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April 15, 2002

Consultants to Explain Changes in
Tax-Deferred Products Policy
By Richard Veilleux

A series of meetings will be held this week to discuss and explain a state decision to pare to 6 from 60 the number of financial services firms allowed to sell tax-deferred products to state employees.

Staff from Buck Consultants, which has been selected by the state Comptroller's Office to administer the 403(b) retirement plans offered by the state, will conduct employee meetings Tuesday, April 16, and Wednesday, April 17.

The 90-minute sessions will begin each day at 10 a.m., noon, and 3 p.m. in the multipurpose room on the second floor of the Northwest Campus Dining Hall, off North Eagleville Road.

Meetings also are scheduled at the UConn Health Center, in Keller Auditorium. The sessions begin at 7 a.m., 3 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. on April 16 and 17, with an additional session at noon on April 17.

Dennis Dion, benefits manager at Human Resources in Storrs, says state officials decided to cut the list of tax-deferred providers because the large number of firms in the marketplace has made it too difficult for officials to monitor the firms' performance and fee structures.

"With only six firms, state officials will be better able to control the fees and charges these firms pass on to our employees," he says. "While some employees will be initially inconvenienced, the changes will, ultimately, benefit all state employees."

Of the about 2,500 UConn employees who take advantage of tax-deferred annuities, only about 30 percent are enrolled with one of the companies that will be downsized, Dion says.

The six remaining companies are: Fidelity Investments, The Hartford, ING Aetna Financial Services, the Oldham Resource Group, and TIAA-CREF. Representatives of all six will be at the meetings, and will distribute information about their products.

The changes are effective July 1.

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