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Plan Information

Deferred Compensation


A 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan is a voluntary retirement plan offered by the City of Tacoma, created to allow you to put aside money from each paycheck toward retirement. Contributions are made to the account in your name via payroll deduction for the exclusive benefit of you and your beneficiaries. The value of the account is based on your contributions made and the investment performance over time.

A deferred compensation plan can help bridge the gap between what you have in your pension and Social Security, and how much you'll need in retirement. Depending on what plan you choose, your contributions may be pre-tax or post-tax.  

Pre-tax contributions you make reduce your taxable income for the year. These contributions and all associated earnings are subsequently not subject to Federal tax until you withdraw them. You also may be able to make after-tax Roth contributions which allow for potentially tax-free withdrawals. 

The annual contribution limit for the Traditional 457 (pre-tax) and Roth 457 (post-tax) combined must adhere to the annual maximum limits. These limits can be found below.


You control how your account is invested, choosing from a wide range of options available through the City’s plans.


You can make withdrawals from your account when you leave employment with the City and have the ability to take payments as needed or request scheduled automatic payments. You maintain control over your investments and continue to benefit from tax deferral even after you leave.

During employment, subject to the City’s plan and IRS rules, you may also be able to make withdrawals after age 70½ or due to an unforeseeable emergency. A loan option is also available.

Withdrawals are generally taxable but, unlike other retirement accounts, the 10% penalty tax does not apply to distributions prior to age 59½ (the penalty tax may apply to distributions of assets that were transferred to the 457 plan from other types of retirement accounts).


You designate directly with your Deferred Compensation vendor, a beneficiary, or beneficiaries, to receive any remaining assets upon your death. Designating beneficiaries can help ensure your assets are paid per your wishes, avoid the potential costs and delays of probate, and allow non-spouse beneficiaries to receive additional tax benefits.


Limits and Options


Traditional 457

Roth 457

Pre-tax contributions



Available to all City employees



2024 annual contribution limits


If contributing to the Traditional 457 and the Roth 457, annual contribution limit is for both plans COMBINED.


Contributions are payroll deducted from every pay period.

Regular Deferral




Age 50 Catch-Up






Regular Deferral



Age 50 Catch-Up





Matching from the City


Only for Police & Fire


Borrowing from your balance


Specific IRS rules apply


Tax on post-separation distributions


At the Federal level of 20%


Please refer to the plan documents for detailed information or contact the plan representatives listed below.

City Deferred Compensation Rules, Policies and Information

Deferred Compensation Plan Document
Deferred Compensation Bylaws

Enrolling and Making Deferral Changes

Deferral increases, decreases, as well as new enrollments must be made using your Vendor Portal (links to each vendor and instructions are below). These changes will take affect immediately.


If you have any questions, please contact the Benefits Office at (253) 573-2345 or benefits@cityoftacoma.org.


Instructions for online enrollment and changes for MissionSquare

Instructions for online enrollment and changes for Local 31 only


2024 Limits for Deferred Compensation

The monthly amounts shown in these documents are calculated based on changes being made prior to January 1. If you wish to make the maximum allowable contributions for the year after January 1, please recalculate your monthly contribution based on the number of remaining pay dates for the year.  Your timekeeper can assist you with this information if you do not have it.


Employee Contribution Limits (Except Commissioned Police and Fire)

Employee Contribution Limits (Police Local 6 Only)

Employee Contribution Limits (Police Local 26 Only)

Employee Contribution Limits (Fire Local 31 Only)

Employee Contribution Limits (PPSMA Only)


MissionSquare Retirement (formerly ICMA) Financial Planning Webinars can be found here.

MissionSquare Scheduled Visits 

MissionSquare is also available to visit other City worksites. Contact the Benefits Office for assistance with scheduling.


