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UPDATED INFORMATION FROM CMS CONCERNING THE DEFERRED COMPENSATION RECORD KEEPER CHANGE INFORMATION

If you are an investor in State of Illinois Deferred Compensation program you are now aware that the recordkeeper is changing July 1, 2022, from T. Rowe Price to EMPOWER.  The change has generated questions and concerns from RSEA membership.   RSEA received the following from CMS Benefits Deferred Compensation in response to those questions and concerns.

  1. There is no new cost to buy and sell investments. That will not be changing. Additionally, the investment lineup will not be changing.
  1. Prior to the RFP, CMS had not heard of Empower either. However, they are the second largest retirement plan recordkeeper (by participants) in the country. They have 17 million participants in their plans and provide recordkeeping services for 30 other State plans like our own. More details may be found on their website.  WWW.EMPOWER.COM
  2. In order to ensure that services and fees are appropriate for our Plan, it is a best practice to periodically conduct a competitive bidding process for recordkeeping services. In following this guideline, a request for proposal (RFP) was issued in 2021. During the process, T. Rowe Price declined to submit a full response to the RFP. After a thorough review and evaluation of the recordkeepers that did respond, Empower was selected as the new provider. The RFP, and it’s requirements, can be found on the Illinois State Board of Investment (ISBI) website www.isbinvestment.com/media/rfp/.

Regarding the negative publicity about EMPOWER that RSEA members have been finding online, I would keep in mind that Empower is a workplace retirement services provider. Your average participant in one of their 71,000+ plans is not likely to leave a review unless they have had a negative experience. Furthermore, each one of the plans they service have been set up independently with their own unique plan design. Many of the negative reviews appear to be related to issues that would not apply to our Plan.

 Further questions can be directed to CMS Deferred Compensation at 217/782-2548 Option 3 or 1-800-442-1300 Option 3.

 Summary of the Deferred Compensation Recordkeeper change notification:

DEFERRED COMPENSATION RECORDKEEPER CHANGE

 The State of Illinois Deferred Compensation Plan management is transitioning from T. Rowe Price to Empower, effective July 1, 2022.  A transition guide containing details was sent to participants mailing address via postal mail from Central Management Services (CMS) during June and is available online at MYILLINOISDCPLAN.COM.

 Changes can be made to a participants Plan with the current manager T.Rowe Price until 3:00 pm CT on Monday, June 27.  There will be a blackout period beginning at 3:00 pm CT on Monday, June 27 through the week of July 10, where fund transfers, investment elections, and deferral changes will be unavailable.  Participants will be notified by Empower when the blackout period ends.

 Highlights:

Plan administrative fees are not changing.

  • Please check beneficiaries after the transition because any designations made on paper and submitted to CMS prior to July 1, 2020, will not be reflected on your online Empower account.  However, they will remain on file with CMS.  Participants are encouraged to verify beneficiary designations and update them electronically with Empower.
  • During transition assets will remain in the same funds they are currently in.
  • Banking information will be securely transferred to Empower.
  • No changes to timing or processing of loan payments or installment payments.
  • No changes to scheduled distributions.  Payments will now come from Great-West Trust Company LLC

Questions?
Please refer to the transition guide online at MYILLINOISDCPLAN.COM or call Empower at 833-969-4532 Monday through Friday, 7:00 am to 9:00 pm CT and Saturdays 8:00 am to 4:30 pm CT. 

 

 

 

 

FY2023 Pension Funding Boost

Governor Pritzker has signed into law SB2803 (Public Act 102—0696). This bill adds an additional $64.7 million to this fiscal year’s fully funded annual payment of $1.8 billion (for SERS). The last time the State paid more than the statutory minimum contribution into the state employee pension system was back in 1994. Pension Boost Announcement

 

Benefit Choice online fair sessions for the State Employee Group Insurance Program (SEGIP) are scheduled for the following dates and times:

​Benefit Choice Open Enrollment Employee (SEGIP) Virtual Seminar #1 (Morning Session)
Tuesday, May 3, 2022  -  10:00 am - 12:00 pm
https://illinois.webex.com/illinois/onstage/g.php?MTID=e0f928a7835752d6a1b57cc855d90138e

