Tulare County · California

Defined Contribution

Picture of The Auditor-Controller Treasurer-Tax Collector of Tulare County, Cass Cook

Cass Cook

•  Plan Administrator

Defined Contribution:


Arturo Mendez, Retirement Plan Advisor

(559) 967-2280

Email:  arturo.mendezvega@empower.com


County Matches Employee Deferred Comp Contributions!

Recently, the Board of Supervisors took action to expand a program to all qualified Tulare County employees that allows the County to contribute one dollar ($1.00) for every four dollars ($4.00) that a qualified employee contributes into their individual Defined Contribution account.  The maximum amount that the County will contribute under this program varies by bargaining unit. The maximum match is $2,000 per year for each qualified employee in a represented bargaining unit. The maximum match is $2,250 per year for each qualified employee in an unrepresented bargaining unit. And, with many County employees receiving pay increases in July, now is a great time to maximize the amounts set aside for your future retirement – and with a significant portion on someone else’s dime!  Why not consider looking into, or re-kindling your interest in the County’s 457 Defined Contribution Program?  Here are just some of the advantages of investments made through the “457 Plan”:
    • Flexibility – The Defined Contribution program allows you to invest in several different funds at the same time and in a variety of asset classes.  Spreading your funds over a number of investments is known as diversification and is a key to a successful, long-term investment program.  The County’s 457 Plan also allows you a great deal of flexibility in the amounts you invest.  You don’t have to start with a large amount!  Making consistent contributions and increasing them gradually over time can be a very successful approach to saving for your retirement.


    • Lower taxable income – As with the deductions taken for the regular County retirement plan (TCERA), deductions made to the Defined Contribution program are taken on a “pre-taxed” basis.  This means that the deduction is taken from your gross pay first.  You then get taxed on the remainder.  Because the remainder is smaller, you have less in taxes withheld.  This helps to keep your money out of Uncle Sam’s pocket and allows more of it to stay in yours.


    • Access to more information – As a participant in the program managed for Tulare County by Empower, you can have access to all kinds of investment information through the “Empower Retirement” website.  Want to know your account balance?  Just look it up by logging in.  Want to see how your returns have done over the last few years?  The information is there on the website.  Would you like to compare your rate of return to other aggressive, moderate or conservative investment portfolios?  You can do that on the website.  The Empower Retirement website will also give you access to retirement planning information and to the details of the various investment options available to program participants.  Compiling all of this information on you own would be extremely difficult and time consuming.


    While investing in the Defined Contribution program may not be a perfect fit for everyone, it is certainly something that all employees should consider.  Retirement catches up to everyone eventually.  For many it sneaks up on us before we realize it!  Don’t get caught wishing that you had acted earlier.  Give strong consideration to how the 457 Deferred Compensation Program can help you to achieve your retirement goals.