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Retirement Plan Enhancements: Upcoming Meetings

As shared in an email on March 7, Bethel University is committed to providing you with competitive retirement benefits. As a result of a recent review of the retirement program, there are some exciting enhancements coming that will be effective with any retirement contributions made after June 1, 2019. We would like to share some additional information about the changes, as well as provide you with details about opportunities to learn more at large-group sessions and individualized advice sessions. Please read through this entire email for more details on the upcoming changes and information sessions.     

As a refresher shared in last week’s email, Bethel has three retirement plans:

  • The Defined Benefit or Pension Plan, provides longer term employees a defined monthly benefit during retirement. This plan was frozen to new enrollments in January 2006.
  • All retirement eligible employees are enrolled in the Defined Contribution Plan (DC plan). This plan currently provides a 5% employer contribution to either TIAA or Mutual of America (MOA). No contribution is required from employees to receive the 5% employer contribution.
  • All employees, regardless of their benefits status, are eligible to participate in the Tax-deferred Annuity Plan (TDA plan). This plan provides employees the opportunity to make their own retirement plan contributions through a tax-deferred payroll deduction to either TIAA or MOA.

Because it had not been done recently, the Board of Trustees Officers (Officers) conducted a thorough review of the DC and TDA plans to ensure they are an effective retirement tool for Bethel employees. After an extensive review process, the Officers voted to approve TIAA as our single record-keeper along with a new investment lineup.

It is important to note that these changes are being made solely for the benefit of employees. They do not affect the university’s budget. These changes will benefit employees through lower expense rates and funds with stronger performance records, improving the probability of achieving greater retirement savings.

Upcoming communications

Later this month, watch for a mailing from TIAA to your home address that provides details of the upcoming changes, including The Road to Retirement transition guide that details what you will need to know. Please review this guide closely for information you need to successfully navigate these changes, including the new investment lineup and how your future contributions and current account balances are affected. The transition guide will also be a valuable tool for you to reference for the upcoming large-group and individualized advice sessions.

Large-group sessions

Jim Jensen of DiMeo Schneider & Associates, L.L.C. and representatives from TIAA will be offering large-group seminars on Bethel University’s St. Paul campus on April 23 and 24. (Additional sessions will be available for those outside the Minnesota area.) You can expect to learn more specifics about changes occurring to the DC and TDA plans, the new investment options/fund lineup, investment mapping, and changes to existing balances and future contributions in these sessions. Because of the importance of saving for your retirement, we encourage you to attend one of the sessions to ensure you understand the plans and to make the most of them to build a more secure financial future. Spouses are also invited to attend. Dates, times, and locations can be found in the transition guide.

Individualized advice sessions

For those participants who need more information and guidance on their investments, TIAA representatives will be at Bethel from May 7-May 9 and May 14-May 16 to meet with you individually.  You will need to pre-schedule an appointment. Information on how to do that will be included in the transition guide.

In the meantime, if you have questions, please feel free to contact Barb Lamfers with questions at b-lamfers@bethel.edu.

In partnership with you,

Cara Wald

Chief Human Resources and Strategy Officer