CFA protects faculty rights regarding retirement annuity investments

An attempted maneuver by CSU management to shift faculty retirement investments without their consent was thwarted recently due to the swift efforts of CFA leaders and staff.

In November 2015, the CSU Chancellor’s Office sent out a letter informing Tax Sheltered Annuity 403(b) Plan participants that the CSU was “making important changes” to the program.  Subsequent information (“CSU TSA Contribution Amount Changes Participant Letter”) was sent out by email on January 25, 2016. 

CFA President Jennifer Eagan worked with a group of faculty and staff to look into the issue. Some CSU faculty, both active and retired, were not aware of the immediately upcoming changes. Many of those who were aware indicated that they were upset about the changes.

CFA pursued its contractual right to a “Meet and Confer” with the CSU Chancellor’s Office.  That meeting was held February 2, 2016, with CFA represented by Representation Chair David Bradfield, Representation Specialist Omar Joseph, and George Diehr, Mary Anwar, and Elizabeth Hoffman from CFA’s Joint Committees on Health & Retirement and Retired Faculty. 

As a result of this Meet and Confer, the Chancellor’s Office has agreed to reinstate participants’ control and choices over current 403(b) investments. For active employees, there will be changes, going forward, in investment choices for future contributions to 403(b) plans. 

The Chancellor’s Office has agreed to widely disseminate clear information about the revised policies and timelines and will ask employee unions, the CSU Academic Senate, and other groups such as the CSU Emeritus and Retired Faculty Association to help get the information out.

The Chancellor’s Office has also agreed that it will consult with these groups early in the process when contemplating future policy changes.

“This is yet another reason why faculty rights and the collective bargaining process is so critical,” said David Bradfield, CFA’s Representation Chair and a Professor at CSU Dominguez Hills.