Fidelity to Become Duke's Primary Retirement Plan Provider

Transition will take place in January 2019

Retirement redesign
Duke will move from four retirement plan service providers to one in January 2019 to streamline options and administration as part of its ongoing oversight of its 403(b) retirement plan.

Duke will move from four retirement plan service providers to one in January 2019 to streamline options and administration as part of its ongoing oversight of its 403(b) retirement plan.

After the transition, participants in Duke’s Faculty and Staff Retirement Plan will access, monitor, and make changes to their 403(b) retirement plan investments through Fidelity. Vanguard and VALIC will no longer be service providers for Duke’s retirement plan beginning in 2019, and TIAA will only continue to offer its traditional fixed annuity product. 

As part of the transition, there will also be changes in the investment lineup available through Duke’s Faculty and Staff Retirement Plan. However, one of the most important aspects of the redesigned retirement plan is not changing.

“These changes will not impact Duke’s contribution formula or how much individuals can contribute under the IRS threshold,” said Kyle Cavanaugh, vice president for Administration. “Duke’s retirement plan continues to be one of the most competitive plans across the country.”

Duke’s retirement plan is organized into three tiers to provide option for how individuals may want to invest.

As part of the transition, the investment options available in Tier 1 will still offer Vanguard’s Target Date Funds. Tier II will include a set of 28 Core Funds selected to represent the primary asset classes (stocks, bonds, and short-term instruments). Both Tier 1 and Tier 2 funds will continue to be monitored and regularly reviewed by Duke's Investment Advisory Committee.

The options available through Tier 3 will include a broad range of investments through a separate self-directed Fidelity brokerage account; however, these funds will not be monitored by Duke's Investment Advisory Committee, so participants will be responsible for monitoring the holdings and performance of these funds to ensure they remain in line with their investment strategy.

“Nothing will change immediately,” Cavanaugh said. “The transition to Fidelity as Duke’s primary retirement service provider will take place in January 2019. Our faculty and staff will have ample opportunity during the remainder of 2018 to review options and choose where they want to direct their retirement investments prior to the transition.”

Cavanaugh said that moving to a single record-keeper will help improve the online enrollment process, simplify account management for participants, and enhance our ability to target segments of participants for improved outcomes.

Duke Human Resources plans to send additional communications throughout the year in preparation for the transition in January 2019. It has created a Retirement Plan Redesign website that includes a video, answers to common questions, and a schedule of information sessions that will take place in February and March.

The site also includes the specific funds as part of the new investment lineup that will be available on the Fidelity platform later this year.

A special call center has also be established for those with specific questions. The call center can be reached by calling 1-800-823-0172 or emailing retirement@duke.edu