CTA Retirement Savings Plan

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Why do you need a 403(b) savings plan? 
Because your CalSTRS pension will cover on average 50% to 60%* of the income you will need in retirement, CTA has created a retirement savings plan to help make up the difference.

How is this plan different than other 403(b) plans? 

  1. All plan representatives are salaried, not paid on commission. The result is significant savings on plan costs.  
  2. Your union has no financial benefit from this plan. The goal in creating the CTA retirement savings plan was to help make sure that every educator has a financially secure future.
  3. There are no hidden fees, and the plan is designed to keep administrative and investment management costs low.
  4. CTA follows fiduciary standards to ensure that all recommendations and plan decisions are made solely in your best interests.
  5. CTA Retirement Savings Plan is the only one that is built for—and endorsed by—the California Teachers Association.

How the plan works
The CTA plan allows you to put aside part of your salary in a tax-advantaged way until you need it at retirement.

When you enroll in the plan, your contributions to your retirement account will happen automatically every time you get paid. This will help make sure you are meeting your retirement savings goals.

You can contribute any amount you wish, up to the annual maximum.

  • If you’re under age 50, you can save up to the annual maximum ($22,500 for 2023).
  • If you’re age 50 or older, you can also make catch-up contributions ($7,000).
  • If you have 15 or more years of full-time service, in certain districts you may also be able to contribute up to $3,000 more for five years (up to a maximum of $15,000).

Even if you can start with only $100.00 per month, it is good to start. As your situation changes you can always increase your contributions.

Starting as soon as you are able makes a big difference. You'll have compound interest on your side.

Enrolling in the plan
There are just two steps to enroll in the plan: 

  1. Enroll online at enroll.ctaretirementplan.org
    It only takes a few minutes to complete.
  2. Complete a Salary Reduction Agreement (SRA)
    An SRA form is required to direct your employer to fund your CTA retirement account. The CTA Enrollment team can help you completing this form.

403(b) Cost Calculator

Have you ever wondered how expensive your 403(b) account is? This calculator tool is designed to assist California educators in understanding the fees and costs associated with 403(b) products and how it compares to the CTA 403(b). It aims to provide a user-friendly way for educators to identify and calculate any explicit or implicit costs associated with their 403(b) products, helping them make more informed financial decisions. 

Click here to access the calculator tool

Moving to the CTA plan
If you have other retirement savings accounts, either currently or from a former employer, you may be able to exchange those plans and consolidate them into the CTA plan. You need to have opened a CTA retirement savings account first before you can do the rollover. Opening a new account is easy and it only takes a few minutes to complete: enroll.ctaretirementplan.org
There are important things to consider before making an exchange or rollover, including surrender fees, the regulations governing your former employer's plan, and possible tax implications.

What are the plan fees? 
You pay a flat annual recordkeeping fee of $95.00 and 0.05% for custodial services based on the assets in your account. These fees will be deducted from your account balance on a quarterly basis. Additionally, you pay an asset-based fee for the investments selected and certain transactions such as loans and distributions are subject to fees.

New CTA members or existing members who have not previously opened a 403(b)/457 governmental plan may be eligible for lower administrative/recordkeeping fees for two years to help them get started with their retirement plan.


CTA has negotiated a 50% reduction in $95 annual administration fee for the first two years an account is open for those who qualify as a new saver. In order to qualify, the new saver must meet the following criteria:


1. CTA Member in good standing


2. Qualifies by one of the following categories:

  • CTA New Saver Category 1
    A new CTA member (3 years or less)
  • CTA New Saver Category 2
    CTA member for more than 3 years
    Does not have an existing 403(b) or 457 with a balance.

We review each enrollment and based on the information provided, we automatically apply the discount to the qualifying enrollments.


A one-time $10 enrollment fee will be assessed with the first quarterly recordkeeping fee payment at the end of the quarter in which your account is funded.

All fees are clearly outlined in the annual fee disclosure statement and will be reported as transactions on your quarterly statement.

*CalSTRS Member Handbook 2023