January 3, 2014 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – Many 403(b) sponsors were faced with
necessary changes following passage of new Internal Revenue Service regulations
in 2007, and Niagara University was no different.
university recognized it needed a retirement plan committee responsible for
monitoring investments, so University President Reverend James J. Maher
appointed people to committee, including faculty, staff and administration.
There are seven people on the 403(b) investment oversight committee; Edward W.
Hutton, CFA, assistant professor of finance and director of the University’s Financial
Markets Laboratory, was elected chair in 2012.
University, founded in 1856, is located along the top of picturesque Monteagle
Ridge overlooking the Niagara River Gorge, just four miles north of Niagara
Falls. Hutton was a financial industry investment professional for 20 years,
and became a full-time faculty member at the university six years ago.
403(b) plan is the university’s only retirement program for faculty, staff and
administration. There is a faculty union, so the design of the plan and any
plan changes must be approved by the union.
the past 10 years, the university has used three different plan vendors and a
number of investment providers. In all, participants had more than 150 choices
for investments, Hutton tells PLANSPONSOR. There was no reasoning for why the
choices were offered, he says, “It was partly because we wanted a broad
But, the university
found it was too much for participants. According to Hutton, there was no clear-cut,
logic for selecting investments, and many participants did not know what funds
they were in, why they were in them or how the funds were doing. Some were
invested in 15 or 20 different funds trying to have diversification, but not
knowing what they were doing.