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.
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)
Employees currently participating in a Fidelity-managed UNC System Retirement Plan will continue to do so at this time.
The UNC System is working on an implementation schedule for when contributions and assets for Fidelity participants will transition to TIAA. This includes transitioning assets held by Fidelity via the five plans mentioned above to TIAA.
In the upcoming months, the UNC System will share more information about this change, 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.
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.
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.
Does this change impact TSERS or the Empower (Prudential) 401(k) and 457 plans?
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.
Can I start participating with TIAA now?
What if I don’t want TIAA as a vendor?
For now, participants whose hire date is before Sept. 1, 2023, can continue to contribute to Fidelity. However, when the UNC System transitions those retirement plans Fidelity manages to TIAA, you must begin to contribute to TIAA. The UNC System has not announced when that transition will occur.
How can I learn about TIAA’s investment options?
Details about TIAA’s investment performance and current fund options are on the UNC System’s website.
In the upcoming months, 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.
How can I find out if I enrolled in a plan Fidelity manages?
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.”