The UW 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Program (SRP), formerly the UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) Program, is a voluntary program intended to supplement your retirement savings. UW System and TSA Review Committee teams have reviewed the program, including current recordkeepers and investment options, with an eye to cost-effectiveness, simplification and ease of use for our participants.

These Frequently Asked Questions, or FAQs, are intended to help answer questions you may have about the changes occurring this fall and early next year.

How to Navigate Questions:

New questions will be listed with [NEW [DATE]] prior to the question. Questions with updated information will have [UPDATE [DATE]] listed prior to the question. These indicators will remain for at least one month.

General Information

The 403(b) Program is a voluntary retirement savings program. All UW System employees are eligible and can enroll at any time. You can find more information about the program by visiting the 403(b) Program web page.

After a thorough review, UW System is modernizing and enhancing the program to simplify the enrollment process for participants, streamline the investment options, and make the program easier to understand.

Effective July 2021, the UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) Program will be renamed the UW 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Program (SRP), or 403(b) SRP for short.

The program name was changed for two main reasons:

  • The new name is more reflective of what the program offers -- a tax-advantaged way to supplement your retirement savings with investments in mutual funds and/or annuity products.
  • The acronym "TSA" can be confused with airport security abbreviations.

Note: Staff and recordkeepers are working on changing the program name on all necessary web pages and documents. Some changes may not be made until after the official plan conversion on January 1, 2022.

With the help of consultants, UW System staff, the TSA Review Committee (TSARC), and subcommittee teams thoroughly reviewed the program in 2019 and 2020, looking at retirement program best practices.

In addition to changing the name, the TSA Review Committee decided to:

  • Complete a Request For Proposal (RFP) for recordkeepers in the fall of 2020. Through this RFP, TIAA and Fidelity were chosen as recordkeepers for the program moving forward. Beginning January 1, 2022, T. Rowe Price, Ameriprise, and Lincoln will no longer be active recordkeepers.
  • Simplify the investment line-up by choosing 18 best-in-class fund options; virtually the same investment options will be available from both recordkeepers.
  • Provide a self-directed brokerage window for employees who wish to invest in funds outside the 18 selected funds.

A recordkeeper is the plan's investment platform; it tracks plan assets. Until approximately 15-20 years ago, many 403(b) recordkeepers could only track their own proprietary funds. Today recordkeepers can track a full range of investments from multiple providers.

The UW System sometimes uses "provider" as a synonym for recordkeeper on the program page.

The change to simplify the recordkeepers and investments line-up will be effective January 1, 2022. If you are a current participant in the program, you will begin receiving direct communication in the fall of 2021 about changes you may want to make for 2022. There is no immediate action required at this time. You will receive information this fall to support any decisions you want to make.

All current participants of the program will be affected. Changes differ by recordkeeper:

  • TIAA and Fidelity
    Both will remain active recordkeepers, and you can continue to contribute through payroll. However, there is a new investment line-up effective January 1, 2022, and you may want to review the available investment options. 
  • T. Rowe Price, Ameriprise, and Lincoln
    These recordkeepers will no longer be active in the program as of January 1, 2022, and you will not be able to contribute to them via payroll.

    If you wish to continue contributing to the UW 403(b), you will need to select TIAA or Fidelity as your new recordkeeper. You will have the opportunity to do so during Annual Benefits Enrollment (ABE) and for several weeks afterwards. Review the Timeline for more information and dates.

Regardless of who you are investing with, you should review your current recordkeeper's page for more information on steps you may want to take in preparation for this change. You will receive more information throughout the fall of 2021.

A blackout period is a duration of time when participants will not be able to access their account to change investments, take loans, or make withdrawals of funds. Blackout periods occur when plan assets and records are being moved from one recordkeeper to another.

You can read more about changes you may want to make under your current recordkeeper's Terminated Employees section. You can find this under the Actions to Take by Recordkeeper section of the 403(b) Program Enhancements webpage.

Recordkeeper Changes

TIAA and Fidelity will be the only active recordkeepers effective January 1, 2022.

After reviewing the program, the TSA Review Committee voted to issue a Request For Proposal (RFP) for recordkeeper or recordkeepers in August 2020 through the UW System Office of Procurement. A committee of Subject Matter Experts met numerous times to evaluate the proposals. Based on the results, intent to award contract letters were sent in the fall of 2020 and contracts were signed in 2021.

Starting January 1, 2022, you will no longer be able to contribute to these recordkeepers. You may choose to continue your contributions with either TIAA or Fidelity or to stop your contributions completely. If you don't take any action, your current contribution amount will be continued with TIAA, the default recordkeeper.

More information by recordkeeper is available here.

No. You will no longer be able to contribute through payroll to T. Rowe Price, Ameriprise, and/or Lincoln starting January 1, 2022. If you set up an account with TIAA or Fidelity for 2022, you will be able to select new investments from a line-up of 18 best-in-class options during the Investment Pre-selection Window. There will also be an opportunity to use a self-directed brokerage window to select investments outside of the new investment menu. More information on the pre-selection of investments will be available soon.

For more information on steps you may want to take, visit your current recordkeeper's web page.

Your current account balance will remain with Ameriprise and/or Lincoln as long as you leave your balance there. You may work with your advisor on managing your account balance, but you will no longer be able to contribute to Ameriprise or Lincoln through payroll deduction, starting in 2022.

All funds with T. Rowe Price will be moved to one of the remaining recordkeepers effective January 2022.

For employees currently employed with UW System:

  • You may invest in similar funds through the self-directed brokerage window at either TIAA or Fidelity. You will have the opportunity to direct where your contributions go once you receive notification that your account has been set up with the new recordkeeper. The Investment Pre-selection Window options November 1, 2021; however, please refer to your current recordkeeper's page and the Timeline for more information on dates.
  • If you have had a distributable event, such as being over age 59 1/2, you can elect to take a distribution and roll your balance into an IRA with T. Rowe Price. You will need to work directly with T. Rowe Price to complete this distribution.

For employees no longer employer with UW System:

  • You may invest in similar funds through the self-directed brokerage window at either TIAA or Fidelity. You will have the opportunity to direct where your contributions go once you receive notification that your account has been set up with the new recordkeeper. The Investment Pre-selection Window options November 1, 2021; however, please refer to your current recordkeeper's page and the Timeline for more information on dates.
  • You may take a distribution and roll your balance into an IRA with T. Rowe Price. You will need to work directly with T. Rowe Price to complete the distribution.
  • You may take a distribution and roll your account balance into your new employer's retirement plan. You will need to work with the retirement plan at your current employer to complete this process.

Yes. Even if you have one of the continuing recordkeepers, you will want to review the new investment line-up for the program and you may want to elect your investments during the Investments Pre-selection Window, which opens November 1, 2021.

Please review your current recordkeeper's page for more details on dates and how you may be impacted.

Yes. Both recordkeepers will be providing one-on-one counseling sessions and informational webinars to help participants decide which recordkeeper (and investments) may be a best fit. You can access links to register with the recordkeeper on the 403(b) Program Enhancements page.

Yes. In MyUW portal during the Annual Benefits Enrollment (ABE), there will be "tiles" for before-tax and after-tax for both TIAA and Fidelity. You may enter your elections under whichever tiles are applicable.

If you do not make changes during ABE, you can also set up an account with TIAA and/or Fidelity by submitting an EZ Enrollment or Salary Reduction Agreement (SRA) to your institution benefits contact. Current participants will need to submit a form by Friday, December 10, 2021.

During Annual Benefits Enrollment (ABE) (September 27 - October 22, 2021) you can make your choice through MyUW Portal while completing the rest of your benefits elections for 2022. There are tiles for Fidelity Pre-tax, Fidelity After-tax (Roth), TIAA Pre-tax, and TIAA After-tax (Roth) that you can click on and enter your deduction amount as a percentage or flat dollar. You can view detailed instructions here pdf .

If you do not make an election during the ABE period, you can submit a Salary Reduction Agreement through MyUW Portal (instructions available here). You must submit the SRA by December 10, 2021 so it can be processed for 2022.

Investment Changes

The TSA Review Committee formed an Investment Subcommittee that met frequently with the TSA Program investment consultant, Aon Investments USA Inc. The subcommittee reviewed information about best practices in plan design and then selected the type of funds to include in the investment line-up and reviewed the top funds in each of the categories. The subcommittee made recommendations to the TSA Review Committee and they and the UW System leadership approved them. These recommendations were included in the Request For Proposal.

