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UNC Retirement Plan Recordkeeper Transition

This web page will provide ongoing updates about the UNC System Retirement Plan’s transition to TIAA as its single recordkeeper. University Human Resources will update this page as information becomes available.

The Selection of a Single Recordkeeper

In April, University Human Resources sent an email to employees that announced the University of North Carolina System was considering moving from two recordkeepers — TIAA and Fidelity — to a single recordkeeper for the following retirement plans:

  • UNC Optional Retirement Program (ORP).
  • UNC System 403(b) Plan.
  • UNC System 457(b) Plan.
  • UNC Senior Administrative Officer Retirement Program.
  • UNC Senior Athletic Employee Retirement Program.

The UNC System initiated a request for proposal process to explore whether to move to a single recordkeeper for the above plans. The UNC System announced Aug. 24 that TIAA will serve as the recordkeeper for the retirement plans. The UNC System provided the information below regarding its change to a single recordkeeper for the plans.

New Employees

Benefit-eligible employees whose hire date is on or after Sept. 1, 2023, can enroll in an ORP with TIAA as a vendor or the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System within their first 30 days of hire.

Employees can enroll in one of those retirement plans by visiting MyPack Portal and clicking “Benefits Details” and “My UNC Benefits.” You’ll complete the enrollment process on the UNC System Benefits platform (Empyrean)

Current Employees

Employees currently participating in a Fidelity-managed UNC System Retirement Plan will continue to do so at this time. Payroll contributions will transition to TIAA for the ORP, 403(b) and 457 plans on the February 2024 payroll. All Fidelity assets will be mapped to TIAA through an in-kind plan transfer in early April 2024 (date tbd). Details regarding the fund mapping process will be included in the transition guide mentioned below.

The UNC System will mail a comprehensive transition guide to participants with a plan balance the week of January 26th. The transition guide will provide details about the fund lineup available through TIAA, the fund mapping process, key dates and decision-support resources for employees.

Special communications will be mailed to Fidelity participants who are currently repaying loans, receiving periodic payments, and investing in self-directed brokerage.

Split Participants

ORP participants who split their employer and employee contributions between Fidelity and TIAA must send all contributions to TIAA beginning Jan. 1, 2024. This change will happen automatically for these participants. Split participation ended for new ORP participants on April 1, 2019. Employees who split contributions between the two vendors prior to this date were “legacied” and could continue until a change in ORP carriers occurred.

Participants of the 403(b) or the 457(b) plans who currently split their voluntary contributions between vendors must send all contributions to TIAA beginning Jan.1, 2024. The benefits team will contact these participants directly regarding next steps.

Why Is This Happening?

The UNC System issued the request for proposal for a single recordkeeper to create greater efficiencies and economies of scale. A single recordkeeper will allow the UNC System to:

  • Streamline the enrollment process.
  • Better leverage the university’s $10 billion in defined contribution retirement plan assets to reduce recordkeeping expenses.
  • Consider and possibly implement investment solutions that better fit the unique aspects of our employee demographics.
  • Provide you with a clear and consistent financial education and advice program.

Consolidating to one recordkeeper offers many potential advantages for plan participants, including:

  • Lower-cost investment options, including mutual funds and collective investment trusts.
  • The consideration of plan pricing structures that further optimize investment returns for participants
  • Contribution planning and investment selection advice.
  • Better participant engagement on issues related to financial planning.
  • The customization of retirement income solutions.
  • Consistent messaging about how various plans work.

Information Sessions

Attend a virtual or on-site session with a representative from TIAA to learn more about the transition from Fidelity.

UNC System-Wide Webinars

DateTopicTimeRegistration
Thursday, Feb. 8Announcing Updates to the University of North Carolina Retirement Programs10a.m.Register
Tuesday, Feb. 13Announcing Updates to the University of North Carolina Retirement Programs2p.m.Register

NC State Employees Only Webinars

DateTopicTimeRegistration
Wednesday, Feb. 28Announcing Updates to the University of North Carolina Retirement Programs11a.m.Register
Thursday, March 7Announcing Updates to the University of North Carolina Retirement Programs2p.m.Register

Information Desk Session

DateTimeLocation
Monday, Feb. 1210a.m. to 12p.m.Administrative Services 2, Room 202
This is a walk in session, no appointment is needed.

