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Maryland ORP Changes

edited October 2020 in Fund Discussions
Today I received a note that Maryland's ORP (403b) program is changing some of its TIAA-CREF lineup. Of particular note is that although TIAA CREF is one of the 2 plan providers, they're dumping CREF Stock, Growth, and Global Equity VAs for actively managed funds. To my amazement, the 3 replacement funds all have noticeably higher ERs:

Old ...

CREF Stock Account Ticker Symbol: QCSTIX Net Expense Ratio: 0.30%
CREF Growth Account Ticker Symbol: QCGRIX Net Expense Ratio: 0.23%
CREF Global Equities Account Ticker Symbol: QCGRIX Net Expense Ratio: 0.27%

New ...

Hartford Core Equity Fund Ticker Symbol: HAITX Net Expense Ratio: 0.39%
T. Rowe Price Instl Large Cap Growth Fund Ticker Symbol: TRLGX Net Expense Ratio: 0.56%
Victory RS Global Fund Ticker Symbol: RGGRX Net Expense Ratio: 0.55%

They did swap VINIX (.04) with lower-priced VIIIX (.02) for a passive index, which was nice to see.

Granted, I am all-in with the LCV AF RWMGX (.29) in my 403B and would be glad to start regularly putting some money into TRLGX now that I have access to a solid TRP fund there. That said, while none of these fund fees are especially egregious in my view, I still find a retirement plans' move toward funds with *higher* ERs to be rather odd, especially in 2020 ... and articularly for a state university system that normally qualifies for the lowest-cost class in funds.

(Yes I'm making enquiries.)

.... which reminds me again why I don't like or trust state investment boards or advisors.


  • It sounds like there are not many choices of providers. Years ago my institution finally made Fidelity a choice, in addition to some insurance companies. I was with Valic, but there were several good funds to choose from; T Rowe Price Science & Technology was good to me. I'd been enrolled enough years that I could exit with no fees.

    The Fidelity account restricted me to Fidelity funds (and not quite all Fidelity funds were available), but there were plenty of good choices.
    When I retired, I rolled the 403(b) over to an IRA (at Fidelity).

    Who makes the choices for your system?


  • Our state retirement board makes the plans.

    We have both Fido and TRP as plan providers (VALIC was dropped a few years back) ... I found it noteworthy that a) 3 of TIAA's most prominent VA offerings were nixed from *their* plan offerings, and b) replaced with funds that were higher-cost.

    I always find it fascinating the seemingly random nature of independent fund picks in plans ... you'd think plans would stick with big names like TRP, Vanguard, AF, Blackstone, etc. Victory RS? I never heard of them.
  • edited October 2020
    I never heard of Victory Capital (VC) until they bought USAA Asset Management.
    VC susbsequently replaced MFS on the USAA World Growth Fund and the USAA International Fund.
    I'm fairly certain other changes were made as well.
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