The University of Washington Retirement Plan (UWRP) and Voluntary Investment Program (VIP) Fund Review Committee (FRC) is a standing committee defined in each Plan Document and authorized by the UW Board of Regents. The committee’s structure and authority is outlined in Section 5.2 of the UW Retirement Plan Document and Section 5.4 of the Voluntary Investment Program Document (see below). The language in each section is identical, and one committee serves both programs. The Committee has a fiduciary role in regard to both plans, and is charged with operating exclusively in the best interests of the participants.
The FRC was created by a subcommittee of the Faculty Council on Benefits & Retirement, working together with representatives of the Professional Staff Association (PSO) and the Association of Librarians at the University of Washington (ALUW); and the UW Benefits Office.
The Board of Regents is the fiduciary for the plans. However the FRC members are also held to fiduciary standards for the UWRP and VIP. Fiduciaries have important responsibilities and are subject to certain standards of conduct because they act on behalf of the participants in the plan. These responsibilities include:
The FRC is also responsible for selecting and recommending the plan record keeper(s) and investment options, and for monitoring their performance. Recommendations from the FRC go to the Provost and Executive Vice President who has the delegated authority from the Regents to act on the recommendations.
The FRC operates under an Investment Policy Statement (IPS) to guide oversight of investment options and recommendations to the Provost. The IPS is routinely reviewed to ensure that the goals remain relevant and appropriate.
FRC members shall not participate in the formulation or rendering of FRC advice where it reasonably appears that their participation could be influenced by financial or other considerations that are in conflict with their FRC obligations to only consider the best interests of plan participants and the University of Washington. Where a member is uncertain about this rule, the member should consult the Executive Director of Benefits, who will seek the advice of the Attorney General as appropriate.
The FRC is authorized by the Board of Regents as provided in Section 5.2 of the UW Retirement Plan document and Section 5.4 of the Voluntary Investment Program documents:
“The Committee shall be appointed by, and serve at the pleasure of, the Provost and Executive Vice President of UW, who will consult with the Faculty Council on Benefits and Retirement, the Professional Staff Organization, and the Association of Librarians of the University of Washington in selecting committee members to represent their constituents. The membership shall include the following voting representatives and officials:
In appointing members, those groups recommending members and the Executive Vice President shall seek to identify where possible, individuals who have expertise in the areas of tax and pension law for 403(b) or similar retirement plans, or of finance, investment, or economics.
The Provost and Executive Vice President shall designate the Chair of the Committee. Members shall serve staggered, three-year terms. The Chair of the Committee may appoint such committee officers, advisors, and subcommittees as needed.”
See a list of FRC Members and their terms of appointment as defined in Section 5.2 of the UWRP plan document and Section 5.4 of the VIP plan document.
* Note: The FRC has two openings for which applications will be sought in February 2012: One faculty member to be recommended by the Senate Executive Committee; One VIP member representing the Classified or Contract Classified staff to be appointed by the VP of Human Resources. Look for a notice in early February 2012 that outlines the application process.
HR - Benefits Office provides administrative support to the committee including:
UWRP Investment Redesign