to take the RMD (Required Minimum Distribution) at age 72 if you have not yet started receiving payments by that age.

How does the deferred comp plan work?

  • You contribute a certain amount, minimum $10 each pay period, to your deferred comp account; you will build an investment portfolio from the funds that are offered.

What if I don’t know how to invest my money?

  • There are people here to help you! Please contact the PERA SmartSave Call Center at 1-833-424-SAVE (7283) or visit

How is PERA affiliated with this plan?

  • The PERA Board of Trustees is the fiduciary of the Deferred Comp Plan; the PERA Board oversees all aspects of the plan including the mutual fund options with recommendations from an Investment Consultant and PERA’s Investments Division.

Can I borrow money from my deferred comp plan?

  • Yes, you may borrow a loan from your deferred comp balance. You must pay back the loan with interest, but all payments (including interest payments) go back to your own account.

What if I default on a loan from my deferred comp plan?

  • A defaulted loan is treated as taxable income for that calendar year and is reported to the IRS. You can only have one outstanding loan at any given time. You will not qualify for another loan if you have a defaulted loan.

Can I buy PERA service credit with my deferred comp funds?

  • Yes! You can use your deferred comp funds to purchase PERA air time, military or withdrawn service credit – the transaction is not considered taxable. You can also purchase NMERB service credit with your deferred comp funds.

Can I combine similar retirement accounts?

  • Yes, you can consolidate any qualified retirement accounts you may have, such as 403(b), 401(k), traditional IRA, to your PERA Deferred Comp account. However, you may want to inquire with your provider on possible surrender charges.

Is there a fee for the PERA Deferred Comp plan?

  • Yes, the annual fee is $40 + 0.135% of the account balance with a cap at $104 for large balances. For example on an account balance of $5000, the fee is $11.38 per quarter; the fee is deducted quarterly from your account balance. The fee covers payment to the record keeper, the investment consultant and PERA's operating costs. This fee is waived for the first two quarters or until your account balance reaches $1000, whichever occurs sooner.

Do I have to wait for open enrollment to start?

  • No, you can enroll anytime. Enroll online at You can also make changes to your contribution amount or investment options at any time. Contribution changes take effect after the 1st of the following month of making the change.

**Please note that the information in this FAQ is subject to change per IRS Code, Plan Document Amendments, and/or Amendments to the NM Deferred Compensation Act.