Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Voya Financial®?
_

The Voya® family of companies is a leading provider of deferred compensation and defined contribution plan education, administration and investment services to governmental plan sponsors and participants. Voya, and its predecessor companies have provided Voluntary Savings Plan services to SUNY employees since 1986 and Optional Retirement Planning services since 1994.

What is the Optional Retirement Program?
+

The SUNY Optional Retirement Program is a New York State Pension plan in which the State invests a portion of your compensation based on your date of hire on a pre-tax basis, and any earnings are tax-deferred. Taxes are due when money is distributed from the Plan. The amounts accumulated on your behalf are distributed at retirement, severance from employment or death. For additional information regarding the State’s Optional Retirement Program, please see the Plan Overview section. 

Can I change the amount I defer to the Optional Retirement Plan?
+

No. ORP contributions are defined based on your date of hire and amount of compensation. Please refer to the SUNY Optional Retirement Program website for additional information on the percentage of income that applies to you individually.

When are contributions credited to my account?
+

Contributions received in good order by the close of business, generally 4 p.m. Eastern Time (ET), on any day the New York Stock Exchange is open, will be processed at the close of that same business day and reflected in your account on the next business day. Contributions received in good order after the close of business, generally 4 p.m. Eastern Time (ET), on a New York Stock Exchange business day will be processed as of the close of business on the next business day.

How is interest compounded?
+

Interest in the Voya Fixed Account is compounded daily and credited to your account daily. Voya Fixed Account interest rate is announced monthly, and credited to portfolio with contractual minimum guarantee of 1%.

The guarantees of the Voya Fixed Account are based on the claims-paying ability of Voya Retirement Insurance and Annuity Company. The Voya Fixed Account interest rate is announced monthly. 

How can I receive information on fund performance?
+

You can receive fund performance in a variety of ways:

  1. Through the Investment Performance section of this website
  2. Through your quarterly participant statement
  3. By contacting your local Voya representative
  4. By calling Customer Service at (800) 584-6001

Will Voya Financial® make available daily prices for each of the variable investment options?
+

Yes. Daily fund prices are available by logging in to your online account.

How frequently will fund performance be updated? What historical performance will be shown?
+

Fund performance is updated on a monthly basis. Monthly performance reports are available in the Investment Performance section of this website. Quarterly performance reports will also be included with your quarterly statements. You will be able to track daily fund prices on this website by logging in to your account.

Are there any restrictions on the number of inter-fund transfers and reallocations that I can make on my account?
+

No, unless the request violates the Voya Financial® Excessive Trading Policy. Voya® actively monitors fund transfer and reallocation activity to identify frequent trading activity.

You should consider the investment objectives, risks and charges, and expenses of the variable annuity and its underlying investment options carefully before investing. The prospectuses for the variable annuity and underlying investment options contain this and other information. You can obtain prospectuses by contacting your local representative. Please read the information carefully before investing.

How can I change direction on my investments or receive information regarding my account?
+

To make changes or receive information, please contact Customer Service toll-free at (800) 584-6001 weekdays between 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. ET. You can also make changes to or obtain information about your account by logging in with your account Username and Password.

How quickly will my transaction requests be processed?
+

Transactions received in good order by the close of business, generally 4 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on any day the New York Stock Exchange is open, will be processed at the close of that same business day and reflected in your account on the next business day. Transaction requests received in good order after the close of business, generally 4 p.m. ET on a New York Stock Exchange business day, will be processed as of the close of business on the next business day. All transactions are processed within these timeframes regardless of whether you use the Internet, automated voice response system, or speak with Customer Service.

Will Voya Financial confirm the transaction I make?
+

Yes. Any time you make a change to the manner in which your ongoing contributions are invested or the way your current account is invested, a written confirmation will be mailed to your home within two days of the date the transaction is made. You will receive this confirmation if you make financial transactions over the Internet, through the automated voice response system, or by speaking with Customer Service. 

Are there any transaction fees if I make a change using the Internet? What if I use the toll-free telephone line?
+

No. There are no transaction fees associated with any of the transactions you make with Voya Financial®, whether you make them using the Internet, the automated voice response unit, or by speaking with Customer Service.

When are statements received?
+

Statements are mailed quarterly, showing all transactions within your account for the quarter. This would include contributions, withdrawals and fund transfers. You can also sign up to receive your statements electronically. To do so, log in to your online account and go to your profile in the upper right hand corner, then click Communication Preferences and follow the prompts to update your paperless notifications and alerts.

Can I withdraw funds while still employed with the State?
+

SUNY ORP withdrawals are not permitted while you are still employed with the State. SUNY Voluntary 403(b) Plan withdrawals can be made by employees of the State after attaining age 59 1/2. Please contact Customer Service toll-free at (800) 584-6001 weekdays between 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. ET for more information about your withdrawal options from Voya.

