403(b) Multiple Employer Plan

Averett University is excited to be a partner with 13 other member institutions of the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia (CICV) to establish a single retirement plan called a 403(b) Multiple Employer Plan (MEP). This innovative plan should reduce administrative burdens on the University and lower costs while enabling employees to access greater resources for investment advising and more investment choices.

Averett is in the next group of institutions to implement the MEP! Financial advisers from Millennium Advisory Services will be on campus this fall to hold group meetings to present important details about the MEP, including new investment options and enhanced services available to all employees.  Please refer to the full memo with timetable to make sure you have plenty of time to schedule your work day around one of the group meetings. You can view the memo by clicking here.

What you need to know now:

We are pleased to announce several updates to the Averett University Retirement Plan, beginning March 12, 2019. To get the most out of the retirement plan, please read this January 2019 communication carefully.

Learn more about the CICV-MEP:

Transition Information

When will the CICV-MEP become effective for Averett Employees?

Participating CICV institutions will transition into the CICV-MEP in small groups throughout 2018 and into 2019. Currently, Averett is expected to make the transition in late 2018.

Will monies invested in the current plan roll into the CICV-MEP, or will that be a new plan?

The monies in Averett’s current 403(b) plan will be moved to the new plan. Monies invested in other legacy accounts (such as CREF or TIAA annuities, TIAA Traditional, or Access Funds) may remain in those accounts or the employee may choose to move them to the new plan. Once monies are moved to the new plan, they cannot be moved back into the discontinued choices.

Will my current investment choices carryover into the new MEP?

As part of the transition, most of the investments in the current plan will be ‘mapped’ to Qualified Default Investment Alternative (QDIA) that most closely matches the current investments. The advantage to this approach is that the employee will then be able to select investments of their own choice from the menu available under the new plan. Since the new plan will include a broader spectrum of investment options, each employee will be able to choose whether their monies remain in the QDIA funds or to move them to other investment options. More details on the mapping of assets from the current plan to the MEP will be available closer to the time of transition.

At Averett, retirement funds held in DC/TDA contracts will not be affected by the transition to the MEP. Assets in the 2013 Averett Retirement Choice (RC) plan –the current plan –will move to the MEP automatically.

I have monies invested in legacy Averett DC or TDA contracts and am able to transfer between investments in these accounts. Will that change?

No, these legacy contracts will remain as they are. The employee will continue to be able to move monies between the investments offered under those contracts.

If I have monies invested in legacy Averett contracts, can I choose to move those funds into the new MEP to take advantage of lower fees and expanded investment options?

All participants have the opportunity to take advantage of the new MEP contract. Once monies are moved to the new MEP RC contract, they cannot be moved back to the legacy contracts.

Can you show a chart of what happens and options for the various Averett contracts in place?

Participant/Employee has: Automatic Move to MEP? Optional Move to MEP? Future Contributions?
Only legacy DC/TDA contracts No. Will receive all information.

No real change.

Yes. May move assets, but cannot move them back to legacy contract later N/A
Both legacy DC/TDA contracts and current (2013) RC contract Yes. Current RC contract assets will move automatically. Yes. May choose to move legacy DC/TDA assets. Once the transition is made, new contributions will be to the MEP contract.
Only current (2013) RC contract Yes. Current RC contract assets will move automatically. N/A Once the transition is made, new contributions will be to the MEP contract.
Not currently participating N/A N/A Once the transition is made, new enrollments and contributions will be to the MEP contract.

I am hiring a new employee for my department, will that person enroll in the current plan or wait and enroll in the MEP?

At this time, have them enroll in the existing plan.  When that changes, we will make an announcement.

 About the new plan

Will employees get a new contract?

All actively contributing participants will receive a new MEP RC contract; as will participants with assets in the current plan that will be moved automatically to the new MEP. New hires after implementation will be offered the opportunity to participate in the MEP, no other plans will be available.

Are retirees eligible to participate in the MEP?

Retirees who have assets in the current Averett 403b plan, will see those assets moved to the new MEP as described above.

Retirees who have assets in the legacy DC/TDA contracts will receive communications relating to the change, but their funds will not automatically receive a new MEP contract or see their funds moved. However, if they determine that that moving their assets to the new plan is a prudent option, they may do so.

After the MEP is in effect, will I have access to financial advising under the MEP in case I need to change my investment allocations?

Millennium Advisory Services will be available to answer questions, provide individual counseling, advice, and financial planning services to help Averett participants reach their retirement goals. They also offer a managed account service, for an additional fee to be paid by the participant, for those who are interested.

Will the new plan include loan options from the plan?

Yes. The CICV-MEP 403(b) allows loans to participants subject to restrictions.  See the Loan Administration Policy for more information.

I am planning to retire from Averett shortly after the MEP transition, what assistance is available to me as I try to plan ahead for my financial stability?

A participant in this situation has a few options. Millennium Advisory Services will be holding meetings throughout the implementation process and lend assistance. While TIAA will no longer be used for on-campus meetings, they will continue to offer their Wealth Advisory services to participants, and provide access to licensed representatives in the call center and individual meetings in their branch offices across Virginia.

Other Concerns

Does the change to a new plan mean the matching contributions from Averett are ending?

No, Averett intends to continue its practice of matching contributions for eligible employees.

Will the change mean I have to make new investment allocations?

Yes, since the MEP offers new investment opportunities and has differences in fees, participants are encouraged to take advantage of the education sessions that will be offered on-campus. These sessions will explain details about the MEP 403(b) plan and the options available. Spouses and significant others are welcome to attend these sessions as well.

I am an Averett employee who works remotely, when the educational group sessions are held on campus, how will I have access to that information?

We are looking into several options to make sure all information and services are available to our employees, no matter where you are located.  More details will be available closer to the time of implementation.

What do I need to do?

Until it is time for the Averett transition (late 2018), plan participants do not need to do anything. When we start the transition process begins, attend the information meetings and learn about the plan and your investment choices.

I have more questions that are not answered here.

We recognize that change leads to questions, please send your questions via email to Ktune@averett.edu.