Vendor Contacts and Information

MissionSquare Retirement (formerly ICMA)

MissionSquare is available to all City Employees

MissionSquare Name Change May 2021
MissionSquare Name Change FAQ May 2021


MissionSquare Loan Guidelines and Procedures

MissionSquare Website


Keith Penewit (Work) 202-759-7015  (Cell) 202-430-3932



MissionSquare Online Scheduling for City of Tacoma Employees

MissionSquare Get to know your 457
MissionSquare Transition Resources
Instructions to download MissionSquare App
Using Amazon Alexa for MissionSquare Account Access
Information on the MissionSquare Website Updates

Deferred Compensation Board Meetings


Deferred Compensation Meeting Schedule

December 2023 Minutes Pending & Agenda
August 2023 Minutes Pending & Agenda
May 2023 Minutes & Agenda
February 2023 Minutes & Agenda
December 2022 Minutes
August 2022 Minutes
May 2022 Minutes
February 2022 Minutes
December 2021 Minutes
August 2021 Minutes
May 2021 Minutes
March 2021 Minutes
February 2021 Minutes
December 2020 Minutes
August 2020 Minutes
May 2020 minutes
April 2020 special meeting minutes
Special Meeting Notice April 2020
February 2020 minutes
December 2019 minutes
October 2019 minutes
May 2019 Minutes
February 2019 Minutes
December 2018 Minutes
September 2018 Special Meeting Minutes
August 2018 Minutes




Dental Plans

The City of Tacoma currently offers two dental plans, Delta Dental of Washington, and Willamette Dental.


Delta Dental Summary 2023

Delta Dental Summary 2024

Delta Dental of Washington Plan Document  

Delta Dental Privacy Policy
Delta Customer Service 1-800-554-1907  Website



Willamette Dental Summary 2023

Willamette Dental Summary 2024

Willamette Dental Plan Document
Willamette Dental Privacy Policy
Willamette Customer Service 1-855-433-6825 Website

Disability Insurance

The City of Tacoma provides you with an employer-paid Long Term Disability (LTD) Insurance benefit in the event you become disabled. The LTD benefit provides replacement of some of your income in the event you are not able to work.

In addition to the basic Long Term Disability (LTD) insurance, the City of Tacoma offers access to voluntary employee-paid Supplemental Short and Long Term Disability benefits at group rates for you in the event you become disabled. The Short Term Disability benefit provides replacement of some of your income in the immediate future and can help bridge the gap to LTD. The Supplemental Long Term Disability insurance can provide additional LTD income and can shorten the waiting period for LTD benefit payments to begin. Standard Insurance Long Term Disability Certificate
Standard Insurance Short Term Disability Certificate
Standard Insurance Privacy Notice

City Paid-Long Term Disability Summary
Employee Paid Voluntary Long Term Disability Buy Up Summary
Employee Paid Voluntary Short Term Disability 

What happens if you want Short Term Disability or the Long Term Disability Buy-up plans after your initial sign up period has lapsed? (See the Employee Benefits Guide on the FAQs & Information page for more details on these voluntary plans as well as your cost)


If you wish to apply for supplemental voluntary disability insurance, please contact the Human Resources Benefits Office for the needed application forms.  Additionally, we want to make you aware that the insurance company may ask you to take a physical exam or provide a blood sample at no cost to you.  Their contracted company, ExamOne, may contact you for this purpose.  Below are links that provide more information on this process.


Disability Insurance Exam Preparation

Video Guide of the Process



Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides cost-free, convenient and confidential consultation and work life resources for you and your eligible dependents to help manage life’s challenges. You can access the EAP 24 hours a day, seven days per week by phone or their website. 


Contact First Choice Health toll-free inside Washington at (800) 777-4114. Additional information is available at the First Choice Health websiteEmployee Login: cityoftacoma


Monthly webinars are also offered. Archived webinars can be found on their employee websiteLogin and click the 'Webinar' tab.