FAQs

No, TSERS and the Empower (formerly Prudential) plans are managed by the Office of State Treasurer and are not part of the UNC System’s retirement plans.

Yes, if you currently participate in the voluntary savings plans — 403(b) and 457 — with Fidelity, you may choose to update your voluntary payroll deductions and begin contributing to TIAA. To do so, complete Change Form and email it to hrsbenefits@ncsu.edu, send via fax to 3-2528, or by campus mail at Campus Box 7215.

If you would like to begin deferring your ORP contributions to TIAA, please complete the ORP-2 Form and email it to hrsbenefits@ncsu.edu for processing.

Forms must be received by the benefits office no later than January 10th in order to be processed on the January 2024 payroll. There will be a blackout period for changes to these plans after the January 10th deadline. Any forms received afterwards will be processed on the February payroll.

Yes, you can. Employees electing to transition their mandatory or supplemental retirement plans to TIAA ahead of the transition will need to contact TIAA to transfer their existing account balances.

1-800-842-2776 (Telephone Counseling Center)
Locally: Erick Bell, 919-687-5231, erick.bell@tiaa.org
Schedule an Appointment with a TIAA Consultant

Please note that the UNC System managed process is an in-kind transfer, meaning there will be no planned loss of market exposure. If you choose to transition your Fidelity account balances ahead of the UNC System managed transition, you may face a loss of market exposure. Please consult the TIAA representative above before you initiate this transition to ensure you understand the potential impact to your plan.

Employees currently participating in a Fidelity-managed UNC System Retirement Plan will transition their payroll contributions to TIAA on the February 2024 payroll. All Fidelity assets will be mapped to TIAA through an in-kind plan transfer in early April 2024 (date tbd).

The UNC System will mail a comprehensive transition guide to participants with a plan balance the week of January 26th. The transition guide will share more information about this change, including details about the fund lineup available through TIAA, the fund mapping process, key dates and decision-support resources for employees.

Participants in the ORP plan with Fidelity must transition payroll contributions to TIAA effective the February 2024 payroll. Fidelity assets will be mapped to TIAA for anyone with a balance in the UNC System managed plans in April of 2024. This applies to current, former, and retired participants.

If you participate in the voluntary savings plans — 403(b) and 457 — you may choose to end your voluntary deductions by completing the appropriate Change Form and emailing it to hrsbenefits@ncsu.edu.

If you participate in the 457 plan with Fidelity (or TIAA), yes you can move your assets to Empower’s 457(b) plan through a direct transfer with the vendor.

Because the 403(b) plan falls under different IRC Code, you cannot move 403(b) funds from Fidelity (or TIAA) to the NC 401(k) plan unless you experience a triggering event as defined by the IRS. These events include turning age 59.5, separating from employment, etc. If you do experience a triggering event, you must also be eligible to contribute to the 401(k) plan which is only available to those who participate in TSERS or the ORP.

Details about TIAA’s investment performance and current fund options are on the UNC System’s website.

In January, the UNC System will share more information, including a transition guide that will provide details about the fund lineup available through TIAA, the fund mapping process, key dates and decision-support resources for employees.

The easiest way to determine your retirement plan vendor is to view the deductions on your most recent pay stub by going to My Pack Portal and clicking “Payroll” and “Paychecks.”

Yes. All plan assets with Fidelity will transition to TIAA in April as a part of this change. This includes terminated or retired employees who have a plan balance with Fidelity.

If you have questions about this change, you may send an email to unc-retirement-plans@ncsu.edu. You also can read the prior communications below.

Communications

Employees with a balance in one or more of the UNC System retirement plans (Optional Retirement Program, UNC 457(b), UNC 403(b) plans) were mailed detailed transition information to their home address via US Mail on January 26, 2024. This information is also available here:

Additional Communications: