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Bloomington Faculty Council looks to change IU retirement program



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Faculty members raise their hands in agreement with a proposed new lecturer rank during the Bloomington Faculty Council meeting in March 2018.  Ty Vinson Buy Photos

Faculty and staff should be on the lookout for upcoming changes in IU's retirement program.

The Bloomington Faculty Council is looking to change the program to help lower fees, human resources Vice President John Whelan said at Tuesday’s BFC meeting.

“This entire exercise is exclusively for the benefit of faculty and staff retirees,” Whelan said. “It’s about improving services.”

In addition to lower retirement fees, the transition may also provide simplified investment options and improved retirement planning and guidance, Whelan said. 

To accomplish this, Whelan said IU may shift away from its two current retirement companies, Fidelity Investments and the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America. If everything goes as scheduled, the change should be in place by January 2020. 

“It's a little ways out, but there’s still a lot of work to do on this,” Whelan said. 

Whelan said he recognizes change is difficult, but IU’s retirement investment committee would work to make this transition as simple as possible. 

“We don’t have a bad situation," Whelan said. "We’re actually in a pretty good situation, but we know we can do better,” 

Discussion of the topic was only a brief introduction, as the full timeline for this exploration and transition will span across the entirety of the academic year, Whelan said. The vote to implement this change is scheduled for the spring.

Outside of the retirement discussion, BFC President Moira Marsh began the meeting with updates on town halls and ways to stay updated on all actions taken by the BFC.

At the previous meeting, the BFC approved two amendments to its constitution in regards to the size of the council. Marsh said a series of town halls would be arranged in the coming weeks as a means for discussion of these amendments and to prepare faculty for the final ratification taking place later in the semester. 

Marsh also briefly announced the development of an online BFC database that will allow people to easily track future activities and proposals. She said she hopes it will be ready by the spring semester.

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