New TIAA fund will focus on retirement target year


A new fund for Pitt’s TIAA retirement program is in the works, Benefits head John Kozar announced at the April 19 Senate Benefits and Welfare committee meeting.

Thanks to the popularity of target date funds currently being offered from both TIAA and Vanguard, he said, Pitt plans to takethe best of both worlds” and create a single target date fund to replace them.

Such funds work by setting a retirement target year and beginning with a higher ratio of investments that offer potentially greater return but have greater risks, then through the years shifting the balance to funds with perhaps lesser but more steady income. Although this does not guarantee the investor a full retirement income, it does allow plan participants to set up the fund once and not have to manage it yearly. The fund would actually be managed by TIAA.

“A lot of participants are defaulting into these targeted investments,” noted Tim Irvin, Pitt’s investment advisor with CAPTRUST. “The participant doesn’t need to do any of the managing by themselves.”

Melissa Kluchurosky, HR manager of benefits, retirement savings plans, life insurance and leaves, said the roll out for the fund, when announced, would happen over at least 22 weeks with information sessions available for TIAA participants.

Creating this new fund will result in “making the plan more efficient and probably more stable in the long run,” said Kozar, adding that “we’re not the first to do this.” For those 100 or more large institutions already with such a fund, including larger universities, he said, “it seems to be going well.”

In other benefits and welfare news, Ashley Boykin, wellness specialist of MyHealth@Work, noted that Pitt’s Wellness for Life program for faculty and staff, on the fifth floor of the Medical Arts Building on Fifth Avenue, remains available. While it is still not taking walk-ins at the moment, employees can make a same-day appointment for between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. It’s meant for acute care, “the smaller illnesses and injuries,” not for emergencies, she explained, but can be used for such procedures as administering allergy shots and obtaining prescriptions.

It continues to offer on-site health coaching and plans again this year to institute several of its annual health programs. You can join the Home Run for Health program, May 23 to July 22, which is designed to encourage increased physical activities and track wellness steps. Or you can choose two other programs: Find Your Fitness, running the entire month of September, which offers new strategies for daily activities, and the Road to Resilience program for all of October, which teaches self-care and other resilience skills.

Marty Levine is a staff writer for the University Times. Reach him at or 412-758-4859.


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