Moving Ahead: Lehigh's Retirement Plan Transition

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

In our effort to keep you fully informed of all of the changes taking effect January 1, 2014 to Lehigh’s retirement savings program, Provost Pat Farrell and Vice President for Finance and Administration Peggy Plympton recently sent the following information to all faculty and staff:

We are pleased to share more information regarding Lehigh’s new Retirement Program, which takes effect January 1, 2014. You may recall from information we have sent you previously about changes in the Lehigh retirement plan, that beginning January 1, 2014, funds put aside for you by Lehigh as well as your contributions which are eligible for Lehigh matching funds must go into funds you choose from  a set of investments approved by the University. 

You will not have to move any retirement savings you have put aside prior to December 31, 2013, but you will be able to move those savings into these new funds after January 1, 2014, if you want. Detailed instructions on that will come later.

As we have discussed in previous communications, The Retirement Plan Investment Committee, acting as the Plan’s fiduciary, has been working to develop a Plan investment structure to achieve the objectives of the program.  After they established the structure, the committee worked with consultants from Mercer to select the specific investment funds that will make up the new Plan.

The objective of the investment structure is to provide a varied menu of investment options featuring funds that have historically performed toward the top of their class.  The structure offers four tiers of investment options along a spectrum of passive to active management. The structure also offers a variety of types of funds (known as “asset classes”) that range from conservative to aggressive. 

We believe this structure gives you a focused range of choices that are understandable to investors of every knowledge level.

We can now share with the campus community the specific investment funds selected within each tier of the investment structure. This link provides a chart that shows each fund within its tier, with labels indicating where on the passive/active and conservative/aggressive spectrum each falls.

In addition to the selected funds, employees can use the Mutual Fund Window that the plan’s record-keeper, TIAA-CREF, will manage. Funds available through the Mutual Fund Window will not be subject to the Retirement Plan Investment Committee’s review, however, so selecting those funds is a very individual decision. 

You don’t have to do anything right now. You could start investigating funds you might be interested in choosing by going to their respective web sites. Before the end of the fall semester, you will have to choose where your retirement funds should be saved for you beginning January 1, 2014.

In the coming months, you will continue receiving more information about the new Lehigh Retirement Program. You will also have the opportunity to meet one-on-one or in a group setting with representatives of TIAA-CREF. We encourage you to continue to read any communications you receive on this topic as we move ahead with the transition.

For More Information: