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Retirement Issues Conference Call Minutes July 15, 2008 Retirement Plans Brochure The MnSCU Mandatory and Voluntary Retirement Plans overview brochure needs to be reprinted; however there could be major changes in the retirement plans next year so only one year’s worth of brochures should be printed at this time. Each campus is asked to e- mail Gary Janikowski (at firstname.lastname@example.org ) with the number of brochures that they believe they would use for this upcoming fiscal year. New Employee Retirement Training MnSCU, TIAA-CREF, TRA and probably MSRS will be providing new employee retirement training via a Webex training session as was done this past year. They are also considering setting up some regional in-person training if there is a need for this. The training would be a combination of an overview session and breakouts with individual retirement funds. Is there a need for this training, over and above Webex and what is offered at the fall HR conference? Please e-mail Gary Janikowski and let him know if you think the need exists for your campus employees, and how many staff might attend. Your response will help us decide if this kind of training will be offered, and where it would be offered regionally. TIAA-CREF Call Center Stephanie from the TIAA-CREF Call Center will begin a series of presentations during these conference calls, about calls received at the call center. She will most likely either participate in calls quarterly, or twice yearly, with more in-depth topics. Stephanie is the supervisor of the call center in Denver/West, and her counterpart is Georgina, in North Carolina/South. Dan Mooney is our main account executive within the call center. TIAA-CREF receives an average of 600 calls a month, with a 96% service level (goal is 85%). Service level means that calls are answered in 30 seconds or less. The main types of calls received are regarding withdrawals, inquiries or educational counseling. For the next call, they will provide breakdowns of the various types of calls. A question & answer session followed: Q: What are the hours of the dedicated MNSCU phone line, and what happens to MNSCU employees after those hours? The dedicated number is 1-800-682-8969; this line is open between 9:00 – 6:00 EST. The TIAA-CREF national phone center is open 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. EST. Calls received to this line are re-directed to the dedicated line when it is open; after hours there are staff at the phone center that can answer MNSCU questions. The majority of calls received are during the hours that the dedicated line is open. Reminders of the dedicated line go to employees monthly, and in October a system will come online at TIAA-CREF that automatically flags a MNSCU account to be transferred to the dedicated MnSCU line. Minnesota Saves Plan Renee Hill from the TIAA-CREF office in Bloomington attended the call to discuss the Minnesota College Savings Plan, also known as the 529 Plan, which is managed for the state of Minnesota by TIAA-CREF. Staff can save for college tax free – the money is put into the account after taxes and grows tax free. It can be used for education at any accredited institution. TIAA-CREF currently handles payroll deduction for the Minnesota College Savings Plan for 200 employers in the state. Contribution amounts are low to get started - $25 to open an account, and $15 minimum deposits. Payroll deductions can be started, stopped, increased or decreased at any time. If MnSCU has a policy in place regarding payroll deduction schedules, TIAA-CREF is able to adjust to that schedule. The plan is portable; it can follow an employee to any other institution that has payroll deduction available. Participants can also send checks directly to their account, so others can also make deposits (family, gifts, etc.). A webinar will be offered once a month starting in September, and flyers will be sent out for this program. TIAA-CREF would also consider doing regional training, if there is a need/desire for it. Renee’s phone number is 800-877-6602, X3113 or 952-830-3113. She can also send out information packets to those who are interested. Missed SRP Contributions more than 60 days old Eric from TIAA-CREF came on the line to discuss this item. He inquired about the worksheet, asking what is considered the normal turnaround time for them. Mary stated that any contributions that are missed on the payroll for more than 60 days, the employer pays, plus interest. The worksheet that should be used and sent to HR is posted on the website. A couple of campuses contributed that their turnaround time can be anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks, depending on staff availability. Eileen inquired if Eric’s staff had been experiencing longer turnaround times. He stated that there was one situation that took over two months to resolve, and another situation where a check got lost in the mail. Eric’s group is working on some tighter controls for these types of instances. Mary asked Eric if he could take a look at the forms and remittance voucher on the web site to make sure it is up to date and current. Eric agreed to do so. Eric also asked that these worksheets be sent to TIAA-CREF electronically at the mnscuadmin e-mail address, not via fax or mail. He will also prepare a task sheet containing processing information on these kinds of payments, which can then be posted to the website. TRA Actuarial Study During the last legislative session, the Pension Commission received a request from IFO and MSCF for their faculty to have a second chance to elect TRA. The Commission decided that a study of TRA/IRAP elections was needed, to know what the impact to TRA would be, before they would consider this request. This report will be done by the Pension Commission’s actuarial firm, through TRA. MNSCU will need to provide great quantities of information to them and this can be done mainly through BRIO reports, with participation from the General Counsel and other staff. However, there may be some information and historical data that will be unavailable to us, and we will need to request it from the campuses. The campuses will need to provide information starting in August and finishing in September, due to the January 2009 deadline for this report. An extension for a full year was requested but not approved. Mary acknowledged the unfortunate timing for the campuses given the start of the academic year, but there is nothing that can be done about the deadline, and expressed appreciation for everyone’s efforts in advance. PERA/PRO Program Mary discussed this plan, also known as the 43A Early Retirement Plan, where classified employees can retire for at least 30 days and then come back in a part-time status. As of July 1, 2008, both MSRS and PERA participants can take advantage of this plan. The PERA people who are newly covered under this law have the same 30-day break in service requirement as MSRS covered employees. Annual Account Fee Assessment Eileen gave a reminder that the $20 annual fee was assessed on June 30. This fee will not show up on the quarterly account statements that were just mailed, but will show up on the September printed versions, and do show up online currently. Other Bonnie at Anoka Tech College asked about further training for retirement programs and processes, especially for new campus human resources staff. There are a number of new people who are trying to understand our retirement procedures. Mary replied that retirement training used to be done at the Fall HR Conference, but was discontinued due to low participation. However, if campus staff feel there is a need, it could potentially be resurrected. Mike Freer added that this would also be good training to have for OOC staff. Mary requested that people send an e-mail to Cindy Schneider ( at email@example.com ) stating the potential number of HR/payroll staff that would participate in this retirement training for new staff. We would appreciate only one response from each campus after you’ve had an opportunity to discuss this with other staff and the CHRO. The results will be compiled, and further discussions will be held. (Note – the registration for this training would be done through the STARS system) Eileen introduced Bill Thorne, Director, Individual Client Services in the Bloomington office. He stated his team of Individual Consultants are available for participation in new hire orientations occurring in August and September if there is a need. Feel free to call him at 952/830-3105.
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