msu retirement plan consolidation

The MSU Retirement Plan Consolidation process proceeded as planned in 2011, resulting in implementation of a new core investment menu and selection of Fidelity Investments and TIAA as MSU’s approved Retirement Plan vendors. (View a summary of the consolidation process here)

For those individuals who made new vendor and/or new investment selections from the core investment menu, your selections are now active.

For those individuals who did not make any changes or selections in November, the following actions have now occurred:

  • If you formerly directed your contributions to Fidelity Investments or TIAA and have not switched vendors or made selections from the new core investment menu, your contributions made on or after January 1, 2012 are still being directed to your selected plan vendor (either Fidelity Investments or TIAA). However, your mix of investments may have changed. If you previously invested in funds that are included in the new core investment menu, contributions made on or after January 1, 2012 are being directed to those same funds in the new core investment menu. If you previously invested in funds that are not included in the new core investment menu, those portions of your contributions made on or after January 1, 2012  are currently being directed to an age-appropriate target date retirement fund with your existing vendor (Fidelity Investments or TIAA.)
  • If you formerly directed your contributions to vendors that no longer are available (including Vanguard, AXA-Equitable, Lord Abbet or VALIC), beginning with January 2012 pay cycles, your new contributions are being directed to an age-appropriate target date retirement fund with Fidelity Investments. (This only applies to contributions made on or after January 1, 2012, it does not in any way impact your pre-January 1, 2012 existing investment account balances.)

Please note that you can switch your plan vendor (between Fidelity Investments  and TIAA) and make different investment selections any time you wish.

Changes Effective January 2012

Here is a brief general description of the changes that became effective January 1, 2012: 

  • MSU consolidated retirement plan vendor options from six vendors down to our two most widely used choices — Fidelity Investments® and TIAA. 
  • StraightLine continues to be available for independent third-party investment advice.
  • A new simplified core investment menu was implemented that provides diversified and well-researched investment choices from multiple investment managers selected by Michigan State University with guidance from Hewitt Ennis Knupp, MSU’s retirement plan consultant.
  • For those investors who wish to continue investing outside of the new simplified core investment menu options and are comfortable assuming greater risk, there is a self-directed brokerage account option that gives investors access to thousands of additional mutual funds from hundreds of available fund families. Additional fees and costs may apply.

These changes apply to all new contributions that occur on or after January 1, 2012. You have the choice to leave your pre-2012 contributions where they are currently invested or  transfer those account balances to the new investment options that will be available starting in January. 

Reasons for the Consolidation

  • To reduce the total investment expenses for most employees (e.g., decrease investment management fees and administrative costs.)
  • To provide faculty and staff with a menu of fund choices for better long-term performance.
  • To follow "best practice" advice issued by the Department of Labor and regulations issued by the Internal Revenue Service to guide  employers like MSU that manage retirement plan offerings.