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Important Vista 401(k) 2024 changes!

  • Part-time employees can now participate in the Vista 401(k) Plan! Please visit the website or contact the Retirement Services Department at (866) 325-1278 with any questions!
  • 2024 IRS contribution limits have increased from $22,500 to $23,000, while catch-up contributions for those 50 years of age or older remain at $7,500.

Q4 2023 Plan Performance

By Constantine Mulligan, Director of Investments Partner, Cerity Partners LLC

Vista 401(k) Plan Fund Performance

2023 ended up as welcome relief to investors after a tumultuous 2022 calendar year, from a total return perspective. Both equity and fixed income indexes across the globe were up considerably on the quarter to ultimately finish out a strong year.

The Plan’s underlying investments participated in the market rally during the most recent quarter, and remain competitive over the long term on both an absolute and risk-adjusted basis when compared to the various peer group averages and standard benchmarks. Low investment costs to participants continue to be a staple of each of the funds offered within the menu, as every fund can be found within the lowest cost quartile on a percentile basis relative to specific peer group averages. This is an important consideration as investment costs are taken directly out of fund returns.

The majority of assets reside in the well-diversified target date fund offering in the American Funds Target Date Retirement funds. They have routinely been one of the most competitive target date investments relative to the target date investment universe. These fund-of-fund strategies are comprised of underlying actively managed funds within each dated vintage, but are still considered low cost compared to the peer universe.

The JPMorgan Equity Income fund continues its Watch List status as the retirement transition of lead portfolio manager Clare Hart continues until the eventual retirement date scheduled for fall of 2024. There have been no red flags associated with the pending move, as the announcement has been well-telegraphed and includes a concrete long-term transition plan.

For our clients who wish to take a deeper dive, we have provided the following economic and market commentary. This will provide an explanation of the overall macro and micro economic factors influencing the markets and, in turn, your Vista 401(k) account. If you have any questions or wish to discuss these matters in greater detail, please contact us at (866) 325-1278 or e-mail us at

4th Quarter 2023 Economic and Market Recap

In January 2023, the financial landscape reflected the aftermath of one of the most challenging years in recent memory for equity and bond markets. A gloomy backdrop included an inverted yield curve, persistently high inflation, and a Federal Reserve (Fed) committed to aggressive rate hikes. The prevailing sentiment among analysts was cautious, with concerns about the potential collateral damage of the Fed's strategy tipping global economies into a recession. However, not all market participants subscribed to this "hard-landing" narrative.

Contrary to the prevailing concerns, some held the belief that the U.S. economy possessed more inherent momentum than was widely appreciated. They pointed to positive outcomes such as a significant increase in wages, particularly for lower-income tiers, robust labor markets, and the American consumer's resilience. The notion was that while certain sectors like housing and manufacturing might be slowing down, the overall strength in the U.S. economy, driven by consumer spending, could withstand the headwinds.

As the events of 2023 unfolded, it became apparent that the pessimistic outlook did not materialize. Inflation, while still high at the beginning of the year (6.4% in January), gradually fell to 3.1% by November. Real GDP exhibited strength, recording 2.2% growth in the first quarter, 2.1% in the second, and a remarkable 4.9% in the third. Unemployment rates rose marginally from 3.4% in January to 3.9% in October, primarily due to an increase in the labor force participation rate rather than widespread job losses. Wage growth remained robust throughout the year, contributing to consumers' ability to absorb high price levels and maintain elevated spending.

The year, however, was not without challenges. Several high-profile bank failures rattled the regional banking system, sparking fears of a broader pullback in bank lending. The decline in bond prices in 2022 had left banks with substantial losses on their portfolios of U.S. Treasuries. This led to a unique episode of a bank run, exacerbated by social media and electronic banking, resulting in the demise of several large banks. Regulators responded swiftly with tools like the Bank Term Funding Program (BTFP) to stabilize the situation and prevent further withdrawals.

Despite the banking turmoil, interest rates continued to rise on the back of strong economic growth and the Fed's ongoing tightening campaign. Equity markets experienced a robust year, with headline indexes posting significant gains. The Nasdaq, in particular, bounced back strongly, gaining 44.6%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 also reached all-time highs. However, the market's overall performance was mixed, with a few large-cap stocks driving the majority of gains.

Internationally, economic conditions varied. The Eurozone struggled with an energy crisis, while Japan celebrated a return of inflation after grappling with deflation for decades. China faced challenges, including falling housing prices, impacting its economy negatively.

