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Retirement Corner

The New 403(b) Universe and UT Retirement

Effective January 2009, the world of 403(b) plans will undergo the most significant change in over forty years when new IRS regulations go into effect. The UT Retirement Program has two 403(b) plans, the UTSaver Tax Sheltered Annuity and the Optional Retirement Program.

What are the changes?
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) passed regulations that significantly increases the role and responsibility of the employer in the administration of employer sponsored plans. Changes include the requirement of a plan document, adherence to that plan document and additional controls of money leaving the plan.

What does this mean to you?

The University of Texas System, anticipating these changes, in 2006 began the process of reshaping the Retirement Program. Employees may only contribute to the six authorized providers within the UT plan (AIG Retirement, Fidelity Investments, ING, Lincoln Financial, MetLife Resources and TIAA-CREF). Transfers of retirement funds to providers outside of the plan are prohibited.

One of the major changes is the administration of loan and hardship requests. Although employers are not required to allow loan and hardship withdrawals from the 403(b) plans, UT System chose to retain the option of loan and hardship withdrawal requests with the UTSaver TSA plan. The IRS no longer allows employee self-certification.

What’s next?
The world on January 1, 2009, will look just like it does today to the average UT System participant. UT System has worked tirelessly to ensure that all regulation provisions have been met, and that you have an excellent retirement vehicle available.

While you are making New Year’s Resolutions, resolve to take advantage of your retirement savings opportunities by visiting the UT Retirement Programs website at:

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