Per Capita Savings Plan

The 2015 tribal general election included a Revenue Allocation Plan referendum accommodating the implementation of the Pokagon Per Capita Savings Plan. The Savings Plan, a completely voluntary plan, would have allowed citizens 18 years and older the opportunity to deposit a portion or all of their monthly per capita payment into a tax deferred savings plan which would grow over time, similar to an IRA or 401K.

This referendum failed to garner the required percentage of voters to proceed. A referendum requires majority support with at least 15 percent of the Band’s citizens 18 years of age and older casting ballots. The majority of the citizens voted in favor of the referendum, but less than 15% voted on the measure. The referendum was defeated.

The Tribal Council plans to continue providing educational material on the Per Capita Savings Plan and put it on the ballot again for 2017. Per Capita Savings Plan information is available below.

Instead of spending it, save it.

Tribal Council is exploring new ways to support and nurture the Pokagon community and give citizens more opportunities for self-sufficiency. A proposed Per Capita Savings Plan lets adult Pokagon citizens choose to voluntarily defer part or all of their per capita payments each month until a set future date.

Like the Pokagon Band’s Minor’s Trust, but for adult citizens; like a 401K, but more flexible, this Savings Plan allows citizens to build a nest egg for a college education, a major purchase like a home, or save for retirement. Putting part or all of your per capita payment into this Savings Plan reduces taxes on your current income, which could impact qualification for certain income-eligible service programs. Any money put into the Savings Plan grows tax free until you choose to withdraw it.

Money you put into the Savings Plan will be placed in a trust with Providence First, the same trustee of the Minor’s Trust, and invested according to your choices. You’ll receive quarterly statements showing your investment performance.

The Savings Plan would require an amendment to the Pokagon Band’s Gaming Revenue Allocation Plan (RAP), adding language that allows citizens the opportunity to defer per capita payments into this Savings Plan. The Tribal Council proposed amendments to the RAP, but the amendments will not be effective unless approved by the voters.

This Savings Plan puts options and choices in your hands. You choose whether to defer, how much to defer, and how long to defer. Even if you don’t plan to defer any of your per capita payments now, supporting the referendum to amend the RAP for this Savings Plan allows your fellow Pokagon citizens that option now, and allows you to have that option should you choose later.

For questions, please contact Fred Lamble, tribal advisor
(574) 276-0509 | Fred.Lamble@PokagonBand-nsn.gov

"I see the Per Capita Savings Plan as such a wonderful opportunity for those who have the ability to save now for their future. It’s been proven that when you save/invest it gives you a sense of security. By investing your money, you are getting your money to generate more money by earning interest on what you put away. It’s one of the many opportunities our tribe is providing to see our people prepare for their future and follow the 7 Grandfathers Teachings." -Linda Cook
"Investing for your future is a very smart idea. The Per Capita Savings Plan is a simple way to invest your money in a low-cost, tax deferred investment vehicle. The beauty of this plan is its simplicity and ease of use, as it allows Tribal citizens to reap the benefits of tax deferred investing without having to set up an individual IRA. I commend our tribal leaders for their foresight in setting up this plan, and thank them for allowing us to invest in Vanguard ETFs, which will allow for the greatest investment returns due to their very low fees. Citizens that choose to invest in the Per Capita Savings Plan will be happy they did so."
-Mike Kasper
"What better way to plan financially than with a tax sheltered investment fund available to all adults? By the time my daughter is old enough to receive per capita payments, her minors trust will be at an amount where deferring her entire adult per cap should be easy to do. This puts our kids at a great advantage for the future to be fiscally sound adults. This is every adults opportunity to save and invest for the future. Why not have that option?"
-Roger Rader

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.       Do I have to participate?
A.        No, this is completely a voluntary plan.

Q.       Can I participate at a later date?
A.        Yes.  There is an annual enrollment 30 days prior to the end of the year.

Q.       Who is eligible to participate?
A.        Any eligible citizen who is legally competent, 18 years of age, not subject to court
           order relating to child support or garnishment of wages.

Q.       How much can I contribute?
A.        A minimum of 10% or as much as 100%.

Q.       How long do I have to keep my funds in the account?
A.        A minimum of five years.

Q.       What happens to my funds when I die?
A.        You select a beneficiary when you enroll and funds are distributed to your
           beneficiary.

Q.       How are these funds treated for tax purposes?
A.        The funds are not tax until distribution and are considered ordinary income.

Q.       What are the distribution options?
A.        Distributions can be in a lump sum or installments over 5, 10, 15 or 20 years and can
           be monthly, quarterly or annually.

Q.       Can I withdraw funds in advance of a selected distribution age?
A.        No, the funds must stay in then plan until the specified age.

Q.       Are withdrawals permitted for unforeseen emergencies?
A.        Yes.  Funds can be distributed early for unforeseen emergencies beyond the citizen’s
            control.  For example, loss of employment or disability.

Q.       When can I withdraw my funds?
A.        You select a specific age for distribution and the funds must stay in the account for a
            minimum of five years.

Q.       Can I stop my contributions?
A.        Yes, contribution can be stopped on an annual basis.

Q.       When must I enroll in the plan?
A.        There is an annual enrollment period and it is 30 days before the start of the plan
            year (January 1).

Q.       Do I have to reapply each year?
A.        No, you only need to file a new enrollment form if you change your deferral amount
            or age of distribution.

Q.       What are my investment options?
A.        There will be three portfolios to choose from:

           Conservative              (70% Bonds / 30% Stocks)
           Moderate                    (50% Bonds / 50% Stocks)
           Aggressive                  (30% Bonds / 70% Stocks)

Q.       Can my account lose value?
A.        Your account will fluctuate in value and should be considered a long-term
           investment.

Q.       How often will I receive statements?
A.        You will receive statements each quarter.

Q.       What does it cost me to participate?
A.        The Pokagon Band will initially pay the annual Trustee fee of $36 per citizen. The
            investment management fee of 0.55% will be deducted from account performance.

Q.       Who is the legal owner of the account?
A.        In order to get special tax treatment, the Pokagon Band is considered the owner.

Q:       Can I roll my minors trust fund distribution into this Savings Plan?
A:        No, you have to take your minors trust distribution, and begin this Savings Plan
           separately.

Q:       Can I invest any of my Elders Stipend into this Per Capita Savings plan?
A:       No, the Elders Stipend portion of the monthly payment to citizens is not included in
           the Savings Plan, it’s only for the Per Capita payments.