​Benefit Choice Open Enrollment Employee (SEGIP) Virtual Seminar # 2 (Afternoon Session)
Thursday, May 5, 2022  - 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
https://illinois.webex.com/illinois/onstage/g.php?MTID=e7f3e2856e35f987b0eee3e5ff18ae845

Benefit Choice Open Enrollment Employee (SEGIP) Virtual Seminar #3 (Morning Session)
Thursday, May 12, 2022 - 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
https://illinois.webex.com/illinois/onstage/g.php?MTID=ea8836c810e94ab7ac5edfece79ffd0f8

Benefit Choice Open Enrollment Employee (SEGIP) Virtual Seminar #4 (Afternoon Session)
Tuesday, May 24, 2022  - 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
https://illinois.webex.com/illinois/onstage/g.php?MTID=e8db4babfa594c64df81c3a27fa909390

CMS representatives, as well as benefit vendors, available in your area, will be present during the webinars to answer questions.

 

Today, Aprill 22, 2022, RSEA Staff received an update from SERS on the back wage adjustments remaining to be processed. 

SERS is currently processing for folks who retired in July 2017.  There are about 2300 adjustments left to process. 
SERS appreciates your continued patience.

 RSEA Staff

 

Retirees Asked to Update Information on Life Insurance Beneficiaries

 

We understand retirees have received correspondence from Met Life Recordkeeping & Enrollment Services for Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Several members have called and are concerned about providing their social security number or other sensitive personal information to them. As CMS previously advised us, the State of Illinois changed the state approved carrier providing Group Term Life Insurance for retirees as of July 1, 2021. Metropolitan Life (or Met Life for short) is the new state carrier for our Group Term Life Insurance benefit,  and they have recently sent these letters to all state retirees. It seeks to provide all of us with the opportunity to confirm or update the information Met Life received from the previous carrier, Minnesota Life, regarding the beneficiary or beneficiaries you wish to designate to receive this important  life insurance benefit the State of Illinois provides you.

 

 If the letter you received is from Met Life Recordkeeping & Enrollment Services, specifies that it is for the State of Illinois and includes the correct customer number of 0029500, we encourage you to take this opportunity to review and update who Met Life has on file as one or more of your beneficiaries. This will help insure that upon your death they (and your representative) can be certain Met Life is properly distributing your life insurance benefits to the person(s) you want. The more personal identifying information you can provide them now regarding your designated beneficiaries, such as full legal name, relationship to you, current address, current phone number, date of birth, and their SSN, the more secure you can be that such benefits will actually be provided to the person(s) you wish upon your death. Without an updated beneficiary designation, Met Life advises that they have to distribute any proceeds for you based on the terms of the insurance certificate.

 

To update your beneficiary information, you can do one of the following:

  1. If you have access to a computer, go to www.metlife.com/stateofillinois and click on the View/Change Beneficiary button—this will take you to the MetLife website and you will be asked to login or register on this site. After you do that, click on the “My Accounts” tab up top, and you will see the Life Insurance card on that page. Click on the blue button “Add or update your beneficiary” and follow the rest of the instructions (items 6 & 7) under “What you need to do” in the letter you received from Met Life.
  2. Fill out the form that was sent to you and mail it back to MetLife.
  3. Call 1-800-880-6394, press option #4, enter your social security number (to confirm its really you), and proceed to update information as the system goes through each item.

 

If you have updated your life insurance beneficiary with MetLife after 7/1/2021 or find that the one you have on file is correct, you do not need to return the beneficiary designation form. Keep in mind, however, it never hurts to double check your beneficiary designation when given the opportunity. While the names may be correct, the contact information may be incomplete or out of date. Hopefully doing so will help prevent your spouse or other heirs from discovering after your death that this information was out of date (due to subsequent births, marriages, divorces and/or deaths) and you meant to change it but never took the time to do it. Take ten minutes now to make certain that everything is correct.

 

 

 

 
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