EAP Quick Summary

EAP Brochure

EAP Home Ownership Program


Effective August 22, 2023, First Choice Health Employee Assistance Program, Member Assistance Program, and Physician Assistance Program (FCH) transitioned telehealth vendors from BetterHelp to Talkspace. Members will be able to access Talkspace by calling the toll-free support line at 800-777-4114, or by submitting a referral online at http://www.firstchoiceeap.com, or directly through the Talkspace app.  Members who received a referral to BetterHelp up until the August 22nd go-live date and who wish to continue services through their BetterHelp provider, will be allowed to use all their allotted sessions through the end of the year at which point they will be able to continue with their provider by paying out of pocket or can call in to get a new referral through Talkspace.


About Talkspace

Talkspace Employee FAQ

Talkspace Telehealth Use Guide


A list of upcoming Webinars can be found on their website  


EAP Newsletters

Month Employees Supervisors
October 2023 Employee Newsletter Supervisor Newsletter 
September 2023  Employee Newsletter  Supervisor Newsletter 
August 2023  Employee Newsletter  Supervisor Newsletter   
July 2023 Employee Newsletter  Supervisor Newsletter   
June 2023 Employee Newsletter  Supervisor Newsletter   
May 2023 Employee Newsletter  Supervisor Newsletter  
 April 2023 Employee Newsletter  Supervisor Newsletter   
 March 2023 Employee Newsletter  Supervisor Newsletter   
February 2023 Employee Newsletter  Supervisor Newsletter  
January 2023 Employee Newsletter   Supervisor Newsletter  
December 2022  Employee Newsletter   Supervisor Newsletter  
November 2022  Employee Newsletter   Supervisor Newsletter  


First Choice Privacy Notice



Flexible Spending

The City of Tacoma provides employees an IRS Section 125 Flexible Benefits Spending Plan, which allows for employees to save money on their health and dependent care expenses.  Employees save by setting aside an amount of money per year before taxes are taken out into an account to pay for out-of-pocket health and dependent care expenses.


Under the Section 125 Flexible Benefits Spending Plan there are two plan components: Health Flexible Spending Account (Health FSA) and a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (Dependent Care FSA) that is for out-of-pocket day care expenses for a child or adult dependent that cannot care for themselves.



Health Care FSA Spending Overview

FSA Spending Summary Plan Document

Health Care FSA Spending Fact Sheet

Dependent Care FSA Fact Sheet

FSA Expense Substantiation Requirements

FSA Orthodontia Expense Procedures


FSA Portal Quick Reference - Contact the Benefits Office

FSA Portal User Guide - Contact the Benefits Office


Secure Submission Guide

Health Flexible Spending EzPay App & Wallet

For more information, call Trusteed Plan Services Customer Service at (253) 564-5611 x210, 1-800-426-9786 x210 visit their websiteYou can also visit the Portal Login.

HRA VEBA (Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association) Plan

What is HRA VEBA?

The City of Tacoma provides to eligible employees an employer-paid health reimbursement account (HRA) benefit post retirement.  This is an IRS defined “account-based” group health plan and it is often referred to as “VEBA” because its assets are held in a tax-exempt, voluntary employees’ beneficiary association (VEBA) trust that is authorized under Section 501(c)(9) of the IRS Code.  The City of Tacoma provides this benefit by depositing Sick Leave and Personal Time Off (PTO) severance payments tax-free into the account at the time of your retirement or death. **


An HRA VEBA account is a special type of health plan arrangement that is similar to a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) by allowing individuals to use the funds to pay for or reimburse themselves for out-of-pocket health expenses and premiums. But unlike some of the features with these other type of health arrangements you can invest the funds, there are no contribution limits, there is no annual use-it-or lose it rule, you can pass the funds on to a beneficiary at time of death, and the money is deposited, invested, and withdrawn tax-free allowing your money to go much further.



Non-represented employees* and certain represented employees** in which the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) provides for the benefit.  Please refer to Tacoma Municipal Code Section 1.12.229, and/or the applicable collective bargaining agreement for specific details.


