Supplemental Retirement Accounts - 403(b)/457(b)


All employees, including temporary, part-time, contractual and substitutes, can participate in the Supplemental Retirement plans.  If you are considering enrolling in a 403(b) or 457(b) account, a helpful resource in making your decision is our Consider the Benefits document.


You may save for retirement and reduce your current taxes by participating in a Tax-Deferred Annuity Plan and/or a Deferral Compensation Plan. Sections 403(b)and 457(b) of the Internal Revenue Code authorize a tax-deferred retirement savings program for employees of public schools. The account shelters your money from taxes in two ways:

Pre-tax investing – Investments are made through payroll deductions before federal and state taxes are calculated on your income. FICA tax is also withheld which lowers your current taxable income.

Tax-deferred compounding – Your contributions and investment earnings accumulate tax-free while in your 403(b) account. You pay taxes only when you withdraw the money.


  • All employees are eligible to participate in the 403(b) plan and the 457(b) plan.
  • Employees do not have to wait until Open Enrollment to begin saving in a plan. You may enroll or disenroll at any time.
  • Participation is 100% voluntary. Baltimore County Public Schools does not contribute to your account.
  • Deductions are taken from 24 paychecks per calendar year for 12-month employees and from 20 paychecks per calendar year for 10-month employees.
  • IRS regulations limit the amount you may set aside per calendar year. An additional contribution can be made if you are age 50 or older by the end of the calendar year. Contact your approved vendor to assist you in determining your personal annual maximum.
  • There are currently five 403(b) providers, and one 457(b) provider.  You may obtain the current listing of authorized providers by clicking here.
  • Your savings in these accounts are generally not available until age 59 1⁄2 unless you have a financial hardship, as defined by the IRS. If you meet the hardship requirements, you may be able to borrow or withdraw money from your account before age 59 1⁄2.
  • Distributions from a 457(b) plan are not subject to the 10% “early withdrawal” penalty that applies to the 403(b) plans.

Please Note: Retirement savings options such as 403(b) and 457(b) accounts are intended to provide funds after an individual has reached age 59 1/2. Employees who have to take distributions early should consider contributing to a savings account through the credit union, First Financial Federal Credit Union (FFFCU), to avoid incurring tax penalties if funds are needed urgently.


The following resources are available for employees considering supplemental retirement, or currently enrolled in a 403(b) or 457(b) supplemental retirement plan.

BCPS Approved 403(b)/457(b) Providers
Consider the Benefits of a 403(b) or 457(b) Plan
Statement of Universal Availability
403(b) Company Expense Fees
457(b) Company Expense Fees
403(b) 2023 Salary Reduction Agreement
457(b) 2023 Salary Reduction Agreement