Association of Universities for Research overhauls investment lineup of DC plans

Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy Inc., Washington, is overhauling its investment options lineup following the hiring of Fidelity Investments as the sole record keeper of its defined contribution plans.

Fidelity, which is currently one of two record keepers along with TIAA-CREF, will become the sole record keeper on Aug. 1. In a memo to participants posted on AURA's website, the association decided that it's "two administrative vendor model for our retirement plans was not meeting requirements in today's world." Whether TIAA-CREF was considered as part of a search could not be immediately learned.

The new investment options lineup is made up of four tiers: a target-date fund tier managed by Vanguard Group, which replaces a lineup managed by Fidelity; a passive investments tier which consists of four Fidelity Investments index funds; an actively managed tier consisting of 11 actively managed funds; and a Fidelity brokerage option.

Investment options new to the plan within the active tier are an active domestic small-cap value equity fund managed by Northern Trust Asset Management; a domestic core fixed-income fund managed by PGIM Fixed Income; a domestic large-cap growth equity fund managed by T. Rowe Price Group; and a domestic small-cap growth equity fund managed by Wells Capital Management.

Information on the former investment options lineups was not immediately available.

As of Dec. 31, 2015, the AURA Inc. Money Purchase Pension Plan and Trust had $200 million in assets, and the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy Inc. 403(b) Savings Plan had $156 million in assets, according to the company's most recent Form 5500 filings.

Deborah Johnson, chief financial officer, could not be immediately reached for further information.