As 2018 begins, this is an important reminder about retirement plan companies and who may appropriately contact you.
You should be aware that your name and workplace contact information are often available through online directories and department websites. As such, you are encouraged to be skeptical of any attempts by individuals to request personal or financial information. You should exercise the same care and caution as you would when receiving sales calls or advertising emails at home.
Investment company representatives only contact you directly if you initiate contact first (with the exception of TIAA WMAs described below), such as to provide follow up that you request after a seminar or counseling appointment.
For most participants, SURS communications are limited to a plan choice packet when beginning participation in SURS, and occasional newsletters. Self-Managed Plan (SMP) members may also schedule an appointment with a Fidelity representative for general support with SMP options. You may occasionally receive general news or updates related to your investment accounts, but neither SURS nor Fidelity representatives will contact members with offers of investment advice.
You can also view additional information on the SURS website.
The University’s 403(b) Plan has two vendors, TIAA and Fidelity Investments. These are the only two vendor companies that are approved to provide investment options and educational opportunities. Designated representatives from these companies, who may have reason to contact employees, are:
- Chris Stephens
- Jeannie Ilievski
- TIAA Wealth Management Advisors (WMAs): Monica Cook and Brad Davis are the primary advisors. There are several additional Wealth Management Advisors. Contact TIAA at 800-842-2776 to verify the advisor contacting you is a TIAA representative.
These representatives visit each campus regularly to provide free, one-on-one counseling sessions and seminars. You can register for sessions online. These sessions are advertised through email, timeclock posters, and occasional mailing to your home address. None of the vendor companies make cold calls to invite employees to these sessions.
TIAA provides no-cost expanded wealth management services for 403(b) participants whose TIAA accounts reach a certain level of funds. TIAA Wealth Management Advisors (WMAs) do make calls to those employees, but must clearly identify themselves as TIAA employees, and offer these additional services in a no-pressure, informational way.
457 Deferred Comp Plan
The State of Illinois’ 457 Deferred Compensation Plan is administered by the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) and has only one approved vendor company - T. Rowe Price. CMS provides education on-campus on very limited occasions for seminars or employee expos. T. Rowe Price generally does not send representatives to the campuses. Because CMS creates "shell" accounts in the T. Rowe Price system for all employees, all new hires will receive a welcome letter from T. Rowe Price regardless of whether they enroll in the 457 Plan. Additionally, you will receive a change of address letter from T. Rowe Price when you submit a change of address in NESSIE, again regardless of whether you participate in the 457 Plan.
If you are unsure if a contact is a legitimate University benefit plan representative, you can contact either the University Payroll and Benefits (UPB) office email@example.com or the System Human Resource Services (System HR) office firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are unsure if a contact representing SURS is legitimate, you should call SURS directly at 800-ASK-SURS.