*The Tacoma Municipal Code 1.12.229 provides this contribution is in effect each year unless at least 20 percent of non-represented employees who are eligible to retire in the next calendar year request a vote be conducted. If the 20 percent threshold is met, eligible employees will be notified of a vote to be conducted. The results of the vote will determine whether to suspend the VEBA deposit for the next calendar year only, which will be determined by a majority of the returned ballots. If the 20 percent threshold is not met, no vote will be conducted, and the VEBA deposit will be in place for the next calendar year.


**Some Employee Groups/CBAs allow for contributions to an HRA VEBA prior to retirement. For these groups, if an employee wishes to sign for up a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) with a Health Savings Account (HSA), they will be required to complete a Limited Purpose Election form with HRA VEBA to put their VEBA account in limited coverage (e.g., dental and vision benefits only). The IRS requires this action take place in order for an individual to be eligible to make or receive contributions to an HSA. Your limited-purpose coverage election will remain in force until you make a change. You can make one limited-purpose coverage election change per calendar year. Please contact the Benefits Office for the Limited Purpose Election form.


How is the HRA VEBA Funded?

  • Non-represented employees: 50% Personal Time Off (PTO)/ 25% Sick Leave in a year the VEBA benefit is in place *

  • Represented Employees varies by CBA **

Types of Covered Expenses

Funds deposited into a VEBA can be used for qualified out-of-pocket expenses including co-pays, coinsurance, deductibles, over-the-counter health care expenses, retiree insurance premiums (including Medicare Part B and Part D and Medicare supplement plans), TRICARE premiums and expenses, and tax-qualified long-term care insurance premiums (subject to annual IRS limits). Refer to IRS Publication 502 Medical and Dental Expenses and Section 213(d) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) for more details. 


Note:  HRA VEBA can reimburse qualified healthcare expenses incurred by the participant, spouse, and qualified dependents.



If you pass away, your HRA can transfer to your surviving spouse, children, designated beneficiaries, or other eligible survivors. You can designate your beneficiaries once your account is funded.


Helpful Links/Information:

City of Tacoma Webinar (August 2023)

HRA VEBA Plan Brochure

Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) Basics

Eligible Medical Care Expenses

HRA VEBA Investment Fund Overview


Contact HRA VEBA / More Information




Life Insurance

The City of Tacoma provides you two forms of employer-paid Life Insurance benefits for you and your designated beneficiaries in the event of your death. You can be secure with the knowledge that your family will be taken care of should you die unexpectedly.

In addition to the basic life and AD&D insurance policies, the City of Tacoma offers access to voluntary employee-paid Supplemental Life and AD&D Insurance benefits at group rates, for you and your family members. Life Insurance Certificate
Basic Life Insurance and AD&D Summary

What Happens if you want additional City Life Insurance?

If you wish to apply for additional life insurance for you or your spouse, please contact the Human Resources Benefits Office for the needed application forms.  Additionally, we want to make you aware that the insurance company may ask you to take a physical exam or provide a blood sample at no cost to you.  Their contracted company, ExamOne may contact you for this purpose.  Below are links that provide more information on this process

Life Insurance Exam Preparation

Video Guide of the Process


Travelers Assistance

Travel Assistance helps you cope with emergencies when you travel more than 100 miles from home or internationally for trips of up to 180 days.  Travel assistance can also help you with non-emergencies, such as currency exchange information, inoculation requirements for foreign countries, passport and visa information.  As a participant in the City’s basic life insurance coverage form The Standard, you and your dependent family members are automatically covered.

We encourage you to print and take copies of the flyer with you.

Travel Assistance
Travel Assistance Information & Features

Medical Plans

The City of Tacoma currently has two medical carriers, Regence BlueShield and Kaiser Permanente. Employees have the choice at the time of hire or during open enrollment periods to enroll in the Regence BlueShield PPO or High Deductible Plans, or the Kaiser Permanente HMO Plan.


