Subject: Call to Action Concerning Retirement Plan Choice
I am Donato Rufo, Social Studies Teacher at Delcastle High School and the New Castle County Vo-Tech Education Association President. In the last few days I have received several communications from staff members regarding emails they have received from their 403B management companies. These messages concern recent actions of the Deferred Compensation Committee and State Treasurer Ken Simpler.

Essentially the treasurer and his office have decided, without stake holder input and contrary to the wishes of the the Delaware State Legislators, to change the structure of educators 403 B retirement plans. Our members will no longer have a choice of which vendor to invest with. The plan calls for the State to go to a SINGLE vendor for employees to use. If they want to continue their relationship with their present service provider they will NOT be able to have any funds withdrawn form their pay check. All direct withdraws will have to be made to the new company, a company which is new to Delaware, and one which none of our members has any current relationship with. I believe this will DECREASE member involvement in the program, and negatively effect peoples ability to save for their own retirement.

Our 148th General Assembly passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 55 in March. The resolution reads:

Synopsis of Original Bill:

This resolution recognizes the importance of the work by the Deferred Compensation Council in seeking out ways to improve upon Delaware’s existing deferred compensation program for educators, which helps them enhance their retirement through planned savings and investments. The resolution urges the Council to study this issue further, with significant input from educators and to prioritize maintaining and hopefully increasing participation in this important program.

Instead of following this legislation, the Deferred Compensation Commmitee has moved forward, seemingly in secret with its plan to move to VOYA, the new 403 B vendor. One of the reasons VOYA won the bid was there anticipated reduction in fees and costs. While there may be a savings incurred, I am sure that our members will loose years of loyal and personalized service that our past vendors have provided. I also understand that there will only be 3 or 4 VOYA employees to cover the whole state…again a way to cut costs. I believe that ultimately our members will suffer from these decisions.
I am sure that there are some positives that can be highlighted with regard to only having one vendor, however moving to a one vendor system is not the only issue here. Another issue is the process. We could be standing here today supporting this decision and all the changes that are coming; but when not one of us was asked our thoughts or opinions on the subject, it seems clear that they don’t care about what we think and that they think they know better what to do with OUR money then we do. This may very well be the best option, but how can we trust a system that was put in place in total secrecy. There have been many opportunities to reach out and involve employees who would be effected by this, but no effort was made. They are acting first and asking for forgiveness later. That is not how an open government works. This is not transparent. This is not what we have come to expect as taxpayers and employees.

I am asking that you consider joining me and my NCCVTEA local in trying to change these decisions and help our members during this time. Our goal is to have Treasurer Ken Simpler and the Deferred Compensation Committee come back to the table and collaborate and communicate with stake holders!I have attached a “white Paper” that explains the negative effects of such single system options in other states.

Here are some links as well…

SEND A MESSAGE TO YOUR LEGISLATOR!   Send a letter to Representatives and Senators in Dover

Join the group…

FACEBOOK GROUP Delaware School Employees United for Retirement Choice

or like our page…

FACEBOOK PAGE Delaware School Employees United for Retirement Plan Choice


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