Retirement plan news

Get up-to-date information on WEA Member Benefits’ retirement programs and services.

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Effective January 1, 2023, the Prudential Guaranteed Investment was renamed to the Guaranteed Stable Investment. The Prudential Retirement Insurance & Annuity Company (PRIAC) was purchased by Empower Annuity Insurance Company (EAIC). Any reference to PRIAC should be replaced with EAIC. Any reference to Prudential should be replaced by Empower.

June 27, 2022

Changes coming to the Vanguard Target Retirement Funds lineup

In January 2022, Vanguard announced they are merging the Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTR 2015) fund into the Vanguard Target Retirement Income fund.

  • Current Mutual Fund: Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 Investor Class (VTXVX)
  • New Mutual Fund Beginning July 8, 2022: Vanguard Target Retirement Income Fund Investor Class (VTINX)

The merger is scheduled to take place on July 8, 2022. By mid-2022, the VTR 2015 fund was expected to have an asset allocation of 30% stocks and 70% bonds, mirroring the allocation of the Vanguard Target Retirement Income fund. The merger will maximize portfolio management and cost efficiencies for shareholders.

To successfully merge the VTR 2015 fund with the Vanguard Target Retirement Income fund, a transaction blackout period will go into effect at 3 p.m. Central Time on Wednesday, July 6, 2022, and end on Wednesday, July 13, 2022.

Please make note of these important dates regarding the fund:

  • July 6, 2022, at 3 p.m.: The transaction blackout period begins for participants with positions in the VTR 2015 fund. Participants will still be able to access/view their accounts, but transactions specific to investment rebalancing and/or fund exchanges involving the VTR 2015 fund will not be processed until the blackout period is over. Program participants can request or initiate the transaction once the blackout period ends. Rebalance requests not involving the VTR 2015 fund are not impacted.
  • July 7, 2022: Monthly systematic distributions will process on July 7 instead of the scheduled July 11 date. All loans and any distributions that are not monthly systematic distributions will be held until the end of the mutual fund change process and will process automatically on the following business day.
  • July 13, 2022, after 3 p.m.: All loans and distributions that were held will be processed.

We are advising participants to read the prospectus carefully and consider the fund’s investment objectives, risk, and charges and expenses before investing. The prospectus contains this and other information about the investment company.

Vanguard Target Retirement 2070 fund

In addition to the Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 fund merger, WEA Member Benefits will be adding the Vanguard Target Retirement 2070 fund on August 8 in the WEA Tax Sheltered Annuity Trust 403(b) program and WEA Member Benefits IRA programs.

If you have questions regarding this fund change in the WEA TSA Trust 403(b) and WEA Member Benefits IRA programs, please contact a Retirement and Investment Services Specialist at 1-800-279-4030, Extension 8568.

August 20,2021

Empower Retirement acquiring Prudential’s full-service retirement business: Q&A

On July 21, 2021, Empower Retirement announced their agreement to acquire Prudential’s full-service retirement business. Below are answers to common questions you may have about the acquisition.

Who is Empower Retirement?

Empower Retirement dates back to 1891 when its parent company Great-West Lifeco was founded as an insurance provider. In 2014, Empower was launched when the businesses of Great-West Financial and Putnam Investments merged. Empower is now the second largest retirement plan recordkeeper in the United States.

Does the acquisition include the Prudential Guaranteed Investment?

Yes. Empower will acquire Prudential’s defined contribution, defined benefit, non-qualified, and rollover IRA business in addition to its stable value and separate account investment products and platforms.

Who will guarantee the Prudential Guaranteed Investment?

It is our current understanding that Prudential Retirement & Annuity Company (PRIAC) will continue to provide the guarantee. PRIAC will be owned by Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company.

Who is Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company?

Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company is a company that provides life insurance, retirement benefits, and annuities. It is our understanding that Great-West will own PRIAC when the acquisition attains regulatory approval. Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company has consistently received high marks from industry sources for financial strength ratings from major rating agencies and include:

  • A.M. Best Company: A+ (Superior—highest of 10 categories)*
  • Fitch Ratings: AA (Very Strong—second highest of nine categories)*
  • S&P Global Ratings: AA (Excellent—second highest of nine categories)*

*These are current ratings as of August 11, 2021, and are subject to change.

When is the acquisition effective?

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022, pending customary regulatory approvals. If approved, the transition may take up to a year to complete.

What will the transition from Prudential to Empower entail?

WEA Member Benefits is working through the transition process with our Prudential stable value team.

This is not unprecedented—WEA Member Benefits has worked through the transition of stable value management several times prior to this acquisition. This includes Prudential acquiring the CIGNA Retirement business in 2003. Prior to that, UNUM was acquired by CIGNA.

What other information do I need to know?

We are evaluating all information, as it becomes available, to choose the path that is best for members. Since the deal was just announced and will not close for several months, there are still some unknown details. We will continue to gather and evaluate information in the coming months.  As with prior stable value transitions, we will do our due diligence to protect the stability of the Guaranteed Investment and ensure it is the best product for our members. Members’ interest, as always, is our top priority.