Beginning in January 2022, the investments line-up will be virtually the same for TIAA and Fidelity, and each recordkeeper will offer a self-directed brokerage window.

If you do not make any investment selections during the Investment Pre-selection Window starting November 1, 2021, you will be defaulted to an age appropriate target retirement date. 

Investment selection, or being defaulted to the target date fund, will affect both 2022 contributions and current mutual fund balances for participants with TIAA, Fidelity, and T. Rowe Price. It will affect only 2022 contributions for participants with Ameriprise and Lincoln.

You can review the new investment line-up and view more information on what steps you may want to take by visiting your current recordkeeper's page.

Both TIAA and Fidelity will offer virtually the same investment line-up of 18 best-in-class funds starting January 1, 2022. There will also be a self-directed brokerage window option.

Participants will have two options for selecting investments with the Investment Pre-selection Window opening November 1, 2021.

  • Select from 18 best-in-class options available at both TIAA and Fidelity. Each recordkeeper will also have a Guaranteed Fixed Rate Annuity. Review the investment line-up for more details.
  • Invest through a self-directed brokerage window. Please note, annuity products are not available in brokerage windows. Both TIAA and Fidelity have webinars and representatives to help you through this process. You can access educational resources and contact information for recordkeepers on the main page.

Yes but the fees associated with the financial advisor and their company will be incurred by the participant.

You will need to review the information under your current recordkeeper's page to understand your options.

No. Your account balances will remain before-tax and/or after-tax (Roth) depending on you originally chose to invest those contributions. You will be able to invest your future contributions in either a before-tax or after-tax (Roth) manner, or a combination of both.

Yes. When the Investment Pre-selection Window opens, you can choose a target date fund, any of the new mutual funds in the program, and/or work through the self-directed brokerage window to choose other funds not listed in the investment line-up.

If you have had a distributable event (e.g. terminated employee, age 59 1/2 or older), you may rollover your T. Rowe Price balance. Visit the changes page for T. Rowe Price for more details on steps you may want to take.

Updates and Communication

UW System and the continuing recordkeepers -- TIAA and Fidelity -- are sending out communication with more information in the coming weeks. The 403(b) Program Enhancements page will continue to be a resource for communication and new information.

A great place to start is by viewing your current recordkeeper's page for details.

Yes. You can review a recording of each Town Hall here. Recordings will be posted in the week following the Town Hall.

Account Questions

Yes, you can complete an in-plan transfer at any time.

For participants with T. Rowe Price, your account balance will move to the recordkeeper you choose -- TIAA or Fidelity. You will have the opportunity to make investment selections from the new investment line-up during the Investment Pre-selection Window starting November 1, 2021. If you do not select new investments, you will be defaulted to an age-appropriate target date fund.

For participants with Ameriprise and Lincoln, account balances will remain with that recordkeeper. If you wish to move your account balance to TIAA or Fidelity, you can set up your new account early with the EZ Enrollment or enroll during Annual Benefits Enrollment (ABE). Once your account is established with TIAA or Fidelity, you will need to contact them to start the in-plan transfer process:

  • TIAA: (800) 842-2776
  • Fidelity: (800) 343-0860

If you have a balance at one of the currently frozen providers – BNY Mellon (Dreyfus), AUL (OneAmerica), Wells Fargo (Strong), DWS (Scudder), Security Benefit Life – you can complete an in-plan transfer by contacting your new recordkeeper – TIAA or Fidelity – to start the process:

  • TIAA: (800) 842-2776
  • Fidelity: (800) 343-0860

This depends on who your current recordkeeper is. Review your current recordkeeper's page for more details.

Program Enrollment

You will have an opportunity to enroll with TIAA and/or Fidelity during the Annual Benefits Enrollment (ABE) period. After November 1, 2021, you will be able to use the Investment Pre-selection Window to pre-select your investments for 2022 from the investment line-up.

If you miss the ABE window, you can enroll by submitting an EZ Enrollment to your institution benefits contact. You will want to indicate on the form when you want to begin your deductions. If you begin deductions in 2021, your contributions will be defaulted to an age-appropriate target date fund with that current recordkeeper. You will need to pre-select investments for 2022 OR your mutual fund account balance and future contributions will be defaulted into an age-appropriate target date fund from the new investment line-up.

Updated: 10/07/2021