The University Record, February 22, 1999

U employees receive unusual phone solicitations

From the Benefits Office

Recently, several faculty and staff members have reported to the Benefits Office receipt of some unusual telephone calls and/or e-mail messages. The experiences follow a similar pattern.

The U-M employee receives a telephone call or an e-mail message from someone who leads them to believe that he or she works either for the Benefits Office, TIAA-CREF or Fidelity Investments. The caller appears to know that the person has funds in a retirement account through the University and suggests that he or she can help manage those funds. The caller schedules an appointment in the person’s home to discuss the retirement account.

To determine whether a caller is making misleading statements, you need to know:

• These callers create a false impression that they are from TIAA-CREF, Fidelity or the Benefits Office. They are not.

• TIAA-CREF and Fidelity do not call faculty or staff members at home, unless the call is a follow-up to a call initiated by the faculty or staff member.

• TIAA-CREF and Fidelity do not send personal e-mail messages to solicit business.

• Both TIAA-CREF and Fidelity meet with faculty and staff members in one-on-one counseling sessions at various University locations, but do not schedule meetings in private homes.

• TIAA-CREF and Fidelity offer a number of free financial education services and programs. These are coordinated through the Benefits Office, including courses at Human Resource Development. Printed materials about these services exhibit the TIAA-CREF or Fidelity logos and are addressed to University faculty and staff.

These recent contacts are not approved by the University, TIAA-CREF or Fidelity and are not coming from representatives of the Benefits Office, TIAA-CREF or Fidelity. They are apparently from financial planners or investment consultants seeking new business.

The Benefits Office does not release information about you or your retirement participation. Likewise, TIAA-CREF and Fidelity do not sell or release information about you. All your information is confidential.