Deferred Compensation

Empower Retirement Logo

The Deferred Compensation plan is sponsored by the County and is under the administration of the County Treasurer.

The County offers eligible employees the ability to enroll in a Deferred Compensation program through Empower Retirement. This tax-deferred savings program allows you to contribute a portion of your salary, before federal and state taxes, to supplement your retirement program.

Participation in this plan is optional, whereas participation in the County Employees Retirement System is mandatory. Both plans are for full or part time employees, elected officials, and contractors on payroll.

Contribution Limits

Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA) legislation was enacted in the year 2001 to increase the maximum deferral limits for your 457 deferred compensation plan. Santa Barbara County incorporated the new limits that will increase each year.

457 Regular Deferred Compensation
Year Limit
2013$17,500.00
2014 $17,500.00
2015 $18,000.00
2016 $18,000.00
2017 $18,000.00
Age 50+ Catch-Up
Year Limit Total - Age 50+ Catch-Up Plus Regular Deferral Amount
2013 $5,500.00 $22,500.00
2014 $5,500.00 $23,500.00
2015 $6,000.00 $24,000.00
2016 $6,000.00 $24,000.00
2017 $6,000.00 $24,000.00

Please note that the Age 50+ Catch-Up provision is not available for any year in which the Pre-Retirement Catch-Up provision is utilized.

Pre-Retirement Catch-Up
Year Underutilized Limit Total - Underutilized Limit Plus Regular Deferral Amount
2013 $17,500.00 $35,000.00
2014 $17,500.00 $35,000.00
2015 $18,000.00 $36,000.00
2016 $18,000.00 $36,000.00
2017 $18,000.00 $36,000.00

Pre-Retirement Catch-Up Eligibility Criteria:

  • General Members: 27 years of service credit or 47 years of age and seven years of service credit.
  • Safety Members: 17 years of service credit or 47 years of age and seven years of service credit.

You may only catch-up on amounts that you could have deferred in past eligible years but did not. The maximum number of years you can go back and catch-up is the most recent of the following dates: The date you became eligible for the DCP, or the date the DCP was instituted by Santa Barbara County – November, 1981.

Plan Contact Information

To inquire or make account changes, eligible county employees and members can call or log on as follows:

Representatives from the local office (Glendale, CA) will also be available on a scheduled basis for group meetings and individual counseling sessions. They can be reached at: 1-800-382-8924.