2022 MSU Retirement Plan Changes
These retirement plan changes were originally intended to take place in May 2020, but were put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The university is now moving forward with these changes beginning in October 2022.
Beginning October 2022, MSU is making three changes to its retirement plans. MSU believes these changes will reduce fees for many participants, increase fee transparency, and give the university greater control over investment options. MSU also expects these changes may improve plan performance and assist participants in meeting their retirement savings goals.
What Is Changing?
As you may be aware, you pay a recordkeeping fee to your retirement vendor(s). The amount of these fees is currently a percentage of your account balance; in other words, the higher your account balance, the higher your fee.
MSU negotiated with the vendors to transition to a flat dollar fee. This means that every participant will pay the same plan fee at the same vendor, regardless of any participant’s account balance; in other words, the amount of your account balance will have no bearing on your fee. MSU expects this change will result in lower fees for many participants and greater transparency.
MSU is moving to a new annuity contract with TIAA because we expect the new contract will allow MSU to reduce investment expenses and potentially increase long-term performance without being tied to specific investment options in these types of accounts. There will also be a few investment changes in the core menu at TIAA. If you are not currently making contributions to an account at TIAA, you may not be affected by the new annuity contract.
In 2012, MSU reduced our retirement vendors from six to two, in order to follow best practice recommendations for compliance with federal regulations. As a result of that change, certain “legacy pre-2012” accounts at Fidelity, Lord Abbett, TIAA, Vanguard, Equitable (formerly AXA Equitable), and AIG Retirement (formerly VALIC) have been closed to new money investments; however, the then-existing balances have since remained in these legacy pre-2012 accounts, unless participants moved them.
MSU will move the balances out of legacy pre-2012 mutual fund accounts at Fidelity, Lord Abbett, TIAA, and Vanguard. We believe this will enable the university to more closely monitor investment options and negotiate changes.
MSU will not move the balances out of legacy pre-2012 annuity accounts at TIAA, Equitable (formerly AXA Equitable), or AIG Retirement (formerly VALIC); however, this is because MSU cannot move these balances; such action must be taken, if at all, by the participants.
What Do I Need To Do?
You do not need to do anything related to fee changes, the new TIAA annuity contract, or investment changes.
If you have a legacy pre-2012 account balance, you may want to consider taking the following action:
Determine whether you would like to take action to move these investments to a current investment option at Fidelity or TIAA (detailed information will be coming from the vendors).
If so, take action to move these investments within the set timeframe given by the vendor(s); otherwise, MSU will direct the vendors to move these balances into pre-selected accounts at a later date.
Review your annuity investments and work with the vendor(s) to determine if those investments are still appropriate for your retirement investment goals.
If not, take action with the vendor(s) to transfer balances to the approved investment options at Fidelity or TIAA.
You will receive communications directly from the retirement vendor(s) in mid-late September. These communications will include detailed instructions for any actions you may want to consider. Not sure whether you have a legacy account balance? Be sure to watch for this vendor communication; it will tell you whether you have a legacy pre-2012 account balance and walk you through the next steps.
If you have questions about these changes, please contact the MSU HR Solutions Center at 517-353-4434 or SolutionsCenter@hr.msu.edu.
You can also view contact information for both current and former retirement vendors here.