Retirement for 2021


Temporary updates for retirement plan participants* due to COVID-19. Read more.


Northwell’s generous retirement program provides a solid foundation to help you save for your future. Whether you are rolling over a retirement plan or just starting to contribute, it’s never too late to start saving for retirement.

Click here to watch our retirement video

Northwell’s retirement plans differ, depending on your hire date. The following information outlines what each population is offered through Northwell and our partners at Transamerica Retirement Solutions.

More information about these benefits can be found below. Be sure to review the section that pertains to your date of hire.

Peconic Bay employees do not participate in the Cash Balance Plan nor Northwell's retirement plans with Transamerica Retirement Solutions. Please contact your site human resources for information regarding your retirement plan benefits.

Your retirement benefit consists of the following plans. Two of which include employer contributions:

  • The Cash Balance Plan
  • 403(b) Plan/401(k) Plan
  • 457(b) Plan/409A

Note about newly merged hospitals: Team members will be eligible for the same retirement plan structure as those hired on or after July 1, 2018 regardless of their original hire date.


Cash Balance Plan

You became a participant of the Cash Balance Plan the first of the following quarter after your one year anniversary. You were automatically enrolled in the Cash Balance Plan as long as you met the eligibility requirements. Each quarter, your account is credited with pay-based credits equal to 3% of your eligible pay for the previous quarter as well as interest credits. Your account is 100% funded by Northwell Health, there are no team member contributions to this account. The Plan’s assets are held in a trust.

At retirement, vested participants receive a specified benefit. Being “vested” means that you have the right to receive benefits from the Plan when you retire. You are vested in the Cash Balance Plan after you have worked for Northwell for three years in which you worked at least 975 hours.

Remember to elect your Cash Balance Beneficiary - this will ensure your money will be designated to your beneficiary (ies). If you are married, your spouse must be designated for at least 50% of your account unless he/she signs the consent form designating otherwise.

You can view your Cash Balance balance on your quarterly statement, or online, from Transamerica at northwell.edu/myRetirement. You can also access your account information, update your beneficiaries, and run pension estimates by visiting northwell.edu/mybenefitscenter

If you are ready to commence your pension you must complete a Pension Request Form and submit it to our office for processing. All forms must be returned by the specified date on your Benefit Election Package otherwise you may be forced out under the normal form of payment under the Plan (Single Life Annuity if you are single or 50% Joint & Survivor if you are married).

Retirement specifications

  • The “normal” age of retirement is considered 65. You’re eligible for early retirement at age 55 with a minimum of five years of service with Northwell. If you elect to start receiving your Cash Balance Plan distribution before your normal retirement age, after you satisfy your early retirement eligibility, your distribution will be reduced. Your monthly payments will be lessened to reflect the longer period of expected payments.
  • If you continue working past your normal retirement age, your deferred retirement date is the first day of the month coincident with, or following your actual retirement. As an active team member, the earliest you may start receiving a monthly benefit is April 1st following the year in which you turn 70½ years old.

403(b)/401(k) Plan

Team member contributions

You may contribute from 1% to 75% of your pay on a pre-tax basis up to the IRS limit ($19,500 in 2021 if you’re under 50 and $26,000 if you’re 50 and over). You can also make Roth after-tax contributions from 1% to 75% of your pay. Roth contributions are included in the annual IRS contribution limit. Both pre-tax and Roth contributions in total should not exceed 75% of your pay. Voluntary contributions are remitted to Transamerica weekly.

Both plans offer a wide array of investment options which allow you to diversify your investments. To make changes to your investment allocation, go to northwell.edu/myRetirement. If you do not designate an investment allocation, you will be automatically invested in a Vanguard Target Date Retirement Fund which is the default investment option. You may change your contributions and your investment allocation at any time.

The Northwell plan allows for after-tax contributions to be converted to a Roth account within your plan. Please be aware that there are important tax and other considerations involved in Roth conversions. If you're considering converting any balances to Roth, please call Transamerica at 844-675-4547. You may also wish to consult with a qualified financial or tax professional.

Employer contributions

You’re eligible to receive employer basic and matching contributions after the first anniversary of your hire date. Northwell will begin basic contributions of 3% of your eligible earnings* to your account. Northwell will also match 33.33% of your voluntary pretax and Roth contributions, up to 2% of your eligible pay, if you contribute at least 6% to your account.

Effective January 1, 2021, once eligible, employer contributions will be made on an annual basis. For calendar year 2021, all four quarterly contributions are being combined into one allocation in January 2022. Anyone leaving the organization before Dec. 31, 2021, would be ineligible to receive any employer contributions except in cases of retirement, disability or death.

