NEW: Transition Guide & Key Dates

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Retirement investments moving solely to Fidelity

TIAA, Corebridge (AIG) no longer to service retirement investments listed below

Following an extensive, multi-year review of the university’s retirement plans, Colorado State University is changing how these plans are administered for current, retired and former faculty and staff:

  • Defined contribution plan, also called the DCP
  • 403(b) plan
  • Student employee retirement plan, also called SERP

These changes aim to lower fees you pay while providing you with a carefully selected high-quality investment menu, improved educational opportunities, better account management tools, advanced cybersecurity protection for your retirement account, and planning advice from Fidelity.

Learn more

  • CSU Human Resources: 970-491-6947

Spring 2023: Frequently Asked Questions

Posted or updated on Feb. 6, 2023

These frequently asked questions provide you with details about these important transitions. Please check your CSU email if you are a current employee. If you are a retired or former employee, check your email address on file with your investment company for the announcement from Colorado State University of these changes, sent on Feb. 6.

Note: For history about the committee’s work over the last several years, scroll past the FAQs to see archived information.

Video: Joseph DiVerdi, chair of the faculty and staff committee charged with reviewing the university’s retirement plan structure, introduces these changes and explains why they are important. These changes are designed to streamline plans under a single provider to improve overall service, offer expanded investment choices, and reduce fees paid by employees.

Next Steps

What’s going to happen to my money?

Prior to June 1, your current eligible investments will be transferred into investments in the high-quality core investment menu administered by Fidelity Investments. Your investments will be transferred into options under the new core investment menu that are similar to your current investments.

For example, if you’ve selected to invest in a large cap growth fund through Corebridge Financial or TIAA, your money will be transferred to a similar investment option in the new core menu.

You remain in control of your retirement investments and can make changes within the core investment menu at any time. If you are a current employee, your future contributions to your retirement savings will go into the streamlined investment structure.  

You will continue to be able to manage your funds and work with a financial professional to maximize your retirement. You will use Fidelity Investments’ customer service center and financial professionals.

What should I expect next?

Starting in early summer, your current investments in mutual funds will be transferred to their closest match in the new core investment menu administered by Fidelity Investments. You do not have to take action to transfer your investments; a team of specialists will make these transfers automatically.

Some investments will not be transferred as part of this decision. Investments in annuity products are restricted from being moved automatically. You may choose to move accounts in variable annuity funds. Investments in either Corebridge Financial’s guaranteed fixed annuity account or TIAA’s traditional account cannot be moved. If you’d like to understand your options regarding investments that are not automatically moved, a Fidelity Investment consultant can help you.

CSU has hired Innovest Portfolio Solutions, an independent retirement plan investment consultant, to work with the University and Fidelity Investments to ensure that this process is executed smoothly.

You will be notified in advance of when this transition will take place. During the transfer, you will not be able to access your account.

The transfer will be planned over a short period of time. During that time, known as a “blackout period,” you won’t be able to make changes to your investments.

Between Feb. 6 and June 1, Fidelity Investments and the University will work with Corebridge Financial and TIAA to identify the dates for the blackout period and communicate this to you.

We will announce the specific funds available to you in the new core investment menu later this spring in a detailed information guide. Following that announcement, we will hold informational workshops about the process and changes. Later this spring, we will hold workshops about investment options.

In addition, a detailed transition and investment guide is being developed for current, retired and former employees that outlines details about investment options.  

We will let you know about next steps you’ll need to take as the transition takes place. This information is being prepared and we will communicate dates with you as soon as they are finalized.

What should I do right now?

We are at the beginning of implementing these changes. You do not need to do anything at this time.

Our next steps are to finalize key dates and the transition plan to ensure that every detail of these changes are managed responsibly. This includes coordinating with Corebridge Financial and TIAA to transition funds to Fidelity Investments.

A team of experts with experience transitioning the plans from other service providers is assigned to work specifically on CSU’s changes. This team will work Fidelity Investments and CSU to manage every detail and answer your specific questions about your investments.

