On Oct. 26, Pensions & Investments Newspaper (P&I) and the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association (DCIIA) announced SURS as a winner of a 2021 Excellence & Innovation Award.

SURS was given the award for its redesigned core 401(a) defined contribution plan – the Retirement Savings Plan (RSP). This is the third time SURS has been granted an award for the improved RSP.

The Excellence and Innovation Award recognizes executives at defined contribution plans undertaking creative and unusual projects to drive successful outcomes for participants.

SURS Interim Executive Director and Chief Benefits Officer Suzanne Mayer discussed the multiple enhancements made to SURS defined contribution plan during a panel discussion at P&I’s Defined Contribution West Conference on Oct. 26.

“Together with Voya and Alliance Bernstein, the SURS team created a defined contribution plan that includes an innovative default investment option called the SURS Lifetime Income Strategy (LIS), a simplified core investment lineup and new recordkeeping services,” said Mayer. “Our DC members now have an investment option that offers a guaranteed income stream in retirement, as well as flexibility and control to set a retirement plan that works best for them.”

To help ensure retirement readiness for all members, SURS not only redesigned and enhanced its Retirement Savings Plan, it also launched a new Deferred Compensation 457(b) Plan (DCP) in 2021 to provide an additional savings option for active members.

SURS was one of six recipients of the 10th annual Excellence and Innovation Awards.