TIAA-CREF Notice to Interested Parties

Posted on behalf of Sheryl Gordon

Of interest to participants of the State Board Retirement Plan (TIAA-CREF) . . .

According to John Boesenberg, Deputy Executive Director of Human Resources at SBCTC (State Board of Community and Technical Colleges), the State Board has, “filed a request for plan review with the  IRS.” Two notices, linked at the end of this post, allows employees to comment about whether the TIAA-CREF meets the tax qualification requirement of the regulations.TIAACREF

The State Board adopted restated/new plan documents governing the State Board Retirement Plan (funded through TIAA-CREF) in November. There were no policy changes made, however, adopting updated plan documents is a required first step towards seeking IRS review and a favorable determination letter. A favorable determination letter expresses the IRS’ opinion that the plan terms meet its tax-qualification requirements. It provides the plan sponsor and participants advance assurance that plan contributions and earnings are entitled to favorable tax treatment (i.e., tax deferred until funds are drawn). The next step is to file both plan documents with the IRS later this month.

The State Board received favorable determination letters from the IRS in 1998 and 2011. In 1998, the IRS approved the Plan Document without reservation. Although the overall plan was approved in 2011, the IRS withheld opinion on plan provisions providing for the supplemental benefit. In follow-up discussions, IRS representatives indicated that the supplemental benefit was considered a defined benefit (rather than a defined contribution) and provisions should be pulled into a separate plan document. As a result of the IRS guidance, provisions addressing supplemental benefits have been pulled out of the State Board Retirement Plan (SBRP) Document and included in a new “State Board Supplemental Retirement Plan (SBSRP) Plan Document. Although in a separate plan document, State Board policies governing the supplemental benefit and related processes remain unchanged.

You can preview the State Board’s Notice to Interested Parties:

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