Employees can prepare for retirement plan changes at Transition Workshops

Campus, system events promise answers about investment options coming in July

What’s not changing?

PERA—No PERA retirement plans—including its voluntary 457 and 401(k)—will be affected by this change.

CU 401(a) Plan contribution amounts—Participants will continue to contribute 5 percent of their pay to the Plan, and the university will contribute to each Plan an amount equal to 10 percent of the participant’s pay.

Access to professional guidance, at no cost to you—You may still meet one-on-one with a financial consultant to discuss anything from budgeting to saving for your child’s education. The only difference is that these sessions will now only be offered only by TIAA-CREF.

This spring, the University of Colorado is dedicating six weeks to help answer the who, what, why, when and how of the new CU retirement Plans’ investment options taking effect in July.

Beginning Friday and continuing through April 17, employees may attend Transition Workshops on each campus. No registration is required. These sessions will put employees face-to-face with representatives from CU Employee Services, TIAA-CREF and Innovest, CU’s third-party retirement plan consultant, who will explain the Plan changes and answer questions.

Employees who participate only in retirement plans offered by the Public Employees’ Retirement Association will not be affected by these changes and need not attend the workshops.

Last month, the university announced that it will streamline its 401(a) and 403(b) retirement plans by switching to a best-in-class set of investment options, such as funds from Vanguard, BlackRock, Voya and Wells Fargo. To provide Plan support, education and customer service, CU will contract with TIAA-CREF. Changes to the Plans are scheduled to go into effect in mid-July. (Learn more by visiting

The Transition Workshops are designed to give employees a full picture of the changes — from the assembly of a committee to review CU’s existing Plans to a preview of how participants’ funds will be transferred into the new Plan lineup in July. Topics will include but aren’t limited to:

1. What’s changing with the Plan(s)

  • Learn about the Plans’ new investment lineup, which contains a selection of vetted, highly rated, best-in-class investment choices from various investment companies.
  • Get a brief introduction to the Plans’ self-directed brokerage option, for experienced investors who wish to select their own funds outside the new core investment menu.
  • Hear from TIAA-CREF about its role as the service provider of the Plans and the Plans’ new funds. Speakers will provide contact information for the TIAA-CREF call center and discuss options for scheduling one-on-one financial consultation sessions.

2. How this change affects you

  • TIAA-CREF and Innovest will provide information about how some existing funds will be transferred into the new investment lineup, and how contributions after the transition will automatically be invested in those new funds.
  • Better understand how and why Plan participants stand to save money in administrative fees with these changes, and how they will see a more transparent report of those charges on their new statements.

3. How and why this decision was made

  • Learn about the nearly yearlong process that led to these changes.
  • Hear about best practices in the retirement plan landscape, and how CU considered and implemented those in its decision-making process. 

4. Next steps

  • Find out important next steps and upcoming dates to prepare for the transition.