2016 SMU HR Fair focuses on ‘Healthy Choices – Healthy U’

retirement plans

2016 SMU HR Fair focuses on ‘Healthy Choices – Healthy U’

Stock photo of 'Good Health This Way' highway signLearn more about your 2017 open enrollment options and a variety of other SMU benefits at the University’s 2016 Human Resources Fair Tuesday, Oct. 4.

Representatives for SMU’s retirement programs and health and savings plans will be on site from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center lower level.

This year’s HR Fair feature the following vendors, campus departments and programs:

Benefits

  • BenefitWallet – Health Savings Accounts
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas – Medical/Dental Plans
  • Compass Health Services – Health Pros
  • LegalGUARD/PrivacyArmor – Group Legal/Identity Protection
  • Magellan – Employee Assistance Program
  • Prime Therapeutics
  • The Standard – Life Insurance/Disability Plans
  • Transamerica – 403(b) Retirement Plan
  • VSP – Vision Plan

SMU

  • Continuing and Professional Education
  • Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports
  • Office of Information Technology
  • Office of Institutional Access and Equity
  • Parking and ID Card Services
  • Payroll Department
  • SMU Faculty Club
  • SMU Faculty & Staff Giving Campaign
  • SMU Staff Association
  • SMU United Way
  • Tuition Benefits
  • Wellpower

Other vendors

  • Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)
  • North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA)
  • Zipcar

Chair massages will be available from the SMU Department of Recreational Sports’ licensed massage therapists.

In addition, free flu vaccinations are available at the HR Fair for all benefit-eligible faculty, staff, retirees and retiree spouses. Bring your SMU ID card and visit the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center website for information on how to shorten your wait.

> Visit SMU Human Resources online: smu.edu/hr

September 28, 2016|News, Save the Date|

Diversified scheduling one-on-one retirement advising for October, November 2011

SMU BenefitsU logoSMU faculty and staff members may now make appointments for personal sessions with a Diversified representative to review how best to manage their own accounts during the transition process to the University’s new retirement plan administrator.

Diversified will serve as the record keeper for SMU retirement accounts. Under new and expanding governmental regulations, funds made available by the University will be regularly reviewed by a qualified independent financial advisor as well as SMU’s Retirement Plans Advisory Council, according to an announcement made by Provost Paul Ludden and Vice President for Business and Finance Chris Casey in May.

> Find more information at the HR blog
> Register for a one-on-one session
> Learn more at Diversified’s secure SMU website
> Read Diversified’s updated FAQ document on the transition
> Visit SMU’s Department of Human Resources online

October 13, 2011|News, Save the Date|

HR schedules more information meetings on retirement plan transition

SMU BenefitsU logoSMU’s Department of Human Resources continues its information programs on new retirement plan administrator Diversified with a series of discussions on the fine points of how the change will affect faculty and staff members.

Diversified will conduct a series of on-campus group education meetings to discuss the transition in greater detail – including how the move will affect individual accounts and what participants should do to prepare for the change. The meetings will take place Sept. 26-30 and Oct. 5, 2011.

About 600 faculty and staff members attended campus meetings in early September to get a general overview of key changes and their advantages, says Jeff Strese, executive director of human resources. Diversified will assume its administration and recordkeeping duties for the SMU retirement plans in January 2012.

> Find a complete schedule of meetings (PDF format)
> Register online for a group meeting at the time and place of your choice

September 22, 2011|News, Save the Date|

Human Resources introduces new SMU retirement plan administration

Diversified logoSMU’s Department of Human Resources will host a series of meetings for the University community to learn more about its new single record-keeping system and the retirement plan administration company that will manage it. Faculty and staff members can register for information sessions to take place Aug. 30-31 and Sept. 7-8, 2011, regarding the move to Diversified.

A Diversified representative will answer questions during the meetings. Other speakers will include Executive Director of Human Resources Jeff Strese, Associate Vice President of Business Services and Human Resources Bill Detwiler, and two members of SMU’s University Benefits Council: Don VandeWalle, department chair of Management and Organizations in the Cox School of Business, and Steve Edwards, professor of advertising in Meadows School of the Arts and SMU Faculty Senate president-elect.

In addition, the Hughes-Trigg Student Center audio-visual staff will record the Sept. 7 meeting for an informational video that will be made available to faculty and staff members later this year.

Diversified will serve as the record keeper for SMU retirement accounts. Under new and expanding governmental regulations, funds made available by the University will be regularly reviewed by a qualified independent financial advisor as well as SMU’s Retirement Plans Advisory Council, according to an announcement made by Provost Paul Ludden and Vice President for Business and Finance Chris Casey in May.

The Retirement Plans Advisory Council agreed unanimously to the adoption of a single record keeper earlier this year. (The council includes three faculty and three staff members, as well as several ex officio members of University administration.) The University’s move to a single record keeper has been reviewed by the University Benefits Council, legal counsel, an independent investment adviser group, the President’s Council and the Board of Trustees.

