Retirement Plan Update & Information

May 15, 2012

Rollins College wishes to provide the best possible retirement plan for our faculty and staff.  A quality retirement savings program is integral to the College’s effort to attract and retain exceptional faculty and staff to help the College achieve its mission.

There has been a significant change in the regulatory environment of 403 (b) defined contribution retirement plans which has increased government oversight and administrative complexity.  The Treasury Department in conjunction with the IRS, released a finalized set of new 403 (b) regulations. The new regulations require that non-profit employers employ a higher level of fiduciary oversight in sponsoring these plans.  The intent of the regulations is to ensure that non-profit employers offering 403 (b) plans better monitor plan transactions, and  employ sound plan management practices  with the goal of fostering  improved retirement programs, and ultimately improving  retirement preparedness in the U.S.  The regulations seek to  accomplish this by increasing reporting requirements for  403 (b) retirement plans, including completion of full 5500 reporting,  an annual independent audit of plan compliance and governance. 

These audits assess, among other things, the employer’s plan management practices, procedures, and execution of fiduciary duties in view of ERISA regulations and recognized “best practices.” ERISA requires that fiduciaries discharge their duties with respect to the plan “solely in the interest of the participants and beneficiaries” and that they do so with a very high level of care, skill, prudence, and diligence. Some of the recognized best practices in the execution of these duties include: deployment of an administrative committee with fiduciary oversight and management responsibilities, development and adherence to an investment policy, sound due-diligence procedures in the selection and monitoring of investment vehicles, and provision to plan participants of information sufficient for them to make prudent investment decisions, including disclosure of fees and expenses charged by all service providers and investment vehicles. 

Since 2009 the College has completed required annual extensive 5500 filings, and has contracted to have independent audits conducted.  We also have engaged the consulting firm of The Harris/Long Group to assist us and to provide fiduciary guidance in the management of the retirement plan and most recently we have assembled an administrative committee to oversee and manage the plan going forward. The Committee is made up of faculty and staff.  While the focus of assembling the committee was not for it to be “representative”, we hoped to find a broadly representative group of willing and able participants.  Primarily we looked for members who would be able to make the commitment to actively participate , that were willing to serve as a  fiduciaries to the plan and who had a strong interest in and ability to understand and carry out the essential duties and responsibilities of prudent and effect retirement plan management . To this end  recommendations were solicited from various areas of campus leadership.

The committee is comprised of 7 voting members and 2 ex-officio non-voting members:

  • J. Clay Singleton, Professor of Finance at Crummer

  • Martina Vidovic, Assistant Professor of Economics, Arts and Sciences

  • Richard Lewin, Assistant Professor in International Business, College of Professional Studies      

  • Bill Short, AVP of Finance

  • Amanda Hopkins, Director of Gift Planning

  • Udeth Lugo, Director of Institutional Research

  • Maria Martinez, AVP Human Resources and Risk Management

  • Jennifer Addleman, Manager of Benefits (ex-officio)

  • Jeff Eisenbarth, Vice President of Finance and Treasurer (ex-officio)

All committee members will be acting in a fiduciary capacity and  must  discharge their duties with respect to the plan solely in the interest of the participants and beneficiaries.

Among the first tasks the committee will undertake is an examination of the cost and service structure of the plan and related service providers.  Providers of retirement plans do not provide their services for free and we realize that it is important for us to understand and account for plan expenses.  We will conduct an assessments to determine whether costs are reasonable in light of the services that our participants and Rollins receive. This coincides with a newly finalized regulation by the Department of Labor (DOL) which will require us to send out to all plan participants in August a formal disclosure document that will provide information on all costs and services.  We want to make you aware of this coming document which may be fairly lengthy and cumbersome.  Please note  that this disclosure is not a notification of new costs, but simply meant to inform plan participants of what is already in place.

We are excited about the new direction we are taking and eager to get to work.  We will be communicating periodically with you in the coming months as we move forward.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call me at extension 2577. 

Maria Martinez

AVP Human Resources and Risk Management

Human Resources