We plan to communicate with you in the next several weeks. Watch for additional information coming from Human Resources and Fidelity Investments about:

  • New investment option details and actions you’ll need to take.
  • Multiple group virtual and in-person informational and investment sessions.
  • One-on-one meetings with Fidelity Investment financial professionals in the weeks prior to the transfer.

Note: If you are a current CSU employee, you’ll receive messages through your CSU email. If you are a retired or former employee, you will receive messages through the email address you have provided to your existing retirement provider (Corebridge Financial, TIAA, and Fidelity Investments); please ensure that your email address is up to date.

How will I learn about the status of this transition?

Through multiple avenues.

  • CSU, Fidelity Investments or both the university and Fidelity Investments will send you information several times throughout the transition.
  • We will host informational sessions where you’ll learn more about what to expect. These will be available both virtually and in person.
  • Our website will include a link to extensive, detailed information on Fidelity Investment’s website once the transition is under way.
  • You’ll receive from Fidelity Investments a detailed informational guide and, later in the process, a detailed transition guide that shows how each fund is mapping to the new, high-quality investments.
  • Fidelity will host investment sessions in group settings and individual meetings. These will be available both virtually and in person.

If you have questions once the transition begins, you’ll be able to access a team of transition experts from Fidelity Investments.

How will I access information about my funds after the change?

  • Statements will come from Fidelity Investments, but your transferred investments will be in the new fund lineup, not in your previous Fidelity Investments, Corebridge Financial, or TIAA funds. Note, however, that if your current investments are already part of the new line up, they will remain in those funds.
  • Access to your online account information after the transfer will be through a new portal created by Fidelity Investments. We will keep you up to date on when this link is available.
  • Fidelity Investment’s customer service center and financial professionals will be available to answer your questions.
  • Visit for information from Fidelity.

Moving Funds

Can I move my money out of a  plan to an IRA or my new employer’s plan?

Retired or former employees (who are no longer employed by the university in any capacity) may transfer their account to an IRA or their new employer’s plan.

Your current investment provider (Fidelity Investments, Corebridge Financial or TIAA) can help you determine if your plan restricts movement of your funds and if there are tax implications to consider.

Will my annuities be transferred?

  • Many annuities won’t transfer into the new investment line up unless you initiate a request. For more information: Annuity vs Mutual Fund guide.


What if I have a DCP or 403 (b) retirement plan loan through Corebridge Financial or TIAA?

Loans and the repayments will transfer to Fidelity with the exception of any loan with TIAA that is called a collateralized loan. Collateralized loan repayments will continue to be made to TIAA. Loan repayments with Fidelity will require you to set up your bank draft information after the transfer to electronically pay the loan payment. 

Can I still take out a loan from my retirement fund?

The current rules for loans will still apply, which include limiting the number of loans you can take out at one time and denying loans to individuals who have previously defaulted on a retirement plan loan. Loans cannot be taken out against SERP plans. No new loans will be allowed from TIAA or Corebridge after the transfer. 

About Fees

See the fee information page for examples of fee changes and more information.

What’s Changing and Why

What retirement investment options are changing to this new model?

These changes effect retirement investments through CSU’s:

  • Defined contribution plan, also called the DCP
  • 403(b) plan
  • Student employee retirement plan, or SERP

These changes do not impact:

  • PERA retirement investments.
  • Investments in any annuity products that are restricted from being moved automatically. You may choose to move accounts in variable annuity funds. Investments in either Corebridge Financial’s guaranteed fixed annuity account or TIAA’s traditional account cannot be moved. If you’d like to understand your options regarding investments that are not automatically moved, a Fidelity Investment consultant can help you.

More information about your current retirement plan investments: 

How do I benefit from these changes?