Looking ahead to 2024, the U.S. economy is positioned as resilient, with expectations of economic growth slightly below trend levels. The labor market remains strong, and the housing sector shows signs of recovery. The Fed is expected to cut interest rates as inflation breaks below 3%. Bond markets may witness a gradual return to a more normal yield curve slope, and positive economic growth should prevent significant spread widening in various bond sectors.

For equities, sustaining the bull market requires broader market participation. A shift in leadership towards more cyclical sectors is crucial. Earnings are expected to recover, especially in small and mid-cap stocks with lower valuations. Overseas, European equities are undervalued, and a declining U.S. dollar could support relative outperformance.

In conclusion, 2023 showcased the resilience of the U.S. economy amidst challenges, and the outlook for 2024 suggests continued growth with potential opportunities and risks on the horizon. The intricate interplay of economic factors, market dynamics, and global events paints a nuanced picture of the financial landscape, highlighting the importance of adaptability and strategic foresight in navigating the complexities of the investment landscape.

December 2023 Fund Performance Chart

Click here to View the Chart Below

New Year’s Resolution – Invest in Yourself!

It’s that time of year again. A time to reflect on the past year and look to the future with a hopeful eye. A future funded, in part, by your Vista 401(k) account. Whether you are already invested in the Vista 401(k) Plan or sitting on the sidelines, take a moment to evaluate your financial position and choose to invest in yourself!


It does not matter if you are a full-time employee or a part-time employee. Start the year off right. Take the first steps toward a secure retirement and establish a Vista 401(k) account today. You can start the Vista 401(k) retirement savings plan with tax-deferred contributions as low as $25 per paycheck. Full-time employees can select a dollar amount or a percentage of your salary, while part-time employees may only select a percentage depending on the school district. This will reduce your gross income and lower your current federal tax burden.


For those who are currently invested, consider the following: if you receive a pay increase, reward yourself by increasing your contribution. You may also review your finances to determine if you can afford to contribute additional funds to your Vista 401(k) account. If not, perhaps you can shift money from something of lesser significance? Maybe eliminate that gourmet cup of coffee or pack a lunch every now and then. Even a small increase in your contribution invested consistently can move you closer toward your savings goals.


It is important that you visit the Vista 401(k) retirement plan portal . Here you will find the My Forecast Tool which allows you to monitor your targeted monthly retirement income, evaluate projected income availability, forecast asset growth over time, and identify potential surpluses or shortfalls. In short, this tool makes certain that you are on pace to reach your retirement goals.


Over the course of your career, you may work for several different organizations. If this is the case, you likely have accumulated a few different retirement plans. This can be confusing. It may cause you to lose track of some of your investments. Further, an old plan from a prior job may not reflect your current risk tolerance. A way to keep track is through consolidation. You can roll other qualified plans into your Vista 401(k). This includes 403(b), 457, and IRA plans. You can even roll your DROP money into your Vista 401(k). Note that the Vista 401(k) is different from many other plans in that there are no sales charges or exchange fees.


If you have not updated your beneficiary designation since May of 2022, please do so today! The Vista 401(k) Plan transitioned to a new recordkeeper in May of 2022 and as a result, all participants are required to re-enter their beneficiary designations. Even if you have recently updated your beneficiaries, if you have experienced life changes such as marriage, children, divorce, and remarriage, please ensure your beneficiaries are still accurate. This can be completed by visiting your account through or reaching out to the FBMC Retirement Services Team.


Please revisit your account to make sure that we have your correct address on file. This is an extremely important housekeeping item. An incorrect address prevents us from providing essential information during the plan year such as Vista 401(k) statements, this newsletter, and all other important communications from the Vista 401(k) Plan.


Please be aware that 401(k) contribution limits for the year 2024 have increased. The maximum amount you can contribute to your 401(k) Plan in 2024 is $23,000. If you are 50 years old or older, you can contribute an additional $7,500 in 2024.

Contact Us

Invest in yourself today and achieve financial peace tomorrow!

Get started today by visiting or calling us at (866) 325-1278.

Invest in Your Vista 401(k) Today!

In the dynamic landscape of personal finance, one key principle remains timeless – the significance of investing early. For young professionals entering the workforce, the allure of immediate financial gratification often overshadows the importance of long-term planning. However, understanding and embracing the benefits of investing in your Vista 401(k) plan at a young age can set the stage for a secure and prosperous financial future.

Compound Interest

The primary reason why investing in your Vista 401(k) Plan at a young age is crucial lies in the magic of compound interest. The concept is simple yet powerful: the earlier you start investing, the longer your money has to grow. Compound interest allows your investment returns to generate additional returns, creating a snowball effect that can significantly amplify your wealth over time.

