Dear Benefits & Welfare: What do I have to tell my TIAA advisor?

The Senate Benefits and Welfare committee wants to make sure Pitt employees know about the services available to them. While the questions in Ask Benefits and Welfare are made up (for now), the answers are definitely real and filled with useful information. If you have your own questions, send them to and we’ll forward them to the committee. Note that this monthly column is not produced or approved by the Office of Human Resources; it is entirely the responsibility of the Senate Benefits and Welfare committee.


Dear Benefits and Welfare Committee,

You know that movie “Nomadland?” And you know how everybody’s talking about moving into RVs and living free on the open road? That’s what I want to do. Once I retire, I won’t be tied down to my job at Pitt anymore, so why should I be tied to my house. It’s a wreck of a place anyway. I inherited it from my uncle, years ago. I got in touch with TIAA, and they had me go see someone at Bakery Square. When I got there, they wanted to know all about every nickel I own, including my bank account and the Fidelity account I inherited from my dad. I just wanted know how my Pitt retirement money is doing and I was hoping this person at TIAA would just tell me. Instead, they said they couldn’t even talk to me unless I told them about every dime I have everywhere. What’s with that? What am I supposed to do?

Disappointed in Dormont

Dear Disappointed:

Yes! Yes! You must escape the bonds of Dormont and see the world! And, no, you certainly do not have to tell TIAA about any non-TIAA assets that you have. But here’s why they asked you for that information: When you talk with an advisor at TIAA, that advisor has a legal fiduciary obligation to give you advice based on correct and complete information. See the minutes from our September 2022 meeting for links to the law, regulations, and an SEC explanatory publication. If you just want facts about your TIAA investments, talk to a consultant (which you can do online or over the phone) instead of an advisor.

But enough about that, let’s talk about getting ready to retire. First of all, here is a detailed checklist of things to do and choices to make as you plan to retire from Pitt. Second, read about Medicare and SSA as well as continuing UPMC health coverage after you retire. Finally, as you get closer to buying that RV, you might also want to keep an eye on the automotive stuff that’s available from Surplus Property.

See you along the road!
The Benefits and Welfare Committee