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General Plan Administration and Design

  1. Who governs the Plan?
    The Plan is governed by eight (8) individual Trustees who serve without compensation. Each Trustee is a Plan participant and is employed by a participating agency. All fiduciary decisions affect them in the same way as every other participant. Their goal is to provide employees of housing agencies with the best possible opportunities for a secure retirement plan.

  2. Is there a penalty imposed if we cancel the Plan and request monies to be transferred to a successor funding medium?

  3. Is there a market rate adjustment or any fee imposed upon termination of the Plan in its entirety?

  4. Can features such as minimum benefits, excess contributions and Social Security integration be added to the Plan?
    Yes, any feature that does not violate the Trust and IRS Regulations can be added, provided your agency has the available resources.

  5. Is the Plan available with or without life insurance?
    Life insurance is an optional provision.

  6. If life insurance is included, is it group term or ordinary life?
    Group Term. If selected, this also allows for Retiree Life Insurance coverage. To be eligible for the retiree coverage you must be at least age 55 with a minimum of 10 years of consecutive service. For details refer to the Group Term Life Insurance page.

  7. How often can new employees enter the Plan?
    On the first day of any month after completing eligibility requirements, unless the Joinder Agreement of your agency specifies otherwise. For example, eligibility dates range anywhere from using the actual date of hire which would allow immediate entry into the Plan as compared to a one-month, three-month, six-month or one-year waiting period.

  8. Does the Plan offer employee loans?
    Yes. While the Plan offers loans, your agency must choose it as one of the provisions of their Plan.

  9. Does HART take care of IRS approval and file IRS-required forms?
    HART files and has received IRS approval for the Plan Sponsor. Each participating agency has to decide whether it wants to file with the IRS when it adopts the Plan. If an agency does decide to file, HART will assist with the filing but the actual filing has to be made by the agency.

  10. Who determines the entrance age and service requirement for individual participation?
    The employer. As approved by your employer's Board of Commissioners, the agency elects all plan provisions. This is inclusive of the: Eligibility date, Contribution levels of the employer or employee, vesting schedule, normal retirement age and whether or not to provide life insurance or to offer loans. All of these provisions may be changed at anytime at the discretion of your employer.

  11. Who determines the vesting rate?
    The employer.

  12. How often do contributions to the Plan change?
    At any time a pay change occurs. Contributions are a percentage of pay so that when you either have an increase or decrease in pay, contributions are affected.

  13. What happens to forfeitures?
    Forfeitures are first used to pay administrative costs and any remaining funds are returned annually to the agency.

  14. What is the ongoing plan administrative expense?
    Five percent of mandatory employee and employer contributions. There is no charge on voluntary contributions, loan payments, rollovers-in or funds rolled over from a prior plan.

  15. Is there an annual fee? If so, how much?
    Yes, the fee is $24 per year ($6.00 per quarter). At the direction of the agency, this may be paid from forfeitures.

  16. Is there an asset charge?

  17. Are there investment management fees?
    Yes. All load fees and sales charges are waived for purposes of this Plan; however, there are management fees that are negotiated with each fund. These fees are included in the purchase price so that investment returns are reported net of investment expenses.

Participant Accounts

  1. Are interest, gains or losses credited daily?

  2. What are some examples of optional contribution features that the Plan can accommodate?

    • Varying amounts contributed by the employer and employee, including an employer-pay-all (non-contributory) option.
    • An option for employee contributions to be picked up as described in IRC Section 414(h)(2) and treated as an employer contribution.
    • Where multiple investment options are available, each individual employee may choose the amount of contributions that are invested in each fund.

  3. How often can contribution percentages be changed?
    Daily by 4:00 PM Eastern Time. This means that the most current investment election in the system will be in effect for the next posting of a deposit.

  4. How often can accumulated fund balances be transferred among the different funds?
    Daily, provided that the stock market is open, and, the change is made prior to 4:00 PM, Eastern Time. The only limitation that may apply is for those Fund Managers who impose Market-Timing Restrictions. When a transfer is initiated, any transaction restrictions will be displayed in order to either accept the terms and process the transfer or reject the terms and cancel the transaction.

  5. Are interest, gains or losses credited up to the day preceding a distribution or the purchase of an annuity?

  6. Can employees make voluntary contributions to the Plan?
    Yes, a participant may make after-tax contributions to the Plan, subject to the following maximum IRS individual limit: For calendar year 2019, the total of all contributions made to the Plan each year either by you, or by your employer on your behalf, cannot in total exceed whichever is smaller: $56,000 or 100% of your annual salary. (The limit may be increased or decreased by the IRS after 2019.)

  7. Can employees roll over amounts from other retirement plans?
    Yes. The Plan can accept rollover contributions from another plan in which you have participated if that other plan is a qualified plan under Internal Revenue Code Section 401(a) or 401(k), a tax-sheltered annuity plan under Internal Revenue Code Section 403(b) or an eligible deferred compensation plan under Internal Revenue Code Section 457(b).

  8. Is there any penalty if an employee terminates and elects a cash value distribution instead of an annuity?

  9. How long does it take to receive a distribution after it is requested?
    Since distributions are processed after final plan contributions and loan payments are received by the Plan from the agency, the participant will typically receive the distribution at the end of the month following the month in which his/her termination date occurs. Once final contributions are received by the Plan, distributions are processed every business day, and the checks are mailed within two business days.

Customer service and account information

  1. How often does HART provide reports?
    A report is issued quarterly to the employer, and each participant receives a quarterly individualized statement. The most current thirteen quarters are retained on the Web Site for access or printing. There is also daily access to account information through the automated phone system and Web Site.

  2. Will there be a contact person readily available to respond accurately to routine questions?
    Yes, Monday thru Friday between 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM EST.

  3. How can employees access their account information?
    Primarily through the Web Site at www.hart-retire.com or by calling into the automated phone system at 888-801-3534.

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