(updated July 31, 2014)
Our goal - to determine if there is an alternative and better RIF option that will work for our retired members - a high quality external provider with competitive and stable fees, a track record of high service standards, and a broad range of investment options that are more optimal for our RIF members.
In April of 2014, Western’s Human Resource leadership team notified stakeholders that while the Western Retirement Income Fund (RIF) was a satisfactory option for our retirees, it may not be an optimal solution by today’s standards.
A Request for Proposals (RFP) was extended to identify alternatives to the continuation of the Western RIF. The RFP made it clear we are looking for:
Several organizations responded to the RFP posted by Western in June, with final submissions received on July 21. Western has identified a shortlist of three organizations that will proceed to an interview and demonstration stage in August 2014.
At this time, it is important to note that no decision has been made on the future of the RIF program. If the Human Resources leadership team is able to identify a strong preferred provider, the Board of Governors will be asked (perhaps as early as September) to approve discontinuing the Western RIF program. If approved, in the future, Western retirees selecting a RIF option at retirement could either choose to use the services of Western’s preferred provider, or seek another provider in the marketplace.
Before a decision is made by the Board of Governors, RIF members, employee groups and other stakeholders will be informed of details of the proposed changes, and the implications for members.
Note: An earlier communication indicated current RIF Program members may need to transfer their accounts by the end of 2014. That timeline is no longer being considered. We have heard concerns from members and want to assure you that, should a decision be made to end the Western RIF, adequate time will be given to make decisions and take action. Information, supports and assistance would be made available to all members.
We will be in touch with RIF members and other stakeholders when we have more information that can be shared on whether the proposed recommendation will proceed, and on details regarding the implications for members.
More information and details can be found in our Questions & Answers document.
We continue to welcome your questions and concerns. Please call Human Resources at 519-661-2194.