Your Retirement Benefits.
BlueRetirement, administered through Empower, is the name of your Retirement Benefits at JetBlue, which includes a comprehensive retirement plan and offers a good way to save for the future.
Good news: If you’re not an investing expert, you can explore the basic information about your Retirement Benefits below to learn more.
What is a 401(k) account?
A 401(k) account is a tax-advantaged account designed to be a long-term investment vehicle ready for you to draw upon when you retire. A 401(k) account works like a savings account, allowing you to have a portion of your paycheck automatically deposited into your plan account each pay period. The contributions are then invested among options offered by your plan.
Contributing towards retirement.
To contribute towards your 401(k) plan, you choose a flat amount or percentage — between 1% and 100% — that you want deducted from your paycheck through a Traditional (pre-tax) and/or a Roth (post-tax) 401(k).
The more you set aside today, the more prepared for retirement you may be. If you are a Non-Pilot Crewmember, you will receive a dollar-for-dollar JetBlue match on the first 5% you save. Plus, JetBlue will contribute an additional 5% in Retirement Plus funds to all non-Pilot Crewmembers below Manager level. You can change your contributions at any time. Pilot Crewmembers receive a 15% non-elective contribution from JetBlue.
Do I need to contribute to my Retirement Plan account?
You’re not required to contribute to your plan account. However, Non-Pilot Crewmembers can earn a company match by contributing your own money. Eligible Crewmembers will still have an account to which JetBlue adds Retirement Plus dollars — simply because we want our Crewmembers to share in our company’s success!
Traditional 401(k) vs. Roth 401(k).
There are two ways to contribute to your plan: Traditional 401(k) and Roth 401(k).
- Traditional 401(k): This type of contribution is taken prior to taxes being withheld from your paycheck. Your contribution is invested and remains invested on a tax-deferred basis, which means that it along with any JetBlue contributions — and the interest earned isn’t taxable until withdrawn from your account.
- Roth 401(k): This type of contribution is taken after taxes are withheld from your paycheck. Assuming you meet specific criteria, qualified distributions can be withdrawn from your account tax-free when you retire.
Whether your contributions to your 401(k) are pre-tax or post-tax, Non-Pilot Crewmembers will receive matching contributions from JetBlue on the first 5% saved and Pilots will receive a 15% non-elective contribution from JetBlue.
JetBlue’s contributions to your Retirement Plan account.
- Company match: We want you to arrive at your best future ever! For Non-Pilot Crewmembers JetBlue matches dollar-for-dollar, up to 5% of your Retirement Plan contribution. This match is deposited into your account (along with your own contribution each payroll period). Pilot Crewmembers receive a 15% non-elective contribution from JetBlue.
- Retirement Plus: But wait, there’s more! In addition to the JetBlue match, for Non-Pilot Crewmembers below Manager level, JetBlue makes a Retirement Plus contribution of 5% of your eligible pay to your plan account — just to show how much we appreciate you! Please note: Only non-Pilot Crewmembers below Manager level are eligible to receive this contribution.
- Catch-up contributions: If you’re age 50 or older, you can “catch up” by contributing an additional amount each year. This limit is set by the IRS and updated annually.
- Vesting: Vesting in a retirement plan means ownership of the money in the account. You are always 100% vested in your own contributions. JetBlue’s match and Retirement Plus contributions are 100% vested after three years of service.
What is a rollover?
A rollover takes place when you move a previous 401(k) account into JetBlue’s 401(k) account, keeping the money you have invested on a tax-deferred basis. If you have a 401(k) account from another employer, it is easy to roll that account into your BlueRetirement Plan. If you’re new to JetBlue, call Empower at 1-844-728-3258 for assistance with this process.
Your investment options.
Your plan gives you a variety of investment choices, ranging from moderate to risky, including target date funds, a core group of mutual funds and self-directed brokerage accounts so you can tailor your approach to fit your needs.
Target date funds.
Target date funds allow you to invest your retirement savings into a single fund based on the year you plan to retire — your “target date.” Each target date fund is pre-diversified with a mix of investments and adjusts over time (from aggressive to more conservative), which means it’s right for anyone who prefers a low-maintenance approach to investing.
JetBlue offers a diverse blend of mutual funds in the Plan. A mutual fund is a managed portfolio of stocks and/or bonds. Investing in a mutual fund represents investments in many different stocks (or other securities) instead of just one holding. The core funds have a mix of different asset classes with a varying range of risk and return. Simply choose a diversified investment mix that can help you meet your personal retirement goals.
What is a self-directed brokerage account (SDBA)?
Your Retirement Plan options include a self-directed brokerage account (SDBA). This account is offered through Charles Schwab Personal Choice Retirement Account (PCRA). SDBAs are typically geared toward knowledgeable investors who want the flexibility to design a custom portfolio. While an SDBA is not needed as part of your retirement savings strategy, JetBlue offers this option as an additional resource for your benefit.
Naming a beneficiary (or beneficiaries) for your plan account ensures that in the event of your passing, your money will be paid out according to your wishes. Plan rules state your account will be awarded to a surviving spouse, descendants, parents or your estate if there is no beneficiary designation on file.
Diversification is spreading money across a range of different investment types. Choosing investments with a mix of stocks, bonds and cash alternatives is a great way to reduce your overall risk and not put all of your eggs in one basket.
Risks associated with a 401(k).
Like any investment, there are risks involved with a 401(k) and market fluctuations may impact your investment fund choices. That’s why it’s important to be properly diversified and to view your 401(k) account as a long-term investment in your future.
Plan administration fees, which pay for running the plan, will not be charged to Crewmember accounts. You will find details about any other transaction-related fees in your annual Fee Disclosure Notice.