President’s Insights: 403b and Transcript Update 7-29-19

Dear Members,
I want to update you on two important issues that are creating a great deal of discussion, questions, and concerns.
The ETA discussion with the district in regards to moving to a single provider began at bargaining.  The bargaining team was not in favor of going to a single provider and argued this firmly at the table.  Despite ETA pushback, the district decided on a single provider, AIG/Valic, and the decision ultimately lies with the district as our employer.
A Retirement Charter Committee was created.  The language for this committee is outline in the new Elgin Agreement and in School Board Documents from the May 20 meeting. Eric Illich, Jack Janezic and I attended several meetings of the retirement committee throughout the summer.
RVK, was hired by the district to guide the work of moving to a single provider.  RVK is one of the largest independent financial consulting firms in the US. RVK directed the work at these meetings and there was evidence RVK had fully vetted a variety of providers, including many of the ones members currently use.  The district chose AIG/Valic as the provider based on fee structure, offerings and educational opportunities for all union members in our district. ETA was not a part of this final decision.
There was a July meeting where investment funds were studied and data was provided.  Consensus was reached on a variety of funds.  Within the AIG/Valic plan, there will be individual tiers for members to choose from. ETA was a part of this decision and is satisfied with the selection of funds.
The District and ETA discussed a plan of sharing this information with providers who will no longer be servicing members directly through payroll deductions. ETA and the district discussed a roll out of information and training as late as last week. This plan was not followed as you read in my communication on Saturday, July 27.
Some important pieces of information:
  • AIG/Valic will be the only provider through payroll deductions.
  • If you qualify for a step “T” match according to the agreement, this match and all other matches must be made through payroll deductions to AIG/Valic.
  • If you do not wish to open a AIG/Valic account, you do not have to.  You should seek other options such as an IRA, Roth IRA or other brokerage retirement options with a company of your own choosing. These contributions will not be eligible for payroll deductions.
Each member’s financial plan is different.  You should plan on attending an upcoming session and also meet individually with a representative from AIG/Valic. This is not mandatory therefore there will not be stipends, CPDU’s, etc. for these sessions.
ETA is continuing to have conversations at the retirement committee. I am seeking further information on how this impacts our members who are already in the retirement pipeline. ETA had hoped to make this a smooth and informed transition for members.  Unfortunately, that did not occur.
Jack and I met last week with Human Resources to go over the process of transcript review. I had been asking for the process to be shared and reviewed since May and that has yet to occur.  We continue to implore the district to complete this work quickly so our members can be fully transitioned to the new salary schedule and we can move forward. As further information is obtained, I will let members know.
Barbara Bettis
ETA President

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