Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the University of Pittsburgh updating the Retirement Savings Plan?

The University of Pittsburgh is committed to providing a comprehensive and competitive benefits package that fosters well-being among our faculty and staff. The updates to the Retirement Savings Plan are designed to enhance the Plan by streamlining the investment menu to simplify fund options, offering a self-directed brokerage account to allow for selection of mutual funds outside the investment menu, and adding a 457(b) plan to permit additional contribution and flexibility. Our desire is to help you improve your financial literacy and achieve your savings goals more effectively by writing your own financial story.

What is the Retirement Oversight Committee?

The Retirement Oversight Committee is composed of faculty and staff representatives from the Offices of Human Resources and Finance, Katz School of Business, and the Medical Health and Sciences Foundation with the Office of General Counsel serving in an advisory role. The Committee is responsible for selecting, monitoring, and modifying vendors and individual investment options available as part of the Plan. Plan design, investment performance, and plan expenses are routinely reviewed by the Committee.

Who is Cammack Retirement Group?

Cammack Retirement Group is an independent investment advisor that serves as a co-fiduciary to over 100 organizations of all different types, including higher education. Cammack assists the University with meeting its fiduciary responsibilities to plan participants and maintaining compliance at a plan level.

What if I take no action?

You may want to review this guide to understand if you have accumulations in options that will no longer be available on March 16, 2018, and to which new funds your balances and/or future contributions will be automatically directed. You can also review your savings goals and adjust your strategy as needed. Now is a good time to review your fund allocations for diversification, consider a one-on-one meeting with a TIAA financial consultant, and confirm your beneficiary election.

What do I need to do if I want to enroll?

Enroll online via my.pitt.edu following the steps under Account Information on the last page of this guide or contact TIAA at 800-682-9139.

How can I learn more about the new investment options?

The investment menu options are included in this guide for your review. For fund descriptions and performance information, log on to TIAA.org/pitt. If you would like additional assistance understanding or selecting investments, attend one of the upcoming presentations, or schedule a one-on-one consultation with a TIAA financial consultant or set up a phone call with TIAA.

Will I pay any fees to make investments in the retirement plan?

The investment options will continue to have expense ratios and other fund-specific fees that can be found in the prospectuses, which are available at TIAA.org/pitt. Some investment options may also have redemption fees (visit the Glossary to learn more about these terms).

What if I need help making investment choices?

You can obtain help selecting your investments and receive personalized Retirement Savings Plan advice on the Plan’s investment options from TIAA. This no-cost service is available as part of your Retirement Savings Plan. TIAA’s investment advice takes the form of specific asset allocation recommendations on mutual funds and annuities, which is provided by Morningstar Investment Management, LLC, an independent third-party asset allocation provider.

Online: Obtain quick, convenient answers via the online tool. Visit my.pitt.edu, and log in using your University of Pittsburgh username and password. Access Human Resources under the My Resources tab. Click on Retirement Savings Plan Access and select the What We Offer tab, and look for Tools and financial calculators.

TIAA mobile app: View balance information, access brokerage, initiate, and more, right from your mobile device. You can also contact TIAA, find TIAA phone numbers and hours of operation, contact your advisor, or locate a TIAA office. You can download the app on the Apple App Store or Google Play.

One-on-One Advice Sessions: You can receive personalized Retirement Savings Plan investment advice over the phone or in person at our local office or on campus. To schedule your session, call 800-732-8353, weekdays, 8 am to 8 pm (ET). Or visit TIAA.org/schedulenow-pitt.

What should I expect from a One-on-One Advice Session?

Advice sessions last approximately one hour. If possible, bring all of your investment account statements, including any retirement investments outside of the Retirement Savings Plan, and your most recent Social Security statement. A TIAA financial consultant can use this information to understand your current financial situation and help you select the appropriate investment options.

My spouse/partner/friend is very involved in my finances. Can I bring him/her to a meeting?

Yes. You can bring anyone you choose to group meetings or individual advice sessions.

What are the qualifications of the Financial Consultants who work for TIAA?