These changes are designed to improve how the University helps current, retired and former employees manage their retirement fund investments. These changes will benefit you by:

  • Aiming to lower administrative fees. A University committee asked providers interested in being the administrator of our retirement plans to compete in a process that emphasized lower administrative fees, better compliance, elevated customer service and education. The committee then selected a single company who will service retirement plan participants — our current, retired and former employees — who bear the cost of all fees related to their account.

Over the course of an employee’s career, fees can add up to thousands of dollars. These fees reduce your overall investment performance and potential retirement income.

  • A streamlined investment structure that makes managing your money easier. This includes choosing from funds in the core investment menu that are determined to be high-quality. The structure also provides you with a self-directed brokerage option within the defined contribution plan and 403(b) if you want a more active, hands-on approach.

Why are these changes being made?

Colorado State University has consistently sought to improve its retirement plan services for employees. Over the last several years, this has been a specific focus of both the university and Human Resources.

A committee was formed in 2020 to research emerging best practices. The committee was composed of university faculty and staff and informed by a consultant that specializes in higher education retirement plan structures.

After extensive conversation and feedback from university plan participants, including surveying current employees and holding open sessions for current, retired and former employees, the committee recommended selecting one company to provide administrative services to the University’s retirement plans and help employees maximize their retirement savings by creating a streamlined menu of high-quality investment options. This is particularly helpful for employees who may not have a detailed understanding of investing and want to ensure that they select the options that will help them grow their retirement account. For employees who are comfortable with investing, these changes offer expanded investment choices and access to high-quality funds from a range of providers, along with reduced service fees.

The University accepted the committee’s recommendation and took it to the Board of Governors for final approval. With the board’s approval, the University is implementing the recommended changes.  

Changes coming this summer are the outcome of that work and respond directly to feedback asking for:

  • Aiming to lower administrative fees for administrative functions related to your retirement planning
  • Better opportunities to learn about your retirement plans, with strategies to maximize your retirement plan savings
  • A curated menu of high-quality investments

Background information from the project can be found below and at this Fall 2022 SOURCE article

Are there more specifics about what is changing?

Several key changes are coming this summer:

  1. Fidelity Investments will provide the services for all retirement plans included in this transition. Fidelity Investments will be the only company the University uses to provide administrative functions for these plans, such as keeping records of your investments, providing you with educational opportunities to help you understand your retirement investment options, and one-on-one conversations with an investment expert. The University currently uses Fidelity Investments, Corebridge Financial (previously AIG/VALIC), and TIAA to serve these functions. Beginning in June, Fidelity Investments will be the sole service provider.
  2. Investment options will come from a curated core menu. This menu has been developed to include high-quality funds from a range of qualified providers. Investments will be monitored continuously to ensure that they remain appropriate to be included in a diversified, high-quality menu for your retirement savings plan.
  3. Fidelity Investment’s fees for administrative, educational, investment counseling and recordkeeping functions will be transparent. Currently, fees are bundled with the cost to manage each investment option, so it is difficult to determine the actual fees being charged as well as the cost to you. After the transition, these fees will be reported separately.

Will this impact my PERA 457 plan contributions?

No. Only the DCP, 403(b) and SERP plans are included.

Who made the decision to make these changes?

A committee composed of current faculty, staff and employee council leaders along with a consulting firm that specializes in researching retirement plan options, spent several years reviewing CSU’s retirement plan structures and practices. The group extensively reviewed higher education best practices and compared those with how CSU retirement plans are designed and operated. They also surveyed CSU retirement plan participants and asked companies offering retirement record keeping to submit proposals for how they would improve the University’s retirement plans by lowering fees and helping employees better understand and invest in their retirement.   

This decision was made based on data gathered through:

  • 1,361 employee survey responses
  • Workshops with employees

The committee also assessed information about current plans, such as:

  • Noting that annual administrative fees can add up. Collectively, employee pay several million dollars to each year to companies managing CSU retirement investments
  • Tallying more than 360 investment choices per type of retirement plan. Survey and workshop feedback said CSU retirement plan participants want to focus on quality over quantity of choices.