Diversified was chosen as administrator after a thorough review of proposals from firms including Fidelity Investments and TIAA-CREF, Ludden and Casey said. The firm will act as a neutral plan administrator and not a fund provider, they added.

In addition, Diversified will provide new tools to help faculty and staff members manage their accounts more effectively, including a single web portal to conduct transactions for every different provider. A full-time Diversified retirement counselor will establish an office on campus this fall, say representatives from SMU HR.

For more information, visit Diversified’s secure SMU website.

> Register for an information session
> Learn more at Diversified’s SMU website
> See Diversified’s FAQ document on the upcoming transition
> Visit SMU’s Department of Human Resources online
> Read the original announcement from Provost Ludden and Vice President Casey

August 30, 2011|News, Save the Date|

SMU will develop single record-keeper system for retirement plans

In response to new governmental regulations, SMU will implement important modifications to the administration of its retirement plans, according to SMU’s Offices of the Provost and Business and Finance. In addition, a new core lineup of reviewed and approved funds that meet established performance standards will be available to employees after January 1, 2012.

The University has retained the national investment advisory firm Diversified Investment Advisors to serve as a single record keeper for retirement accounts with Fidelity, Vanguard and TIAA-CREF. Under new and expanding governmental regulations, funds made available by the University will be regularly reviewed by a qualified independent financial advisor as well as SMU’s Retirement Plans Advisory Council, according to an e-mail message from SMU Provost Paul Ludden and Vice President for Business and Finance Chris Casey dated May 2, 2011:


May 2, 2011

Dear Colleagues:

In response to new governmental regulations, SMU is implementing important modifications to the administration of SMU Retirement Plans. As described below, SMU has retained the national investment advisory firm Diversified Investment Advisors to serve as a single record keeper for retirement accounts with Fidelity, Vanguard and TIAA-CREF. The adoption of a single record keeper was by unanimous agreement of SMU’s Retirement Plans Advisory Council, which includes three faculty, three staff and several ex officio members of the administration.

Under new and expanding governmental regulations, universities will be required to review and monitor the performance of funds they offer. SMU currently provides employees with a menu of funds from a variety of providers and record keepers, and it is up to employees to monitor performance. Under the new rules, plan participants will receive the benefit of knowing that the funds made available by the University will be regularly reviewed by a qualified, independent financial advisor as well as SMU’s Retirement Plans Advisory Council.

Being in regulatory compliance is vitally important to the University and its employees, so that our retirement plan retains the advantage of tax sheltering. The additional regulatory duties placed on plan sponsors are quickly changing the landscape of plan administration in higher education from multiple providers to a single record keeper, as evidenced by recent changes at Stanford, Purdue, Pepperdine, Johns Hopkins and many other universities. Each of our current providers also has acknowledged the need for this shift in plan administration.

Diversified Investment Advisors was chosen to administer the University’s retirement plan after a thorough review of proposals from firms including Fidelity Investments and TIAA-CREF. Diversified specializes in administering 403(b) plans, has a proven performance record for more than 50 years and offers extensive one-on-one services to plan participants, including customized reporting and online services. The firm will act as a neutral plan administrator and not a fund provider; its investment guidance to employees will be nonproprietary. The firm will provide a full-time on-campus investment advisor. Because the funds in the retirement plan will flow through a single record keeper instead of three, plan expenses will be reduced for most plan participants.

After January 1, 2012, a new core lineup of reviewed and approved funds that meet established performance standards will be available to employees. Fidelity, TIAA-CREF, Vanguard and other companies will be eligible to compete to have their funds represented in the lineup. While not every TIAA-CREF annuity product will remain available for future contributions, participants’ flexibility and investment choices generally will not be materially restricted. In fact, plan participants will have the option to invest in a broad array of mutual funds not in the SMU core lineup through an “open brokerage window.” More information about these options will be available when the Retirement Plans Advisory Council and the independent investment advisor conclude their review. In order to ensure the best performance of participants’ retirement accounts, the core lineup may change over time, based on the ongoing monitoring of fund performance.

Diversified Investment Advisors will make available to participants new tools to help manage accounts more effectively. These tools include the ability to execute transactions, change contribution levels and request an on-demand statement. Instead of having to go to multiple websites of different providers, plan participants will be able to “one-stop shop” their transactions.

Beginning January 1, 2012, accounts from Fidelity and Vanguard will automatically move to the new open architecture platform at Diversified. Participants with existing TIAA-CREF accounts will have a choice to keep their existing accounts at TIAA-CREF or transfer them to the new platform.

The University’s move to a single record keeper has been reviewed by the University Benefits Council, legal counsel, an independent investment advisor group, the President’s Council and the Board of Trustees. During the next eight months, Human Resources will provide opportunities for group and individual meetings to learn more about the changes, as well as additional information online.

In the meantime, your input is welcome as we continue to work with the Retirement Plans Advisory Council and Diversified Investment Advisors. Please send questions to benefitsu@smu.edu and a Benefits representative will contact you. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Paul W. Ludden
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Chris Casey
Vice President for Business and Finance


May 3, 2011|News|
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