About the Transition
Effective January 1, 2022, CPS has moved to a single provider for its defined contribution (DC) plans: AIG Retirement Services. This webpage is designed to help employees and retirees understand why we’ve made this transition, what it means for you, and answer your questions.
For an in-depth review of the plan changes, we are hosting a series of live virtual workshops. We will update plan participants and CPS employees when a scheduled has been set for the next round of workshops in 2022. The workshops cover the following topics:
- Benefits of enrolling in the plans
- Review of the new investment offerings
- What these changes mean for you (existing and new participants)
- What to do if you have an account with Empower and/or Voya
- What to do if you have an account with AIG Retirement Services
Why We've Made This Transition
To enhance our employees’ access to a secure retirement, CPS offers optional, supplemental tax-deferred retirement plans, which are in addition to your earned pension benefits. These 403(b) and 457(b) defined contribution (DC) plans are an important retirement planning tool for many of our employees and retirees.
As with all employer-sponsored DC plans, CPS engages professional financial services firms that offer investment products to our participants. Prior to the transition, CPS engaged AIG Retirement Services, Empower, and Voya. Effective January 1, 2022, AIG Retirement Services is district’s single DC plan provider.
CPS strives to offer high-quality retirement plans that evolve as the industry improves, and this transition follows an extensive internal review of our plans and service providers, as well as an RFP process seeking a sole provider in March 2021. An Evaluation Committee, including current and retired CPS staff, CTU representatives, and independent financial services experts who oversaw the four-month evaluation process, selected AIG Retirement Services as the strongest candidate and referred the committee’s recommendation to our Board of Education, who approved the recommendation at their September 22 meeting.
Retirement Plans Offered
In addition to the Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund, CPS offers union and nonunion employees two kinds of supplemental retirement plans — a 403(b) plan and a 457(b) plan. These are "defined contribution" (DC) plans, which differ in several ways from a "defined benefit" (DB) pension plan.
Defined Benefit (DB)
Supplemental Retirement (DC)
|Statutory requirement||Optional benefit|
|Employer/Employee contributions||Employee-only contributions|
|Retirement formula determines benefit||Employee experience determines benefit|
|Employer makes all investment decisions||Employee makes all investment decisions|
|Benefit payments remain a plan liability||No employer liability for benefit payments|
|Employer pays cost of managing plan||Employee pays cost of managing plan|
What This Means For You
Moving to a sole provider brings benefits to you.
The new CPS Supplemental Retirement Plan with AIG Retirement Services, and its offerings, provide a range of best-in-class, low-fee investment options to improve retirement readiness for all CPS employees and retirees. Moving to a sole provider brings significant benefits, including:
- A lower and more transparent fee structure.
- 100% dedicated and salary-based retirement plan consultants providing objective retirement education and plan service support.
- An enhanced and simpler user experience for participants (including an easy-to-use mobile app) for everything from enrollment and salary deferral changes to account transaction requests.
Enroll in the Plans Today!
- Enroll in the Plans online by visiting aigrs.com – it’s quick and easy and will give you access to many resources.
- If you're already enrolled, register your account to experience AIG Retirement Services’ online features.
- And, be sure to download the AIG Retirement Services mobile app and sign up for eDelivery of communications.
Single-Provider Platform Benefits
In recent years, many K-12 and higher education institutions' DC plans across the country have moved to a single-provider platform to improve employees' and retirees' access to lower cost investment options and cut down on overlapping investment strategies.
|Vendors compete to enroll participants||One vendor manages all participant plans|
|Complicated array of overlapping and similar investment options with different fee structures||Simpler, higher-quality array of investment options that maintains fixed-rate annuities|
|Higher fees||A lower and more transparent fee structure|
|Savings scattered across different providers with confusing user experiences||Improved user experience for participant enrollment and account changes|
|Commissioned sales agents||Salaried representatives providing objective advice|
|More difficult for plan sponsor to monitor multiple providers with numerous representatives and services||Stronger participant protections and plan oversight|
Decision & Transition Timeline
Evaluations & Selection Process
March - July 2021
CPS issues a Request for Proposals seeking a sole DC plan provider and forms an Evaluation Committee comprised of diverse stakeholders to oversee the selection process.
Late July, 2021
The Evaluation Committee votes to select AIG Retirement Services as the sole provider for CPS' DC plans.
September 22, 2021
The recommendation is presented to the Chicago Board of Education for approval at its September 22 meeting.
October - December, 2021
CPS works with AIG Retirement Services to provide a variety of informational resources and support to DC plan participants to ensure a smooth transition, including a series of webinars to allow participants to learn more about the options being offered by the newly designed CPS Supplemental Retirement plan.
January 1, 2022
Official transition to single-provider platform takes place on January 1, 2022.