Whether it was a case of reading miscomprehension or mistaken identity, hundreds of Arizona teachers who are members of the $22.4 billion Phoenix-based Arizona State Retirement System thought the "A Guide to ASRS" mailing they recently received came from the state. However, state and retirement system officials had nothing to do with the mailing, which came from Newport Beach, Calif.-based Financial Health Research Institute.
FHRI provides consumers with "free educational resources, unbiased financial tools and connects them to licensed financial professionals, who have met the institute's strict ethical requirements," according to Emma D'Aubrey, FHRI marketing director. She said the mailing "invites teachers to send away for (FHRI's) free book."
David Cannella, confirmed the title caused confusion. "FHRI" is printed on the cover of "A Guide to ASRS," but the organization's full name does not appear on the cover.
Following the string of calls from confused members, ASRS officials issued a notice to members and put a reminder in the fund's e-newsletter that it's never a good idea to give personal information in response to unsolicited correspondences, Mr. Cannella said. He noted the situation doesn't appear to be an issue of fraud.