2012 Retirement Plan Enhancements

In order to comply with new federal regulations and to provide enhanced investment options, Villanova University  will be making changes to the 403(b) Retirement Savings Plans (the "Plans") offered to faculty and staff beginning October 15, 2012. The changes focus mainly on the Plans' investment options and do not change the amount of Villanova University's contribution or the providers available.

Please take the time to review all of the materials that are included on this page. 

The changes will:

  • Streamline the investment options.  Currently the Plans' numerous investment options vary significantly across our providers (TIAA-CREF and Vanguard).  By streamlining these options, we will have a similar structure with each provider that will:
    • Simplify retirement investing for faculty and staff;
    • Provide you multiple ways to choose your investments, based on your investment experience; and
    • Create an environment where Villanova can more effectively monitor the investment options as required by law.
  • Offer funds that have reasonable costs.  Investment fees can eat away at your return.  We have evaluated the investments offered to make sure any fees charged are reasonable.  

What's Not Changing

  • The contributions that Villanova makes to your retirement account
  • The Plans' eligibility requirements
  • The two retirement vendors we use: TIAA-CREF and Vanguard
  • The annuity-based funds offered by TIAA-CREF

Transitioning to the New Program

  • 33 of the current Vanguard mutual funds will be closed and not available under the new investment structure, unless purchased through the new Vanguard brokerage option (VBO).
  • You will have a Transition Period (Now through November 15, 2012) during which you can direct how you want your current balances and future contributions invested under the new plan structure. If the funds you are invested in are remaining in the plan you do not need to take any action.  Representatives from TIAA-CREF and Vanguard will be available on campus by offering individual counseling sessions
  • If you do not make an election during the Transition Period, balances in funds that are closing and any future contributions directed to those funds will automatically be moved to the remaing funds according to the mapping strategy. 

Transition Period

Beginning October 15, 2012, TIAA-CREF will introduce Lifecycle funds and Vanguard will introduce the brokerage option (VBO). Please be aware that the brokerage option is for the more experienced investor. The University has no responsibility to select, monitor, or evaluate VBO investments, performance, activity, or fees. You will be completely responsible for researching, monitoring, and deciding about VBO investments. Costs associated with investing through the VBO may be greater than costs associated with investing in the plan's main investment options.  

If you do not want your balances in discontinued funds automatically moved to the remaining funds according to the mapping strategy, you must move your balances by November 15, 2012 at 4:00 pm. Please note that you may also change your asset allocation or future contribution elections at any time after the transition to the new fund lineup. To move your assets to the new funds:

  • Look for specific instructions from your retirement plan vendor to be sent to you at home.
  • Plan on attending a town hall meeting on either September 19, 2012 from 11am-1pm or September 27, 2012 from 1pm-3pm in Connelly Center Cinema.
  • Make sure you know how to access your account(s) online.
  • Schedule an individual counseling session with either TIAA CREF or Vanguard. 


Tier Consider This: Investments Offered
Tier 1 - Target date investments:   All-in-one-funds

* You want simplicity and convenience

* You want an investment professional to pick your investment mix.

Each fund is a mix of investment types, picked by investment professionals for a specific retirement date. You simply choose the fund based on the year that most closely matches your expected retirement date 
Tier 2 - Core Investments:     Do-it-yourself funds

* You like to manage your own retirement savings

* You prefer a limited set of preselected investment choices

A selection of mutual funds that provide a range of types of investments. With these funds, you can build and manage your own investment portfolio based on your time horizon and your comfort with risk. 
Tier 3 - Specialty Funds: Portfolio fine-tuning funds

* You want to build lifetime income

* You want investments that directly support this goal

These are funds that fall outside the standard asset classes and include some the plan’s most popular funds already in place.
Tier 4 - Vanguard Brokerage Option (VBO)

* You have a strong knowledge of investments

* You like to select, manage and monitor your own investments.

A new opportunity to choose from a broad range of mutual funds through a brokerage account within the Plans. Please be aware that the brokerage option is for the more experienced investor. The University has no responsibility to select, monitor, or evaluate VBO investments, performance, activity, or fees. You will be completely responsible for researching, monitoring, and deciding about VBO investments. Costs associated with investing through the VBO may be greater than costs associated with investing in the plan's main investment options.  

Important Dates

October 15, 2012: TIAA CREF Lifecycle funds and Vanguard Brokerage Option (VBO) become available.

November 15, 2012 at 4 pm: 33 Vanguard funds will close. If an election is not made by 4pm on November 15th, any assets held in funds that are not continuing under the new lineup will be automatically transferred to a remaining fund with Vanguard according to the mapping strategy. At any time after the transfer you may move assets into any of the new fund options.   

Your accounts and assets will stay with your current provider unless you choose to move your money to another vendor. To move your assets to another vendor, please contact Human Resources at 9-7900.