Ask Jack Jack Ehnes

Is my CalSTRS retirement plan a qualified or unqualified plan?

CalSTRS administers a qualified retirement plan. A qualified retirement plan satisfies specific requirements of the Internal Revenue Code in both form and operation, and receives special certification by the IRS. Requirements for qualified plans set forth by the Internal Revenue Code include things such as participant eligibility, the tax treatment of contributions and corresponding interest, the payout of distributions, the rollover eligibility of funds, etc.

Common examples of qualified plans include:

  • Governmental defined benefit pension plans, like CalSTRS
  • 403(b) plans
  • 401(k) plans

Common examples of non-qualified or un-qualified plans include:

  • Whole or variable life insurance policies purchased privately from an insurance company
  • Fixed or variable annuities purchased privately from an insurance company

Read more about IRS qualified and nonqualified plans.

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