Inside Rensselaer
Volume 6, No. 15, October 12, 2012

Curtis Powell

Curtis Powell

A Word From Human Resources:
Defined Contribution Pension Plan Updates

Happy Autumn! As we move into the fall semester, I am optimistic that our Rensselaer students, faculty, and staff are beginning the new academic year with much excitement and enthusiasm.

I’d like to take this opportunity to share some updates. Among the many initiatives that our Division supports, we are focused on ensuring that our faculty and staff save for their retirement years.

After conducting a benchmark study of Defined Contribution Plans, Rensselaer continues to have one of the best Defined Contributory Plan in the nation. Rensselaer employees only contribute 1 percent of their annual salary, while the Institute contributes 8 percent.

This summer, in reviewing the enrollment behaviors of newly hired faculty and staff, the trend reflected that approximately 10 percent of our newly hired employees did not enroll in the Defined Contributory Plan. We want to make sure that everyone is able to participate in this program, and enjoy the future benefits during their retirement years. As such, the Division of Human Resources implemented automatic enrollment for all newly hired faculty and staff into the Defined Contribution Pension Plan, unless individuals decide to opt out.

We believe that the automatic enrollment initiative will enable newly hired employees to build the retirement security that they will need. We also feel that this initiative will help to improve employee morale, further support the retention of talent, and assist in the recruitment of faculty and staff.

We believe that the automatic enrollment initiative will enable newly hired employees
to build the retirement security that they will need.

To help faculty and staff in making informed decisions and determining how their contributions are being invested, we have provided a Fee Disclosure Statement to all participants in the Defined Contribution Plan. The statement will provide participants with vital information regarding administrative fees and expenses, asset based fees, and individual fees and expenses.

For example, the administration fees usually involve expenses related to basic services—such as plan recordkeeping, accounting, legal and trustee services—that are necessary for administering the plan as a whole. These fees typically cover services, such as telephone voice response systems, access to a customer service representative, educational seminars, retirement planning software, and investment advice, electronic access to plan information, daily valuation and online transactions. Read more at

At the end of the day, when planning for the future, it is important to us that our faculty and staff make informed investment decisions; consider fees as one of several factors in making their investment choices; compare all services received with the total cost; and realize that cheaper is not necessarily better.

Stay tuned for more news from our Division, and I hope you have a productive semester!

Curtis Powell, SPHR
Vice President for Human Resources



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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 6, Number 15, October 12, 2012
©2012 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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