Kaiser Permanente Resources

The Kaiser website offers links to general information about the Cooperative, including its health plans, provider and facility directories, newsroom and more. For members, Kaiser offers password-protected access to your medical record, health care provider selection and messaging, an online medical center with information on more than 5,000 health topics, discussion groups, appointment booking, prescription refills, and more.


Kaiser Customer Service can be reached at (888) 901-4636


Plan Summary 2023

Plan Summary 2024

Plan Book


Kaiser Permanente Care Chat Flyer

Kaiser Permanente Care Options


Kaiser Mental Health Additional Resources 

Mental Health Information

myStrength Program Information


Kaiser Permanente Privacy Policy


Regence BlueShield Resources

The Regence website is designed to help advise Regence members on health care options, lifestyle options, navigate them through the health care system and reward those who make healthier choices. With the Regence website, members can find all their health-related resources in one place.


Regence Customer Service can be reached at (855) 877-0047


Regence PPO - Active Employees

Plan Summary 2023

Plan Summary 2024


Plan Summary 2023 - LEOFF I Only

Plan Summary 2024 - LEOFF I Only


Plan Book

Plan Book Local 6 Only

Regence MDLive Telehealth Doctor (Copays apply)

Regence Care Options


Regence High Deductible Plan (HDHP) information

HDHP Plan Summary 2023

HDHP Plan Summary 2024

HDHP Plan Book

HDHP Plan Book Local 6 Only


FAQ for HDHP and HSA 2024


HealthEquity HSA vendor (866) 346-5800 HealthEquity website


Regence Mental Health Additional Resources*

Quartet Mental Referral Flyer

Quartet FAQ

MDLive Mental Health Assistance (Copays apply)


Regence Pharmacy Information - Specialty Mail Order*
Regence provides healthcare benefits while you are traveling away from home, within the US or abroad*

Regence Travel Coverage

BlueCross Blueshield Global

Regence Bluecard Worldwide

Regence City of Tacoma Retiree Plan Information

Note: TERS retirees, please see the Retirement Office for plan information. Visit cityoftacoma.org/retirement or call 253-502-8200.

Regence Local 6 Retiree Summary 2023
Regence Local 6 Retiree Summary 2024
Regence Local 6 Retiree Plan Info

*These services are also available to retirees on Regence Plans

Regence Privacy Policy
Transparency in Coverage (TIC): Link to Machine-Readable Files

Regence Insurance Disclosure


Vision Plans

For employees who select Regence as their Medical provider, the City of Tacoma provides vision benefits through the Vision Service Plan (VSP). Their phone number is 1-800-877-7195.

To access those providers specific to our plans, be sure to login to the VSP.com website before searching for providers.  Visiting one of these designated providers will help ensure you are getting the maximum benefit available.

Vision Service Plan (VSP) Summary 2023
Vision Service Plan (VSP) Summary 2024
Vision Service Plan Certificate
VSP Privacy Policy


For employees who select Kaiser Permanente as their Medical provider, vision benefits are provided through their Kaiser Permanente Medical Plan.


Kaiser Permanente Eye Care Customer Service can be reached by calling (800) 664-9225 or visiting their website.


The health and happiness of our employees is crucial to the success of our organization. We cannot have one without the other. To help promote good health and well-being, we launched the Tacoma Employee Wellness (TEW) Program in 2015.


Whether you're already living a healthy lifestyle or are just beginning to make some changes, the TEW Program can help empower you to reach your health and wellness goals. As a bonus, you can earn incentives such as reduced health insurance premium contributions.


To learn more about our TEW Program, visit the Wellness Website or contact the City's Wellness Coordinator, Shannon Carmody at (253) 591-5200 or wellness@cityoftacoma.org.


Contact us:

Phone: 253-573-2345