I recently celebrated my one-year work anniversary at Penn. With it came a packet of information in the mail explaining the University’s “Basic Plan” contribution to my retirement. I would like to enroll in an additional retirement plan, but I could really use some detailed advice from an expert first. Does Penn offer any in-person financial counseling sessions for total newbies like me?
—Eye on the Prize
Glad to hear you’re thinking ahead. Saving early for retirement is very wise, but you must be realistic about the amount of money you are able to put away.
Penn offers a variety of plans, “Basic,” “Matching,” and “Supplemental,” for its full-time staff members and faculty in eligible positions. For the Basic Plan, Penn makes non-matching contributions to employees—the percentage being based on your pay, of course, and age. The Matching Plan allows eligible employees to defer up to 5 percent of their base salary, on a pre-tax or Roth basis, which Penn will match, in addition to the Basic plan. Any contributions you want to make above 5 percent would be made to the Supplemental Retirement Annuity Plan. Employees become vested in Penn’s contributions after three years of service.
Representatives from TIAA and Vanguard, Penn’s investment providers, regularly travel to campus for one-on-one meetings, which are free of charge and without obligation for the University’s employees. To make an appointment with a TIAA representative, call 800-732-8353 or visit www.tiaacref.org/moc. For Vanguard, call 800-662-0106 ext. 14500 or visit www.meetvanguard.com. Meetings usually last about one hour. Don’t forget to bring any financial statements or investment information you’re interested in discussing.
Human Resources also occasionally offers group information sessions about retirement. An upcoming program, on Wednesday, Sept. 28, at the Inn at Penn, is for staff members who are approaching retirement soon.
Once you figure out some important details, such as how much you want to contribute and which investment provider you want to use, you can enroll in your retirement plan by contacting Penn’s Retirement Call Center at 877-PENN-RET or 877-736-6738 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Penn’s online Saving for Retirement Enrollment System is also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For more information about retirement counseling and benefits, visit www.hr.upenn.edu/myhr/benefits/retirement.