Enhancements coming to University of Nebraska System retirement program

The University of Nebraska System is planning a number of changes to its retirement program that will simplify and streamline the investment menu, lower costs for participants and provide investment flexibility for those who want it.

Announced in an all-university message on Monday, the improvements follow a months-long review process by a system-wide team of finance and benefit experts, including leading finance faculty from UNL, UNO and UNK. The changes are in line with best practices being adopted by universities around the country.

The University of Nebraska’s contribution amounts to participants’ retirement plans are not changing.

The changes include:

  • A streamlined, lower-cost investment menu in which participants’ retirement investments will be allocated to target-date funds based on the year they turn 65.

With the simpler approach, less experienced investors won’t have to navigate a complex menu of options. More experienced investors who desire additional options will be able to open a self-directed brokerage account to access more than 8,000 mutual funds available on TIAA’s or Fidelity’s platform – significantly more than the 200 options currently available to plan participants.

  • A transition to a fixed-dollar record-keeping fee, which will provide significant savings to most plan participants.
  • A transition to a new TIAA Traditional annuity investment option that has improved liquidity.

Not only will the changes make the university’s retirement program more competitive, but they are expected to yield about $11 million in savings annually – savings that will go directly back to plan participants.

The changes are expected to go into effect later this fall. Employees and retirees do not need to take any immediate action. The university will provide further communication in the fall on how participants can customize their investments if they wish. Those who prefer the streamlined target-date funds will have their retirement funds transitioned to the new menu automatically; in other words, most plan participants will not need to take any action at any time as part of the changes.

Members of the university community are invited to two upcoming Zoom forums to learn more and ask questions:

Both sessions will be recorded and posted at http://nebraska.edu/RetirementEnhancements.

More information and a detailed FAQ are also available at that website. Plan participants are also invited to contact benefits@nebraska.edu with questions, or to leave questions and comments here.