Retirement Security

Investing in your Vista 401(k) Plan at a young age also bolsters your retirement security. With the uncertainty surrounding the future of Social Security and the rising cost of living, relying solely on traditional pension plans may not suffice. The Vista 401(k) Plan allows you to better take control of your financial destiny, providing a supplementary source of income during retirement.

Furthermore, starting early allows you to weather market fluctuations more effectively. As a young investor you have the luxury of time to recover from market downturns, mitigating the impact of short-term volatility on your long-term retirement savings. This resilience becomes a critical factor as it enables you to stay invested through various market cycles, potentially enjoying higher returns over the course of your career.

Tax Advantages

Investing in a 401(k) plan provides valuable tax advantages that can positively impact your financial well-being. Contributions to a traditional 401(k) are made with pre-tax dollars, meaning the money you invest reduces your taxable income for the year. This immediate tax benefit can lower your overall tax liability, putting more money back in your pocket.

Additionally, the growth of your investments within the 401(k) is tax-deferred. You won't pay taxes on your earnings until you start withdrawing the funds in retirement. This tax deferral allows your money to compound at a faster rate compared to a taxable investment account.

Flexibility and Portability

Contrary to popular belief, contributing to a 401(k) at a young age does not lock your money away until retirement. The Vista 401(k) Plan allows for hardship withdrawals for major life events like buying a home, covering education expenses, to name a few. You may also take a loan against your account. While tapping into your retirement savings should be approached cautiously, having these options can provide a safety net during unexpected financial challenges.

Furthermore, the Vista 401(k) plan is portable, allowing you to take your retirement savings with you if you change jobs. Or you could choose to keep your assets in the Vista 401(k) plan if you wish. This flexibility ensures that your hard-earned savings continue to grow seamlessly, regardless of changes in your career path.


Investing in a retirement plan at a young age is advisable. The power of compound interest, coupled with tax advantages, and flexibility make your Vista 401(k) Plan a solid tool to assist you in building wealth and working toward a comfortable retirement. By embracing the long-term perspective and starting early, young professionals can pave the way for financial success and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing they put themselves in a better position to have a respectable retirement.

Nuts & Bolts: Invest Your DROP Funds

How to Invest DROP Funds in Your Vista 401(k) Account:

  • The participant must let the Florida Retirement System (FRS) know they would like to roll their DROP funds into their Vista 401(k) Account.
  • FRS requires the participant complete the necessary form provided by FRS and return it to FRS.
  • The Retirement Services Department sends a rollover form to the participant to complete and return to Retirement Services.

Note: If you do not have a Vista 401(k) Account you need only set one up prior to retirement and fund it with at least 1 contribution.

Why Roll Drop Funds into Your Vista 401(k) Account:

  • Consolidation: Individuals often accumulate multiple retirement accounts over their career. Consolidating these accounts makes it easier to track performance, adjust asset allocation, and plan for your financial future. Consolidation not only streamlines your financial strategy but also provides a clearer picture of your overall retirement readiness.
  • Tax Advantages: DROP funds are treated as income the year they are paid out to participants. If you do not place these funds in a tax-deferred account the funds will be treated as income in that year. However, if you roll them into a tax-deferred plan like the Vista 401(k) Plan, taxes will be taken as you withdraw funds over the years. By then you may be in a lower tax bracket.
  • Portability: Your DROP funds are portable. This means that should you choose to roll these funds out of your Vista 401(k) account, you can do so with no waiting period or penalty.

For additional details please contact the Retirement Services Department at (866) 325-1278.

Financial Wellness: Coping With Financial Crises

Life has a way of throwing unexpected financial roadblocks, detours and potholes in our path. These might be large medical bills, car or home repairs, a death in the family, loss of a job or expensive legal situations. Such financial emergencies can derail your efforts to save for retirement. The following are some strategies for managing financial crises.

Establish an Emergency Fund

This can lessen the need to dip into retirement savings for a financial emergency. Building an emergency fund is tough if income is tight, but every dollar can help. Build an emergency fund with income from working extra hours or a temporary job, a tax refund or a raise. Put the money into a low-risk, accessible account such as a savings account or money market fund.