You are always 100% vested in your own contributions. Employer contributions are subject to the following vesting schedule:

  • 20% after 2 years of service
  • 40% after 3 years of service
  • 60% after 4 years of service
  • 80% after 5 years of service
  • 100% after 6 years of service

Note: Team members who attain age 65 while actively employed by Northwell will be fully (100%) vested in their basic and matching contributions in the Plan.

* Your eligible compensation includes your base pay (shift differential, fringe base and augmentation). Compensation in excess of the IRS limit is not taken into account (the limit is $290,000 in 2021); this limit is subject to a cost of living adjustment in future years.

Note: Total employer and team member contributions cannot exceed $57,000 annually/$63,500 if you are over age 50 (in 2021).


457(b) Plan

The 457(b) Plan is available to team members whose annual base pay and augmentation are greater than or equal to $175,000 and are in Benefit Group 1 or 1a regardless of their hire date or other retirement programs. This benefit provides another opportunity to contribute to retirement savings on a tax-deferred basis, allowing contributions to be directed into existing investment options.

Upon meeting eligibility, a welcome letter with additional instructions will be sent by Transamerica. Enrollment in the Plan is available at any time and elections become effective as of the second paycheck in the following month.

You may contribute up to 100% of your eligible pay (up to $19,500 in 2021). If your contribution exceeds the annual dollar limit, the excess contribution must be distributed to you by no later than the following April 15. There are no employer contributions to this Plan.

The rules permit you to participate in both the 401(k)/403(b) and 457(b) Plans simultaneously. Generally, if you choose to participate in the 457(b) Plan, you should first consider maximizing your elective salary deferral contributions to the 401(k)/403(b) Plan.

If base pay decreases below $175,000, your contributions will be stopped in the following year.

“Three-year” Catch-up Contribution

The three-year catch-up provision gives you the opportunity to make up for prior years in which you did not contribute up to the Plan’s maximum annual limit, based on your past years of eligibility. You have the option to make this contribution for prior years in which you were either participating in, or eligible to, participate in the Plan. The Plan was originally effective in 2002.

The three-year catch-up contribution may only be used in the three years prior to your normal retirement age ("NRA"). You may elect your normal retirement age in writing as any age between 65 and 70½. The three-year catch up cannot be used in the same year of your actual retirement or later. For example, if you plan to retire at age 70½, you may only contribute the three-year catch-up contribution during the years you attain ages 67, 68 and 69.

Call Transamerica at 844-675-4547, for more information and an eligibility determination.

The road to retirement is full of checkpoints, with each step putting you closer to your long-term goals. Northwell Health and Transamerica are dedicated to providing support along the way. Here are some important topics that can help make the journey a little smoother.

Your retirement benefit consists of two plans, one of which includes employer contributions:

  • 401(k) Plan
  • 457(b) Plan: for those in Benefit Group 1 or 1a earning $175,000 or more

401(k) Plan

Team member contributions

You may contribute from 1% to 75% of your pay on a pre-tax basis up to the IRS limit ($19,500 in 2021 if you’re under 50 and $26,000 if you’re 50 and over). Team members may make Roth contributions up to 75% of their salary annually after-tax. Roth contributions are included in the annual IRS contribution limit. Both pre-tax and Roth contributions in total should not exceed 75% of your pay. Voluntary contributions are remitted to Transamerica weekly.

Both plans offer a wide array of investment options which allow you to diversify your investments. To make changes to your investment allocation, go to northwell.edu/myRetirement. If you do not designate an investment allocation, you will be automatically invested in a Vanguard Target Date Retirement Fund which is the default investment option. You may change your contributions and your investment allocation at any time.

The Northwell plan allows for after-tax contributions to be converted to a Roth account within your plan. Please be aware that there are important tax and other considerations involved in Roth conversions. If you're considering converting any balances to Roth, call Transamerica at 844-675-4547. You may also wish to consult with a qualified financial or tax professional.

Employer Contributions

You are eligible to receive employer basic and matching contributions after the first anniversary of your hire date. Northwell will begin Basic contributions of 5.5% of your eligible earnings* to your account. Northwell will also match 33.33% of your voluntary pre-tax and Roth contributions, up to 2% of your eligible pay, if you contribute at least 6% to your account. Total employer contribution is 7.5%.

Effective January 1, 2021, once eligible, employer contributions will be made on an annual basis. For calendar year 2021, all four quarterly contributions are being combined into one allocation in January 2022. Anyone leaving the organization before Dec. 31, 2021, would be ineligible to receive any employer contributions except in cases of retirement, disability or death.

