The Smith College 403(b) retirement plan provides eligible faculty and staff with a significant contribution to income replacement. Smith will contribute 9 percent of eligible earnings up to a specific amount of earnings (the integration level). The integration level is established each year, and it is $59,774 for 2014. Above the integration level, Smith will contribute 13.3 percent of eligible earnings.
The plan is fully funded by the college and you are not required to make any matching contributions. The college's contributions to your retirement account are fully vested (owned by you) beginning with the first contribution.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows employees of colleges, universities and certain other nonprofit organizations to allocate a portion of salary on a federal and state tax deferred basis to a 403(b) retirement account. In 2012, the option for employees to make Roth (after-tax) contributions on a voluntary basis was added as a new feature of the retirement plan. Voluntary contribution percentages may be changed at any time; participation is optional and there is no waiting period.
The decision to retire should be made after several years of careful thought and planning. Financial considerations are a major factor in this decision, and the retirement plan options may help to meet your goals.
New! HR Update - Retirement Edition
For the latest retirement plan news and information, click here:
New! Plan Information and Tools Available Online
Visit smithcollege.prepare4myfuture.com for convenient access to a variety of information including an overview of the plan, frequently asked questions, and investment-related information. You may also schedule an appointment to meet with your local ING Representative, Mary Ellen Gordon. Within My Learning Center, there are planning tools and calculators like My Retirement Outlook. This tool may help you identify any potential future shortfalls in your retirement savings and get a better understanding of what's needed to meet your retirement income objectives. Are you ahead, or do you have some catching up to do? It’s an easy and quick way to check where you stand. The Seminar Library provides online educational seminars covering a variety of financial education topics that you may view at your own pace whenever and wherever it is convenient for you.
To help you manage your retirement plan accounts, Planwithease is a plan administration service that consolidates your account information and allows you to request withdrawals, if eligible, from prior Smith College investment providers. Through Planwithease, you can see a summary of your account, showing each of your investment providers and your contract information. To access Planwithease, visit smithcollege.prepare4myfuture.com and select planwithease.com from the drop down box under Account Login. Click here to view additional information about Planwithease including log-in instructions.
Retirement Plan Investment Committee
Smith College, like other nonprofit institutions, is subject to increased oversight of its retirement plans. The college is now required to review and monitor the performance of funds available for retirement investments instead of simply offering a menu of choices. To comply with these regulations, President Christ formed a Retirement Plan Investment Committee, and the college has engaged an investment and fiduciary advisory firm to assist in the committee's work.
The committee works with an investment or fiduciary advisory firm to establish Smith's internal governance procedures and to select and monitor investment choices. The key objectives of the committee are to:
- Ensure that decisions about the retirement plan are in the best interests of the plan participants (employees)
- Select mutual fund investment offerings
- Monitor the retirement vendors and the funds offered using measures and benchmarks in various areas affecting plan assets, including investment performance, fees and expenses
The committee members are:
Vice President for Finance and Administration, Chair
Associate Provost, Dean for Academic Development
Associate Vice President for Financial Planning
Associate Vice President for Human Resources
Associate Director for Human Resources
An overview of ING, including the company's U.S. history and frequently asked questions about the company can be found on its website, www.ing.us/about-ing.
Account statements are mailed to participants' homes quarterly.
Moving Retirement Assets to ING
You may exchange, or transfer, funds to ING from American Century, Fidelity or TIAA-CREF for no fee; however, your prior retirement vendor may have fees or withdrawal restrictions on existing contracts. We encourage you to talk with an ING representative to discuss your specific account to determine the best course of action for your situation. For instructions and information about the exchange, or transfer, process, contact one of ING's dedicated specialists during their business hours hours:
8 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fridays
Individual Guidance Sessions
To help with your retirement planning, we recommend meeting with your retirement vendor for an individual consultation. The dates available to meet with vendor representatives on campus, along with phone numbers to call to schedule a consultation, are listed below. All sessions will be in the Office of Human Resources at 30 Belmont Avenue.
To schedule an appointment with Mary Ellen Gordon, please visit smithcollege.prepare4myfuture.com or call (877) 645-5206. You may also reach Mary Ellen for questions at Maryellen.firstname.lastname@example.org. Mary Ellen plans to be at Smith on the following dates:
Elizabeth (Betsey) O’Boyle will be on-campus on Thursday, 8/28/14. To schedule an appointment, please call (800)732-8353.
To schedule an individual counseling session with Diana Valsky to discuss your retirement account, please call (800) 642-7131.
Retirement Vendors Web Sites
Below are links to our current and previous vendors' general web sites. For detailed plan information, please visit smithcollege.prepare4myfuture.com.
Health Insurance for Early Retirees (ERO)
Employees who retire from Smith College between the ages of 62 and 65, and who have a minimum of 10 years of consecutive service in a regular position at Smith College immediately prior to retirement, may continue to participate in the college's group health plan until age 65, with the college paying half its normal benefit. Please refer to the plan description for the Health Care Program, which can be obtained from the Office of Human Resources, for further details.
For other retiring employees, Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance) are available beginning at age 65.
Summary Plan Description
Retirement Plan SPD (PDF)
For questions regarding retirement benefits, contact human resources at (413) 585-2275.