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