You are always 100% vested in your own contributions. Employer contributions are subject to the following vesting schedule:

  • 20% after 2 years of service
  • 40% after 3 years of service
  • 60% after 4 years of service
  • 80% after 5 years of service
  • 100% after 6 years of service

Note: Team members who attain age 65 while actively employed by Northwell Health will be fully (100%) vested in their basic and matching contributions in the Plan.

* Your eligible compensation includes your base pay (shift differential, fringe base and augmentation). Compensation in excess of the IRS limit is not taken into account (the limit is $290,000 in 2021); this limit is subject to a cost of living adjustment in future years.

Note: Total employer and team member contributions cannot exceed $57,000 annually/$63,500 if you are over age 50 (in 2021).


457(b) Plan

The 457(b) Plan is available to team members whose annual base pay and augmentation are greater than or equal to $175,000 and are in Benefit Group 1 or 1a regardless of their hire date or other retirement programs. This benefit provides another opportunity to contribute to retirement savings on a tax-deferred basis, allowing contributions to be directed into existing investment options.

Upon meeting eligibility, a welcome letter with additional instructions will be sent by Transamerica. Enrollment in the Plan is available at any time and elections become effective as of the second paycheck in the following month.

You may contribute up to 100% of your eligible pay (up to $19,500 in 2021). If your contribution exceeds the annual dollar limit, the excess contribution must be distributed to you by no later than the following April 15. There are no employer contributions to this Plan.

The rules permit you to participate in both the 401(k)/403(b) and 457(b) Plans simultaneously. Generally, if you choose to participate in the 457(b) Plan, you should first consider maximizing your elective salary deferral contributions to the 401(k)/403(b) Plan.

If base pay decreases below $175,000, your contributions will be stopped in the following year.

“Three-year” Catch-up Contribution

The three-year catch-up provision gives you the opportunity to make up for prior years in which you did not contribute up to the Plan’s maximum annual limit, based on your past years of eligibility. You have the option to make this contribution for prior years in which you were either participating in, or eligible to, participate in the Plan. The Plan was originally effective in 2002.

The three-year catch-up contribution may only be used in the three years prior to your normal retirement age ("NRA"). You may elect your normal retirement age in writing as any age between 65 and 70½. The three-year catch up cannot be used in the same year of your actual retirement or later. For example, if you plan to retire at age 70½, you may only contribute the three-year catch-up contribution during the years you attain ages 67, 68 and 69.

Call Transamerica at 844-675-4547, for more information and an eligibility determination.

The road to retirement is full of checkpoints, with each step putting you closer to your long-term goals. Northwell Health and Transamerica are dedicated to providing support along the way. Here are some important topics that can help make the journey a little smoother.

  • 403(b)/401(k) Qualified Birth or Adoption Distributions:
    • A distribution may be made during a one-year period beginning on the date when a child is born or adopted to an active participant
    • The aggregate maximum amount that may be withdrawn is $5,000 per parent per eligible child/adoptee
    • The distribution is not subject to the 10% penalty normally applicable to distributions taken prior to age 59.5
    • The distribution is not subject to the 20% withholding or Section 402(f) notice requirements
    • The distribution may be repaid to the plan or an IRA as an eligible rollover contribution (subject to the plan’s rollover rules)

  • The Cash Balance Plan (Defined Benefit) is a fixed interest pension plan funded and administered by Northwell and there is no action needed on your part.

  • The 401(k), 403(b), 457(b) and 409A plans (Defined Contribution) allow team member contributions to grow tax-deferred until withdrawn at retirement. All newly hired team members are automatically enrolled in the plan for 3% of their annual pre-tax salary after 30 days from their date of hire. Your contribution will be automatically increased by 1% every year until you reach 10%. To receive the maximum employer matching contribution (which starts after one year in which you worked at least 975 hours), you must contribute at least 6% of your annual salary. To set your contribution at 6% or more, go to northwell.edu/myRetirement or call Transamerica at 844-675-4547 10 days from your hire date. You may change your contribution rate in the plan at any time on the Transamerica website.

  • 457(b) plan (Defined Contribution) is similar the above plans, but only applicable for those in Benefit Group 1a or 1 who earn in excess of $175,000.

  • 409A plan (Defined Contribution) is similar to the 457(b) plan but is available only to the for-profit entities of Northwell. It is also only applicable for those in Benefit Group 1a or 1 who earn in excess of $175,000.

  • The Defined Contribution retirement plans are administered by Transamerica Retirement Solutions. For more information, contact Transamerica at 844-675-4547 or visit northwell.edu/myRetirement to register/login to your account.