Insure Yourself

Insurance protects your financial assets, such as your retirement funds, by helping to take care of the large financial disasters. Consider the following list of insurance coverage to help protect your assets:

  • HEALTH - If you and your family aren’t covered under an employer’s policy, try to buy catastrophic medical coverage on your own.
  • DISABILITY - Social Security Disability Insurance can pay yours and your family’s benefits if you are severely disabled and are expected to be so for at least 12 months. Workers’ compensation only helps you if the disability is work-related. In addition, your employer may offer some disability coverage, but you may need to supplement it with private coverage.
  • RENTERS - Homeowners usually are insured against hazards such as fire, theft and liability, but the majority of renters aren’t. Renter’s insurance is inexpensive.
  • AUTOMOBILE - Don’t drive “bare.” In many states it is against the law to drive without auto coverage, and it is also very costly if you are in an accident.
  • UMBRELLA - This provides additional liability coverage, usually through your home or auto insurance policies, in the event you face a lawsuit.
  • LIFE - Having life insurance can help you or your spouse continue to save if either one of you dies before retirement. Social Security may be able to pay benefits to your spouse and/or minor children.
  • LONG-TERM CARE - This insurance can help pay for costly long-term health care either at home or in a health care facility or nursing home. It protects you from draining savings and assets you could use for retirement.


If you must borrow because of a financial emergency, carefully compare the costs of all options available to you.

Sell Investments

It’s usually advisable to sell taxable investments first. Try not to touch your faster growing retirement accounts. Taking money out of your retirement accounts could trigger income taxes and penalties.

If you have any questions please contact the Retirement Services Department at (866) 325-1278.

Financial Wellness – Top 9 Ways to Save for Retirement

1. Know Your Retirement Needs

Retirement is expensive. Experts estimate that you’ll need about 70% of your pre-retirement income to maintain your standard of living when you stop working.

2. Find Out About Your Social Security Benefits

Social Security pays the average retiree about 40% of pre-retirement earnings. Call the Social Security Administration at (800) 772-1213 for a free Social Security Statement. Find out more about your benefits at

3. Learn About Your Employer's FRS Pension Plan

Check to see what your FRS Pension Plan benefit is worth. Most employers will provide an individual benefit statement if you request one. Before you change jobs, find out what will happen to your pension. Learn what benefits you may have from previous employment. Find out if you will be entitled to benefits from your spouse’s plan.

4. Contribute to Your Vista 401(k) Retirement Plan

Your employer offers the Vista 401(k) supplemental retirement plan. Take advantage and contribute all you can. Automatic deductions from your paycheck make it easy. Over time, compound interest and tax deferrals make a big difference in the amount you will accumulate.

5. Put Your Money Into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA)

When you open an IRA, you have two options: a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA. The tax treatment of your contributions and withdrawals will depend on which option you select. The after-tax value of your withdrawal will depend on inflation and the type of IRA you choose.

6. Don't Touch Your Savings

Don’t dip into your retirement savings. You’ll lose principal and interest, and you may lose tax benefits. If you change jobs, roll over your savings directly into an IRA or into your new employer’s retirement plan.

7. Start Now, Set Goals and Stick to Them

Start early. The sooner you start saving, the more time your money has to grow. Put time on your side. Make retirement savings a high priority. Devise a plan, stick to it and set goals for yourself. Remember, it’s never too early or too late to start saving. So, start now, whatever your age!

8. Consider Basic Investment Principles

How you save can be as important as how much you save. Inflation and the type of investments you make play important roles in how much you’ll have saved at retirement. Know how your pension or savings plan is invested. Financial security and knowledge go hand in hand.

9. Ask Questions

These tips point you in the right direction, but you’ll need more information. Talk to your employer, your bank, your union or a financial advisor. Ask questions and make sure you understand the answers. Get practical advice and act now. Financial security doesn’t just happen—it takes planning and commitment and, yes, money.


  • Today, only 42% of Americans have calculated how much they need to save for retirement.
  • 30% of those who have 401(k) coverage available don’t participate in their employer’s plan.
  • The average American spends 18 years in retirement.

These are important points to consider as you plan for retirement. If you wish to discuss retirement preparation in greater detail please contact FBMC’s Retirement Services Department at (866) 325-1278.

Helpful Links

The material herein is provided for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy or sell securities. The material is not intended to be used as a general guide to investing, or as a source of any specific investment recommendations. Situations differ among individuals and you should not assume that these generalizations or information apply to you. Keep in mind that past performance is no guarantee of future performance, and investments involve the risk of loss of principal and earnings. Additionally, neither your employer nor the plan administrator nor FBMC is able to provide you with investment advice--if you would like specific investment advice, you should consult Cerity Partners or your own personal investment advisor.