Important Update for GURP Participants
Georgetown University Retirement Plan Transition Service Center
Questions about the GURP transition plan? Contact the Georgetown University Retirement Plan Transition Service Center at 1-886-778-4822, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. ET.
June 14, 2023
After careful consideration, Georgetown University has decided to start the process of transferring the management and delivery of GURP benefits to a third party – a highly qualified insurance company (yet to be selected) – that specializes in pension administration. This process is called a plan termination. This change will have no impact on the value of accrued benefits and requires no action by GURP participants at this time.
If you are no longer working at Georgetown and currently receiving a monthly GURP benefit, there will be no impact on the value of your payment and there is no action required by you at this time.
The official date of plan termination is August 31, 2023; however, the process for terminating a pension plan involves several regulatory steps and approvals and typically takes 12-18 months to complete. As such, there will not be any immediate changes in how benefits are paid in the near-term.
Participants will receive several communications during this period sent to their home address, including some required regulatory notices, such as the Notice of Intent to Terminate and Notice to Interested Parties.
Following regulatory approval of the Plan termination, Georgetown will begin the process of purchasing annuities and transferring Plan liabilities to the selected insurance company. You will not be negatively impacted by this change and will receive more flexibility in your pension payment choice as a result.
What Happens Next
Throughout this process, participants will receive relevant communications and notices by mail to the address we have on file, as summarized below. We ask for your patience as we assemble the comprehensive information that will be sent to you in early 2024.
|Estimated Timing||What to Expect|
|Early 2024 (estimated)||Notice of Plan Benefits: a summary of your benefit due at plan termination, which will be provided to all participants|
Notice of Annuity Information: includes details about the potential insurance companies under consideration for the Plan’s future administration and benefit payments
|Early 2024 (included with the Notice of Plan Benefits above)||Benefit Distribution Election Kit: if you have not yet elected to commence your benefit, you will be sent a personalized kit including your distribution options, election forms, and other required forms and notices|
|Late Summer 2024 (estimated)||Transition Letter: if you have not elected a lump sum, you will receive additional information regarding the transition of remaining administration and financial obligations to a highly- rated insurance company|
GURP Transition FAQs
Georgetown has decided to distribute benefits to participants through a “standard termination” of the Plan, and ultimately transfer the remaining Plan benefits to a highly qualified insurance company, which will take over the payment of benefits in the future. This process will not result in the reduction of your benefits, and it may give you an opportunity to choose a form of payment not currently available to Plan participants.
Terminating the Plan means that Georgetown will go through a rigorous regulatory process to distribute benefits to participants, as they elect, and transfer the payment responsibilities of all remaining Plan benefits to a highly qualified insurance company. Prior to the transfer of payment responsibilities, participants not already receiving payments will be offered the opportunity to receive a one-time lump sum payment during a special election period. After lump sums are paid to participants who elect to receive them, all remaining future benefit payments will be made by the selected insurance company. This process requires significant effort and may take up to 18 months to complete. Once the process is completed, the Plan will no longer exist, and any remaining benefits will be paid by the selected insurance company. Neither Georgetown nor the Plan will be responsible for benefit payment obligations after those obligations are transferred to the insurance company.
The transfer of the Plan benefits does not affect the amount of your accrued benefit and/or accumulated cash balance account.
You will have the following options during a future special election period (anticipated to occur in early 2024):
- You can elect to receive a lump sum payment of your Plan benefit:
- To be rolled over to another qualified retirement plan including an individual IRA
- To be rolled over to the company-sponsored defined contribution plan (only available for active employees)
- To be sent directly to you as a cash distribution, less applicable taxes
2. You can elect to begin receiving your benefit as a monthly pension payment
3. You can opt to receive your benefits, at a later time, from the selected insurance company in any form of benefit available to you under the Plan
If you are no longer working at Georgetown and are currently eligible to receive a benefit, you may elect to receive your benefit at any time.
Because the Plan termination is subject to federal regulatory approval, the process can take up to 18 months. The exact timing of when benefits will be distributed will depend on how quickly we receive approval from the federal agencies (as well as a number of other factors), but we expect it to occur in early to mid-2024. If you are eligible to commence your benefit, you may elect a distribution at any time.
The Plan termination and transition process will follow several regulatory steps required by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). In addition, Georgetown University will apply for an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) ruling to confirm that the Plan’s termination will not adversely affect the tax-qualified status of the Plan.
The PBGC is a special governmental entity that functions under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Labor. The PBGC was established to protect certain pension benefits in the event that a pension plan does not have sufficient funds to pay all current and future plan benefits. You can find more information about the PBGC at www.PBGC.gov.
All participants will receive a Notice of Plan Benefits, which is a personalized statement of their Plan benefit. Georgetown intends to provide this notice in early 2024, but the notice date may vary depending on the progress of the transition process.
There is no action required on your part at this time. However, if your address changes at any time during the plan transition process, please update your address by calling the Georgetown University Retirement Plan Transition Service Center at 1-886-778-4822, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6
Toward the end of the plan transition process, following the special lump sum election period, Georgetown will select an insurance company to take over responsibility for paying benefits to Plan participants. The insurance company will be selected through a process outlined by the U.S. Department of Labor, which is designed to ensure that the selected company will be financially sound and highly qualified to take on payment responsibilities. Participants who are receiving monthly payments and participants who do not elect a lump sum during the special election period will be notified of the insurance company or companies chosen. The insurance company selected will be subject to ongoing regulation and oversight by the insurance commission of its home state. A summary of the insurance companies from which Georgetown will select will be included along with the Notice of Plan Benefits that will be sent to you in early 2024. Neither Georgetown nor the Plan will be responsible for benefit payment obligations after those obligations are transferred to the insurance company.