Fee Leveling Frequently Asked Questions

The Pennsylvania State University is always looking for ways to improve our top-tier retirement program. Over the last several years, based on changing regulations and retirement plan economics, the University negotiated lower retirement plan recordkeeping fees with TIAA. As part of this evolution, the University has approved the transition to a structure that affords you greater transparency around the fees associated with administering the retirement program.

The changes will apply to the following retirement plans:

  • The Pennsylvania State University Alternate Retirement Plan
  • The The Pennsylvania State University 403(b) Tax-deferred Annuity Plan
  • The Pennsylvania State University 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan

Why am I seeing a recordkeeping fee now? I was never charged this in the past.

There was always a cost associated with recordkeeping and administering the retirement plans. However, as a result of enhancements in TIAA’s recordkeeping technology, we have moved toward a more transparent way of assessing and collecting fees. This new method is considered an industry best practice, and also provides a more equitable method of covering costs associated with administering the retirement plans.

How was the cost of the plan covered in the past?

Up to this point, Penn State has utilized the most common approach in the industry, revenue sharing, to cover costs associated with administering the retirement plans. All investment funds carry expense ratios, meaning the associated cost to invest in a particular fund. For many funds, a portion of that cost-to-invest was credited back to the plan to help offset some of the expenses mentioned above. Not all mutual funds contain revenue sharing.

Can I pay the fee separately or does it have to be deducted from my retirement savings?

All fees for recordkeeping and other plan services must be deducted from your retirement plan accounts.

Why do I have a plan service credit?

When the investments you’ve selected share revenue greater than the overall plan adminstrative expense, a credit is provided.

Why was I charged a plan service fee?

A fee is assessed if the investment’s revenue share is less than the total administrative cost.

What tools and resources does TIAA provide?

My Account Site - Online home for managing your TIAA account. Included projected retirement income.

TIAA.org and TIAA mobile - Tools and resources, including planning tips for any life stage. With mobile app, manage account, bank online and more.

Financial View 360 - Complete financial picture in one place, including accounts from over 11,000 institutions. Track spending, create a budget and set alerts.

Calculators - Financial planning help, including retirement planning, IRAs, taxes, saving and investing, budgeting, and life insurance.

Retirement Advisor - Personalized retirement action plan with savings and investment recommendations.

Targeted Education Hubs - Online tools and insights for specific groups, including those starting out, managing money and preparing for “life’s big events.”

Have additional questions?


To learn more about investment options, go to TIAA.org. You can then enter the name or ticker symbol of the investment options in the search field.

To learn more about your plan and to update your retirement portfolio online, log in to the secure website at TIAA.org/psu, where you can change the direction of future contributions, transfer existing assets and review your beneficiary election.


If you prefer, you can update your retirement portfolio by calling TIAA at 1-800-842-2252, weekdays, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., or Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (ET).

In person

To schedule an individual one-on-one session, call 1-800-732-8353, weekdays, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET). You can also schedule a meeting online at TIAA.org/schedulenow-pennstate.