All of the Financial Consultants are Registered Representatives with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and are subject to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)--a self-regulatory organization authorized by federal law to help protect investors and ensure the fair and honest operation of financial markets. Each Financial Consultant maintains their Series 7 and 63 Securities Licensing. Financial Consultants maintain their state insurance licensing for the states in which they do business. They are also encouraged to pursue industry designations, such as Chartered Financial Consultant and/or Certified Financial Planner. These licenses and certifications require ongoing, continuing education. TIAA also requires seven years of industry experience when hiring a consultant, and they provide extensive, ongoing training.

What is a Wealth Management Advisor?

The Wealth Management Advisors under the Individual Advisory Services division have similar licensing and certifications, although they carry a higher fiduciary standard of being "Registered Investment Advisors" (RIA). Registered Investment Advisors are required by state and federal securities laws to act in the best interest of their clients along with a host of other fiduciary requirements. Many Wealth Management Advisors at TIAA have achieved the designation of Certified Financial Planner.

How can I view financial advisor and broker-dealer status?

You can check broker-dealer status through the FINRA BrokerCheck website at brokercheck.finra.org. This website shows the financial advisors' current registrations and licensing and current and former broker-dealer relationships, as well as any reportable events they are required to disclose.

What if I am a retiree or a former faculty or staff member?

If you have Retirement Savings Plan assets at TIAA:

If you take no action by March 15, 2018, any balances in the discontinued investment options listed on pages 10-12 in the Guide to Plan Updates will be directed to the new investment options shown in that chart. Any balances in the investment options being retained will remin in those options.

Distribution information

The Retirement Savings Plan will continue to offer the same retirement distribution options. You have access to annuity options that provide a variety of retirement income choices, including lifetime income.

If you currently receive income or distribution payments from the Plan, your payments will continue without interruption. Call the Retirement Plan Call Center at 800-682-9139 to make any adjustments to your payments or payment schedule.

How do I access my account at TIAA?

If you are a current employee, you can access your Retirement Savings Plan through the University portal—my.pitt.edu—where you can:

  • Enroll in the Retirement Savings Plan or 457(b) plan
  • Manage your salary deferral contribution amounts
  • Allocate your contribution amount among pre-tax and Roth
  • Choose or update your investment options
  • Transfer funds among the current options
  • Name or update your beneficiaries
  • Update your personal profile (mailing address, email, phone number, etc.) or delivery preferences
  • Enroll in upcoming education sessions or webinars
  • Access financial planning tools and resources

What does a lower-cost share class mean for me?

Investing in a fund with a lower-cost share class means that more of your money goes to purchasing investments, with less going toward fees. As a result, you keep a larger portion of the potential returns generated by each fund. While returns cannot be guaranteed, paying lower fees can help you reach your retirement goals faster.

There is no investment strategy difference between the funds with different share classes. The mutual fund will charge different fees and expenses depending on the class offered to the plan. The new share class offers lower fees for these funds, thereby giving your portfolio more earnings potential.*

*Lower expenses do not necessarily translate into higher returns.

Does it make sense to consolidate my retirement accounts?

Many people find it easier to manage their retirement money by working with only one provider. That said, transferring balances can sometimes trigger costs. Before consolidating outside retirement balances, check with your employee benefits office to see if you can transfer those balances directly to your TIAA retirement account. You should carefully consider all your options. For instance, you may be able to leave money with a prior provider, roll over money to an IRA, or cash out all or part of the account value. Weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each option carefully, including investment options and services, fees and expenses, withdrawal options, required minimum distributions, tax treatment, and your particular financial needs. You should seek the guidance of your financial professional and tax advisor before consolidating balances.

Who do I contact with questions?

For questions associated with the Retirement Savings Plan, including the new 457(b) plan, the 403(b) and the 401(a) plans, self-directed brokerage accounts, the streamlined investment menu, and more, please contact TIAA online at TIAA.org/pitt or by calling 800-682-9139, Monday - Friday, from 8:00 am - 10:00 pm, Saturday, 9:00 - 6:00 pm.

For any questions about general University benefits not associated with the Retirement Savings Plan, please contact the Benefits Department by submitting a question online or by calling 412-624-8160, Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm.