There are a number of tax strategies that will allow you to increase the funds available to you both now and in retirement.
Your 457 deferred compensation also offers you the ability to make extra payments, called annual catch-up contributions, to increase your overall account balance and therefore increase the amount eligible to be paid out. Importantly, these contributions are generally all pre-tax and grow tax deferred - another important consideration.
Make sure you are taking advantage of your Deferred Comp annual contribution limits. For 2015, Elect 457 Special Catch-Up provisions during the three years prior to retirement is $36,000. Also from 50 years of age until retirement, you can increase 457 per annum payments from $18,000 to $24,000.
While not technically part of your pension benefits, maximizing the amounts of any IRA accounts you might hold is also useful. For example, annual contribution limits for regular IRAs and Roth IRAs (certain income restrictions apply) are $5,000. Catch-up provisions let workers 50+ contribute an additional $1,000 per year. That extra $1,000 a year can make a difference. If you squirrel away $6,000 each year instead of $5,000 for 15 years and earn an average 8% annual return, you'll end up with $170,000 rather than $141,000. *
Traditional IRA contributions are made with pre-tax dollars and accumulate tax-deferred, but you are liable for certain taxes during the distribution phase. Roth IRA contributions are made with after-tax dollars, accumulate tax-deferred, and you pay no taxes during the distribution phase.
*Rate of return for illustrative purposes only and is not indicative of any particular investment; your results will vary.