Get Ready to Enroll


It's easy to participate in your employer's 457(b) deferred compensation plan. You can get started right away.

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Not ready to sign up yet? Get more info about how deferred comp works and what your options are first.

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If you're not already investing for retirement, it's time to get started. Your pension and Social Security benefits may not provide enough retirement income for you to live the way you want to in retirement.

With your 457(b) deferred compensation plan, you decide when, where and how much to invest. And that's just the beginning — here are four more reasons why it's smart to participate in your deferred comp plan:

  1. You can start anytime — Your deferred comp plan will work for you whether you're approaching retirement or just getting started saving. This is because time and compounding work together to build momentum for your money. The sooner you start, the more you could have at retirement.
  2. Something is better than nothing — Even a little bit of savings can really add up over time. And if you continue to bump up contributions on a regular basis, the overall impact to your paycheck may not seem too painful. Consider putting raises or bonuses into deferred comp — it's an easy way to save a little more.
  3. This plan is made for you — Unlike other retirement plans, deferred comp takes into account that you may retire sooner than workers in the private sector. So you don't have to worry about paying a penalty for retiring or beginning to take income from the plan before age 59½.

    Read about the benefits of consolidating your eligible retirement plan accounts with your deferred comp plan

  4. Service you can count on — Nationwide® has non-commissioned retirement specialists ready and willing to answer your questions. We've been helping public sector employees save for retirement for more than 30 years and our specialists really know their stuff — but it won't cost you any extra. We also have local retirement specialists who will meet with you face-to-face.

Get the help you need

The sooner you enroll, the more you can save. Take a look at the Enrollment Checklist for tips on what you'll need to have handy and enroll today.

Start Online Enrollment



As plan sponsor, Howard County has selected a wide range of investment options to meet your retirement planning needs.

View Curent Fund Performance

View Howard County Quarterly Fund Performance

View Howard County Public Schools Systems Quarterly Fund Performance

Keep in mind that investing involves market risk, including possible loss of principal. As you get started in the plan, we’ll help you understand market risk and strategies that may help you deal with it.

If you get stuck when choosing which funds are right for you, we’re here to help. We offer different levels of assistance so you can get the help you need.

Let us help you do it

If you want some help along the way, consider our target date funds. A target date fund is structured to automatically reset its asset mix according to its lifecycle, helping you keep your investments balanced. It is designed to potentially grow until a certain date in the future – specifically, your retirement year.

Target Maturity Funds are designed for people who plan to withdrawal retirement funds during or near a specific year. These funds use a strategy that reallocates equity exposure to a higher percentage of fixed investments over time. As a result, the funds become more conservative over time as you approach retirement.

It's important to remember that no strategy can assure a profit or prevent a loss in a declining market; the principal value is not guaranteed at any time including the target date. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal. When redeemed, the amount received may be less than the amount invested.

Target Maturity Funds are designed to provide diversification and asset allocation across several types of investments and asset classes, primarily by investing in underlying funds. Therefore, in addition to the expenses of the Target Maturity Funds, an investor is indirectly paying a proportionate share of the applicable fees and expenses of the underlying funds.

Do it by yourself

If you want to do it on your own, go for it. You can use the My Investment Planner to determine your investor profile and find an asset allocation that’s right for you. Then check out your plan’s current fund performance to help you decide. Just remember we’re always here if you have questions.

The use of asset allocation does not guarantee returns or insulate you from potential losses.

Get the help you need

Talk to a Retirement Specialist about your investment options.



It only takes a few minutes to sign up. Here are some things you'll need:

Start Enrollment Now

Get the help you need

We'll even walk you through it. If you need more help, call one of our Retirement Specialists.



A 457(b) deferred compensation plan is a retirement plan offered by your employer, created to allow public employees like you to put aside money from each paycheck toward retirement. Remember, investing involves market risk, including the possible loss of principal. A deferred comp plan can help bridge the gap between what you have in your pension and Social Security, and how much you’ll need in retirement. Your employer may allow you to make Roth contributions to your 457(b) retirement account.

Here are some answers to questions you may have about deferred comp plans:

  • What sets a 457(b) apart from other retirement plans? A 457(b) may offer benefits other retirement plans can’t, like penalty-free withdrawals once you stop working for your public sector employer. Withdrawals are taxed as regular income in the year that payments are made to you.
  • What does tax-deferred mean? Basically, you don’t pay income taxes on your deferred comp plan contributions or earnings until you retire and/or begin to take payments from your account. This may lower your taxable income now – if you take income at that time it would not lower your taxable income.
  • Can I afford to save for retirement? You can't afford not to – and since your contributions aren't taxed, contributing to your plan could have less of an impact to your take-home pay than you expect. Use the Paycheck Impact Calculator to see how saving will affect your paycheck.
  • How much should I put in my account? If you're unsure, you can use our tools and Learning Center to help decide how much to contribute, what funds to choose and how to use your money when you retire. To see the big picture of how much income is needed in retirement, use the My Interactive Retirement PlannerSM. Also, review the IRS current contribution limits to understand how much you’re permitted to contribute to your plan.
  • Can I combine retirement accounts?  Our Retirement Specialists will work with you to combine, or consolidate your eligible retirement accounts into your deferred comp account. This may make managing your retirement investments a little easier.

    Qualified retirement plans, deferred compensation plans and individual retirement accounts are all different, including fees and when you can access funds. Assets rolled over from your account(s) may be subject to surrender charges, other fees and/or a 10 percent tax penalty if withdrawn before age 59½.

Get the help you need

The sooner you enroll, the more you can possibly save. Take a look at the Enrollment Checklist to see what you’ll need to have handy and enroll today!



Once you enroll, you’ll want to set up online access so you can view account details 24/7. We offer convenient, secure account access with encryption and firewall protection.

Set Up Online Access Now

Here are some things you can do once you have online access to your account:

Manage your account

  • Check your total account balance
  • Update your personal information
  • Get current and past statements

Manage your money

  • Verify your contribution dates and amounts
  • Change how much you contribute and how your money is invested
  • Review available investment options, see fund performance and research funds
  • Sign up to have your account automatically rebalanced every quarter (Automatic Asset Rebalancing or AAR)

Get the help you need

If you need help setting up online access, we can walk you through it. Talk to one of our Retirement Specialists today.


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