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ERIC Number: EJ981975
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Mar
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0036-651X
403(b) Plans Help Schools Save Costs and Payroll Taxes
Mitchell, Bernadette
School Business Affairs, v78 n3 p31-32 Mar 2012
There's not a school business official in the country who isn't dealing with budget cuts and trying to do more with less. This article shares some proven strategies to help school districts reduce spending and address personnel issues associated with retirement plans. Because public education employers are exempt from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, as well as from nondiscrimination rules for employer contributions, amending the plan to include some of these ideas is relatively simple. Employer contributions to retirement plans are less expensive than compensation dollars: Section 3121(a)(5)(D) of the Internal Revenue Code clearly identifies "any payment made to, or on behalf of, an employee" to a 403(b) plan, other than a payment made through "a salary reduction agreement," is excluded from the definition of "wages." Thus, employer contributions to 403(b) plans (as well as 401[a] plans) are "not" wages and therefore are not subject to payroll taxes, such as Social Security and Medicare taxes. The opportunity to establish 403(b) plans for which employer contributions are made instead of paying such obligations as unused leave pay can save public school districts substantial dollars. And because employer contributions to a 403(b) plan can be made during years of service and for up to five tax years after severance of employment, employers can use a number of innovative strategies to maximize the use of those contributions to benefit both the employees and the employer.
Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO). 11401 North Shore Drive, Reston, VA 20190. Tel: 866-682-2729; Fax: 703-478-0205; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Employee Retirement Income Security Act; Internal Revenue Code; Social Security