Rice University encourages you to plan and save for your future — we offer several options to help you accomplish your personal retirement goals.
In addition to a generous defined contribution plan into which Rice puts money aside for your retirement, we encourage employees to save through payroll deductions as well. Rice has two voluntary savings plans: the 403(b) available to all employees, and the 457(b) plan, available to all employees whose compensation is at least $166,000 per year. Since 2014, all newly hired benefits eligible Rice employees have been automatically set up to defer 4% of their salaries into the 403(b) plan. Employees who wish to opt out of this arrangement or increase their savings level can do so at any time. If you prefer to save the maximum amount allowed by law, you can do this with a one time election of “maximize my contribution” on a salary reduction agreement. This gives us the instruction needed to keep your election current with savings limits.
The fiduciaries for Rice’s retirement plans are the members of the Retirement Plan Investment Committee (RPIC), which was established by a resolution of the Board of Trustees in in 2011. The committee is chaired by the Associate Vice President for Human Resources and includes a member of the Rice faculty, the Director of Benefits, and two members of the Rice Management Company staff. A Senior Associate General Counsel serves in an ex-officio capacity. The committee’s duty is to plan participants and beneficiaries.
The RPIC chose CAPTRUST to advise on selection and monitoring of the performance and fees of investment options available to participants in the retirement plans.
The committee meets regularly and occasionally revises the investment offerings in accordance with the Investment Policy Statement that they developed. Investment offerings can change depending on a number of factors including investment performance and fees, and new regulatory requirements. For a copy of the Investment Policy Statement, please contact the benefits department at benefits.rice.edu or by calling 713-348-2363.
As with all important financial matters, it is important for you to understand your retirement plan. Part of that includes investment fees. You will receive an annual notice from Rice with information about the investment fees charged as part of the retirement plan. Please visit the Department of Labor website for additional information on Understanding Your Retirement Plan Fees.
Rice provides these services to assist plan participants in saving for retirement:
- Personal Retirement consultation in a one on one setting, either on-site at Rice locations or nearby in the community:
- Online Tools and Calculators are also available to help you think about your savings level
Retirement Plan Investment Choices
On January 1, 2013, Rice revised the lineup of available investment offerings for the 401(a) and 403(b) retirement plans. There are now three tiers of funds available to participants, and the RPIC regularly monitors the performance and fees of the funds in the first two tiers:
- Low-cost Vanguard Target Date Funds with varying allocations of stocks and bonds depending on a participant’s expected year of retirement at age 65,
- Mutual funds and annuities representing the various Morningstar boxes, including low cost index funds, and
- A brokerage window through which some participants can choose any mutual fund available through plan administrators TIAA and Fidelity.
For details on which plans are offered, their historical performance, and many other characteristics, please visit the plan websites:
Retirement Plan Administrator
Currently, Rice offers TIAA and Fidelity Investments as administrators for the Rice Retirement Plan. Should you not have a preference for administrator, your default administrator will be TIAA. If you prefer for TIAA to be your administrator, no action is needed on your part. If you prefer Fidelity as your administrator, you must use the Administrator Selection Form to make that designation. For both administrators, the default investment is the age-appropriate Vanguard Institutional Target Fund.