Response on Elimination of Calvert
We wish to respond to the letter from Stephen W. Thompson
(Almanac January 13), regarding the elimination of Calvert as
an investment option in the TaxDeferred Annuity (TDA) plan.
First, we would like to point out that a great deal of time and research
was put into this decision. Factors such as overall participation, employee
satisfaction levels, investment returns relative to other carriers, and
the availability of comparable investment vehicles were all taken into
account in addition to cost considerations.
One of the factors in the initial selection of the Calvert investment
vehicle was the availability of a socially responsible investment vehicle.
Recently however, a number of participants in the Calvert fund have requested
that their accounts be transferred to the other carriers, bringing the
participation in the fund down to a very low level. Participants who want
to remain in a socially responsible fund have requested transfers to TIAA/CREF,
which offers a similar fund with the same investment parameters and goals
as those of the Calvert fund. Other participants have moved to the funds
in the Vanguard Group. Both TIAA/CREF and Vanguard have a multitude of
funds that include companies that are socially responsible, even if that
is not their sole objective. TIAA/CREF has 10 investment options while
Vanguard has over 50 fund options, ranging from minimal risk to very aggressive
investments. Employees utilizing either or both of these providers have
virtually unlimited ways to diversify and find investment vehicles which
suit their needs and goals.
We in Human Resources have always maintained that one of our objectives
in providing retirement benefits is to balance the availability of a diverse
base of investment options for TDA participants and holding the line on
the rapidly rising cost of employee benefits administration.
-- Jack Heuer, Vice President, Human Resources
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