When am I required to begin receiving distributions?
+

The IRS requires that distributions under the Plan begin no later than April 1st of the calendar year following the calendar year in which you attain age 72 or retire, whichever is later. These rules are referred to as IRS Required Minimum Distributions. You must receive at least a minimum distribution by April 1 of the year following the year in which you reach age 72 or retire, whichever is later, or a 50% penalty may be imposed.

Once I have separated from service or retired, what are my withdrawal options?
+

Depending on your age, you may have the following options:

Leave your assets in the Plan and postpone any decision on the payment of benefits to a future date (no later than age 72 or you retire, whichever is later*).

Receive your benefits immediately under one of the withdrawal options available under the Plan.

Rollover your benefits into another employer-sponsored, eligible retirement plan (an eligible retirement plan is a 401 qualified plan, a 403(b) tax deferred annuity program, or a governmental 457(b) deferred compensation plan) or traditional IRA).

When considering your options, be sure to take into account your personal situation, and carefully consider the benefits of existing and potentially new retirement accounts and any differences in features. Please note that generally, New York State ORP distributions are not considered taxable income in New York State. You may wish to take this into consideration as you consider your options. Please also note that rollover assets may be subject to an IRS 10% premature distribution penalty tax.

Be sure to consult with your own legal and tax advisors regarding your particular situation.

How do I obtain forms for a withdrawal?
+

To request a form, please contact Customer Service toll-free at (800) 584-6001 Monday - Friday between 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. ET.

Can I rollover my benefits to another plan or IRA?
+

You can rollover your benefits to another employer-sponsored eligible retirement plan or traditional IRA. (An eligible retirement plan is a 401 qualified plan, a 403(b) tax deferred annuity program, or a governmental 457(b) deferred compensation plan).

All distributions are eligible for rollover except for IRS Required Minimum Distributions payable on or after you attain age 72, after-tax account balances, and periodic payments made over your life or a specified period of 10 years or more.

Please contact Customer Service at (800) 584-6001 for additional information on distributions and eligibility for rollover.

Please also note that rollover assets may be subject to an IRS 10% premature distribution penalty tax.

I am recently divorced. How will amounts awarded to my former spouse be taxed?
+

Your former spouse can leave amounts awarded as a result of a divorce, pursuant to a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO), in an account in the Plan or can rollover the account to another eligible retirement plan or IRA without being taxed. Any amounts paid directly to a former spouse from the Plan will be taxable when a distribution is made. Please contact your local Voya Financial® representative for assistance with the process for authorization and approval of QDRO distributions from your account.


Not FDIC/NCUA/NCUSIF Insured I Not a Deposit of a Bank/Credit Union I May Lose Value I Not Bank/Credit Union Guaranteed I Not Insured by Any Federal Government Agency

Variable annuities are intended as long-term investments designed for retirement purposes. Withdrawals from an annuity may be subject to an early withdrawal fee and, if taken prior to age 59½, an IRS 10% premature distribution penalty tax will apply, unless an IRS exception applies. Money taken from the annuity will be taxed as ordinary income in the year the money is distributed. Account values fluctuate with market conditions, and when surrendered the principal may be worth more or less than its original amount invested. An annuity does not provide any additional tax deferral benefit, as tax deferral is provided by the plan. Annuities may be subject to additional fees and expenses to which other tax-qualified funding vehicles may not be subject. However, an annuity does provide other features and benefits, such as lifetime income payments and death benefits.

For 403(b)(1) fixed or variable annuities, employee deferrals (including earnings) may generally be distributed only upon your: attainment of age 59½, severance from employment, death, disability, or hardship. Note: Hardship withdrawals are limited to employee deferrals made after 12/31/88. Exceptions to the distribution rules: No Internal Revenue Code withdrawal restrictions apply to ‘88 cash value (employee deferrals (including earnings) as of 12/31/88) and employer contributions (including earnings). However, employer contributions made to an annuity contract issued after December 31, 2008 may not be paid or made available before a distributable event occurs. Such amounts may be distributed to a participant or if applicable, the beneficiary: upon the participant’s severance from employment or upon the occurrence of an event, such as after a fixed number of years, the attainment of a stated age, or disability.

Insurance products, annuities and retirement plan funding issued by (third party administrative services may also be provided by) Voya Retirement Insurance and Annuity Company (“VRIAC”), Windsor, CT. VRIAC is solely responsible for its own financial condition and contractual obligations. Plan administrative services provided by VRIAC or Voya Institutional Plan Services LLC (“VIPS”). VIPS does not engage in the sale or solicitation of securities. All companies are members of the Voya® family of companies. Securities distributed by Voya Financial Partners LLC (member SIPC)or third parties with which it has a selling agreement. Custodial account agreements or trust agreements are provided by Voya Institutional Trust Company. All products and services may not be available in all states.