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  • Discontinuation of Fidelity Investment Guidance Services

Discontinuation of Fidelity Investment Guidance Services

Discontinuation of Fidelity Investment Guidance Services

New federal regulations apply to investment advice services provided to 401(k) participants and others saving for retirement. Fidelity’s investor guidance services, including on site and phone consultations as well as workshops, are no longer available to the MIT community as of June 9, 2017. No other aspect of MIT’s 401(k) plan is affected.

I have never heard of this new federal regulation. What is it?

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), which oversees portions of U.S. pension and retirement benefits law, issued a ruling last year, which went into effect June 9, 2017, elevating the standards to which investment companies and professionals providing retirement savings investment advice will be held.

In the past, those professionals were able to provide investment guidance or education without being held to the standard of being a fiduciary required to act in the best interest of their clients. The new regulation will likely re-classify much of that guidance or education into investment advice that must meet the fiduciary standard. Many investment companies, including Fidelity, are changing their investment advice processes and procedures to comply with the new regulations.

Whom does this new federal regulation affect?

The regulation affects financial advisors and investment companies, such as Fidelity, who provide retirement savings investment advice for 401(k) and 403(b) retirement savings plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).

Why is this new federal regulation going into effect so quickly?

The implementation of the ruling, which was proposed last year, was delayed several times because of the substantial nature of the changes. The regulations are a significant change for investment companies, including Fidelity, which required a considerable amount of time to design and implement changes required to comply with the new regulations.

I already have a Fidelity consultation scheduled – can I keep my appointment?

Appointments scheduled after June 9, 2017 will be canceled.

Will I still be able to use the online calculators and tools on the Fidelity NetBenefits website?

Yes. You will continue to have access to the online calculators and tools on the Fidelity NetBenefits website. These include the NetBenefits Library, Planning & Guidance Center, Enhanced Portfolio Review and Income Strategy Evaluator.

Can I get investment advice at a local Fidelity branch?

No, not for your investments in your MIT 401(k) account. However, if you have an individual account with Fidelity, in addition to your MIT 401(k) account, you will continue to receive investment advice from Fidelity for your individual account.

Can I call Fidelity directly for investment advice?

No, not for your investments in your MIT 401(k) account. However, if you have an individual account with Fidelity, in addition to your MIT 401(k) account, you will continue to receive investment advice from Fidelity for your individual account.

How do I change my Fidelity investments?

You will continue to change you investments and make any other transactions online through the Fidelity NetBenefits website, or by calling the Fidelity Service Center at 877-648-7283.

Will I still receive a 100% match on my contributions up to 5%?

There is no change in the MIT match. Your match will still be 100% of your contributions up to 5% of your pay. And, as before, you are always 100% vested in your MIT matching contribution.

Will my investment options change?

Your investment options have not changed. There is no need for you to take any action regarding your investment elections.

I’m planning to retire soon – can I still meet with an MIT retirement counselor?

Yes. MIT Benefits and the Lincoln Laboratory Human Resources Office will continue to provide individual counseling sessions to review your MIT retirement benefits. Please remember that MIT Benefits does not provide investment advice.

I have additional questions – who do I contact?

If you have any questions, please contact the MIT Benefits Office.