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Choosing an Investment Company for 403(b) Plan Contributions

If you are a choice-eligible support staff member, you will need to make a retirement vendor selection for the new 403(b) Plan during the Retirement Choice Period, which is March 18 – April 15, 2011. There are several retirement vendors available to you: American Century, Fidelity, TIAA-CREF, Vanguard, and VALIC (as long as you are a current participant). Here's a summary of each.

Each vendor provides a variety of investment tools to help you create and manage a balanced portfolio. Before making your investment choices, it's important that you understand the risks and potential rewards of each investment option. Specific information can be found in the prospectus for each fund choice.

American Century Investments
American Century Investments has been focused on performance for over 50 years. As a privately held company whose sole business is managing money, the firm is committed to doing the right thing for investors and providing superior results. You can choose from more than 70 no-load mutual funds (many of which are not available to other new investors), including, stock, bond and short-term cash funds, index and actively managed funds and all-in-one asset allocation funds.

Fidelity Investments
Fidelity Investments is the largest mutual fund company in the United States, the number one provider of workplace retirement savings plans, the largest mutual fund supermarket and a leading online brokerage firm (all as of May 31, 2009). Fidelity brings this experience to help you manage your priorities at every stage of your life. The company offers over 175 mutual funds to help you meet your investment goals. Investment options include conservative, moderately conservative, aggressive, sector, index and lifecycle funds.

TIAA-CREF is a full service financial services group of companies that has dedicated itself to helping those in the academic, medical, cultural and research fields for over 90 years. The company has a clear and long commitment to serving the financial best interests of those who serve the benefit and enlightenment of others. TIAA-CREF's fund family and annuity investments cover a full spectrum of asset classes and investment styles, including equity (active, indexed, enhanced index and socially responsible), fixed income, Lifecycle (asset allocation) and real estate.

Vanguard is one of the world's largest investment management companies, serving individual investors, institutions, employer-sponsored retirement plans, and financial professionals. The company offers investors exceptional value through a dedication to outstanding performance, superior service, and low costs. You can choose among more than 70 mutual funds, including Vanguard Target Retirement Funds, index, and actively managed mutual funds; stock and bond funds; and short-term reserve options.

VALIC has more than half a century of experience helping Americans plan for and enjoy retirement. The company offers products and services for retirement plans and programs that are innovative and easy to use, providing one-on-one service and customized solutions for individual needs. VALIC offers more than 60 fixed and variable investment options. You have the choice of combining two approaches: fixed-interest options to help stabilize your portfolio, and variable options with the potential for greater returns. Please note the recent announcement that VALIC Is No Longer Available to New Investors After June 30, 2011.

Keep in mind, you may want to choose more than one vendor to invest with to maintain a balanced portfolio. Remember, you can choose your retirement vendor(s) using the Choice Tool. If you decide to invest with more than one company, make sure your contribution allocation equals 100 percent. If establishing an account with a new investment vendor, you will need to complete the company's enrollment application.

To learn more about each vendor and the investment tools they provide, visit the websites below or call to speak with a representative using the contact information listed below.

Vendor Contact Information
American Century Visit or call 800-345-3533 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Fidelity Visit NetBenefits at or call 800-343-0860 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to midnight, Eastern time, to speak with a Retirement Services Specialist.
TIAA-CREF Visit, or call 888-200-4074 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Eastern time.
Vanguard Visit or call 800-523-1188 for fund and account information.
VALIC Visit, or call 800-448-2542 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Eastern time.

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