Seminar speakers educate and stimulate discussion

Twice a year, experts from Penn's retirement fund managers come to campus to educate faculty and staff on how to plan and save for their retirement. The semi-annual seminars are one of many services the Division of Human Resources offers employees to help make saving for retirement easier (for details, see end of story).

This past December, faculty and staff also got to hear the experts talk among themselves.

In a new addition to the seminars, a panel of managers from Penn's fund administrators—two each from TIAA-CREF and The Vanguard Group—discussed the state of the economy and how it affected financial planning decisions at Houston Hall Dec. 4.

"The panel discussion gave the Penn audience the chance to ask retirement experts their opinion on several subjects," said Jack Heuer, vice president for human resources.

The panelists shared their knowledge on several subjects, such as links between world events or societal trends and stock prices, what funds make the best investments, and whether Penn employees need to worry about an Enron-style meltdown in their retirement funds (they don't).

"Those who attended the panel discussion thought it was the best event on financial planning they ever attended," said Heuer, who added that the response has led them to plan more such discussions in the future. Human Resources also plans to offer retirement planning seminars in individual schools and centers in addition to the twice-yearly campus-wide events.

Penn faculty and staff can also take advantage of one-on-one financial counseling at any time with licensed TIAA-CREF consultants and Vanguard advisors. To schedule an appointment with TIAA-CREF, call 1-800-842-2010 or 215-587-0400; for Vanguard appointments, call 1-800-662-0106, ext. 14500, or visit on the Web.

Both TIAA-CREF and Vanguard maintain extensive Web sites with tools and resources you can use to plan for retirement: and

For details about Penn's retirement plans, including eligibility, enrollment and plan provisions, visit the Human Resources Web site,, or call the Penn Retirement Call Center, 1-877-PENN-RET (736-6738), from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time Monday through Friday.

Originally published on January 16, 2003