Can I opt out of these changes?

No. The University is charged with overseeing the retirement investment program that it offers and has a collective desire to provide its current, retired and former employees with an opportunity to build retirement investments that serve their future.

As part of this responsibility, it has made the decision to move all accounts that are part of these recommendations. These changes are the culmination of years of work and come at the conclusion of significant research, thoughtful discussion, and an understanding of current best practices for higher education.

How does the university benefit from these changes?

The University does not profit from these changes. All fees related to retirement plan administration are paid by employees, retirees and former employees through their retirement account. Human Resources does not charge fees or receive fees to oversee retirement plans.

Brokerage Options

With the brokerage investment option, what am I allowed to invest in?

The brokerage option is available to faculty and staff with the defined contribution plan and 403(b). DCP brokerage options include:

  • mutual funds
  • stocks including rights
  • warrants
  • foreign stocks (ordinary and American Dispensary Receipts registered in the US)
  • exchange traded funds (other than those in a limited partnership structure)
  • corporate bonds
  • zero coupon bonds
  • US Treasury securities
  • mortgage securities
  • US government agency bonds 

403(b) brokerage options include mutual funds.

There are many Exchange Traded Funds, known as ETFs, which meet the criteria of being considered a mutual fund you can invest in. 

Is there a limit on how much I can invest in the brokerage investment options?

To purchase investments through the brokerage investment option in the DCP or 403(b), you will first need a minimum trade of $5,000. Ongoing purchases after this initial buy-in can be in any amount. You may trade up to 95% of your retirement account, but 5% must remain in the core investment options of the plan. 

2022 Archived Communications and Town Hall Links

Town Halls

In fall 2022, current, retired, and former CSU faculty and staff received communication about a review of their retirement plans. You can read more about the Fall 2022 project update in SOURCE. Participants were invited to attend a town hall to learn about the review and the future of CSU retirement plans.

View town hall materials and recordings

The goal of the exhaustive review was to help employees prepare effectively for retirement, to make it easier to save and invest in retirement plans, to reduce complexity, to lower costs for plan participants and to provide a high level of education to elevate your engagement in retirement plans throughout your career.

2020 Archived Communication and Links

CSU modernizes employee retirement plans

In spring 2020, CSU launched a research-based approach to improve retirement preparedness for university employees. Through this endeavor, a committee compared CSU’s retirement plans with best practices and standards through a rigorous process.

Innovest Portfolio Solutions, a national firm specializing in this type of research, worked with a committee on the review. The committee is established through the university’s shared governance model to review and recommend retirement plan improvements to Human Resources. Innovest recently completed similar retirement projects for other higher education institutions in Colorado. 

What you can do now: 

Project Committee:

  • Chair: Joseph DiVerdi, Non-Tenure Track Faculty Committee Member | Associate Professor, Chemistry, College of Natural Sciences
  • Sue Doe, Faculty Council Chair | Professor, English, College of Liberal Arts
  • Catherine Douras, former Admin Pro Council Chair | Senior Research Administrator, Office of Sponsored Programs
  • Bolivar Senior, University Benefits Committee | Chair, Associate Professor
    Construction Management, College of Health & Human Science (now retired)
  • Lacey Snyder, Higher Ed ORP Review Committee Member | Administrative Professional,  Associate University Controller
  • Former member: Tim Gallagher, previous Faculty Council Chair
Advisory Members: 

CSU Human Resources 

  • Brett Anderson, interim Vice President for Human Resources
  • Bill Liley, Special Assistant to Chief Human Resources Officer & Retired HR Director
  • Teri Suhr, Chief Total Rewards Officer 
  • Former member: Robyn Fergus, former Vice President for Human Resources & Chief Human Resources Officer

Innovest Portfolio Solutions

  • Wendy Dominguez, Principal, President, & Co-Founder
  • Gordon Tewell, Principal
  • Troy Jensen, Principal