Upcoming Changes to Retirement Investment Options and Administration
This April, Harvard is making some changes to the investment options and management available through the retirement programs, both those funded by the University and those you fund yourself. Among the changes:
- A new simplified investment lineup that will include a number of the currently available mutual funds and annuities provided by Vanguard and TIAA, including the current default investment Vanguard Target Retirement funds, along with a new option of a TIPS fund from Schwab.
- Harvard will be moving to a single platform that will be managed by TIAA for retirement account administration and recordkeeping with one website where employees can view and elect investments and make changes.
IMPORTANT UPDATE ON RETIREMENT PROGRAM CHANGES
As announced previously, Harvard will introduce two changes in April: a streamlined investment lineup and a single, multi-vendor investment platform. This will begin as scheduled. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting stock market volatility, Harvard has decided to postpone the transfer of existing balances at Fidelity and Vanguard to the new TIAA administrative platform until futher notice. This will also postpone the 15-business-day "blackout period" during which Fidelity and Vanguard participants would not be able to see or re-allocate their balances. Read the March 25, 2020 update letter.
Harvard University Retirement Center (HURC)
With the HURC, you can easily manage your retirement plan, TDA and 457(b) assets online or by phone, 800-527-1398 (weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST). By contacting HURC, you can open and make changes to your TDA and elect investment providers for your retirement, TDA and 457(b) accounts.
To transfer funds between vendors, or if you are a retiree who wants to access your accounts, please contact your investment company directly.
To learn more about your retirement benefits, you can attend free, on-campus educational seminars or take advantage of live and prerecorded webinars. View our Financial Education Calendar for upcoming programs and registration information. You can also visit the investment provider(s) websites directly for other programs:
These recorded presentations can help you get started:
- Two minutes to get on track with your retirement savings (from Fidelity Investments)
- Plan de retiro en Espanol (from TIAA)
- Roth TDA Option: Learn about the Roth features, determining if the Roth contribution option in the TDA might be right for you, and how to enroll
Retirewise - free retirement planning workshops
Comprehensive workshop presented by MetLife, free for faculty, staff and spouses/partners, over two half days. Sessions are offered several times a year. Next session: December 6 and 13, 2019, at 114 Mt. Auburn Street, Cambridge (Room 406). Register here.
Want personalized retirement planning assistance? To schedule an appointment, contact the investment provider(s) directly (note that you may make an appointment with either company, you do not have to have an account with that vendor):
TIAA: Call 800-732-8353 to schedule an appointment at 97 Mt. Auburn Street, Cambridge, or make appointments online at www.tiaa.org/schedulenow
Vanguard: Visit www.meetvanguard.com or call 800-662-0106, x14500 to schedule an appointment.
See our Financial Education Calendar to learn more.
Developing a Plan
Get help developing a sound retirement plan by accessing retirement resources and expert help online. To learn more, click on the link for your investment provider(s). You will have to create an account to login, which will also give you access to your account balance and let you change investment choices.
Steps for Those Close to Retirement
When you're getting closer to retirement and considering your options, Harvard provides additional guidance.
- Review our Retirement Checklist and the Benefits publication "What Happens to Your Benefits When You Retire".
- If you were hired before July 1, 2001 (July 1, 2002 if you are in the HUCTW) or if you are a service/trades union employee, call the Harvard University Retirement Center (HURC) at 800-527-1398 to request a pension estimate, which takes about two weeks to receive.
- If you and/or your spouse will be age 65 or older as of your retirement date, contact Benefits (617-496-4001) three months prior to get the forms you will need to enroll in Medicare A & B and discuss the over-age-65 medical plan choices. You can get additional information at www.Medicare.gov. Also please review this Glossary of Medicare Terms and FAQs.
- Whether you plan to start taking Social Security when you retire or in the future, you can learn more and create an online account at www.ssa.gov.
- Make an appointment with the Benefits office at least three months before your planned retirement date.
- The Harvard University Retirees Association (HURA) is a source of information about life in retirement and an opportunity to remain connected to the University. Membership is free in your first year of retirement. You can learn more on the HURA website.