Banner Advance Home Navigation Bar Advance Home Issue Index Read past articles Weekly Calendar

March 28, 2005

State Official To Discuss New Retirement System

Tom Woodruff, director of retirement and benefit services in the Office of the State Comptroller, will discuss the new third-party administration of state employee-owned tax sheltered annuities, deferred compensation packages, and the Alternate Retirement Plan on April 6, from noon to 1 p.m., in Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts.

Woodruff will discuss the new model, describe the goals of the program, the benefits state officials expect to stem from the program, and answer questions.

The event is co-sponsored by Human Resources and Payroll, the University of Connecticut Professional Employees Association (UCPEA), and the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).

State Comptroller Nancy Wyman announced the restructuring of the state’s retirement savings plans last month, saying the move will save the 44,000 participating employees about $10 million in fees annually. The program creates a single administrator to process all state employee retirement funds and annuities, and maintain data on the plans.

As part of the restructuring, Wyman selected ING to provide administration and record keeping for all three plans: Deferred Compensation, 403(b) plans, and the Alternate Retirement Plan. The plans have a combined value of about $2.4 billion.

Wyman says the changes will reduce the fees paid by participating employees, give employees a wider selection of investment options, and create the opportunity for unbiased counseling and financial education to plan participants.

“Consolidating the administration of these plans will deliver better service to employees and save them as much as $10 million in fees each year,” Wyman said. “We also intend to maintain the positive aspects of the existing plans, which will benefit current participants and encourage new enrollment.”

The selection of ING was recommended to Wyman by the review committee of the State Employees Retirement Commission. Wyman said ING stood out because of its experience with 457, 403(b), and Alternate Retirement Plans for government and education employers. She also cited ING’s commitment to energize the state’s plans through a comprehensive education and communications program for participants.

Wyman said that funds managed by two current providers – The Hartford and TIAA-CREF – will continue to be offered by the plans. Employees will soon receive additional information about the transition process, the expanded investment options, and the new services that will be available.

The deferred compensation plan will be brought under the direction of the TPA July 1, and the Alternate Retirement Plan and 403(b) plans will join the new program on Jan. 1, 2006.