January 1, 2011

Variety of Retirement Investment Options Offered

BESIDES THE University retirement plan, the State Universities Retirement System (SURS), employees also can do salary deferrals into two different deferred compensation plans. “They used to have a really small list of things we could invest in, but now the list is quite extensive,” reports Mary Jo Kuffner, director of human resources and finance for the UIC School of Public Health Center for the Advancement of Distance Education (CADE).

EMPLOYEES CAN contribute the maximum into both of the plans below [one 403 (b) plan and one 457 plan]. All three vendors (TIAA-CREF, Fidelity, and T Rowe Price) had some funds that had outstanding performance.

THERE IS a 403 (b) plan that has investment choices from both TIAA-CREF and Fidelity Investments. This plan has the largest group of investment choices. Information about this plan (and these two choices) is available at Nessie: Retirement & Investment Plans 403(b) Plan and 403(b) Plan Enrollment Guide .

INCLUDED WITH this article is a list of Fidelity investments: Fidelity Investment Comparison. Kuffner sorted it by type of fund followed by performance (sorted by one-year, then three-year, then five year). “The three-year performance is critical because you can see how the fund performed during the crash of 2008,” Kuffner said. “So if the fund did not lose too much money, neither would you.”

EMPLOYEES ALSO can contribute to the University’s 457 plan via a salary deferral. This plan is managed by T Rowe Price. Information about this plan is available from Nessie: Retirement & Investment Plans, 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan.

IF ONE only has money to put into one of these, there is a comparison chart that compares and contrasts the 403b and 457 plans available from Nessie: Supplemental Retirement Plan Comparison Chart.

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