TVA Retirement System celebrates 75 years of service

A lot of things have changed in the past 75 years, including the TVA Retirement System (TVARS), which was established in November 1939.

The TVA board created TVARS as a separate legal entity governed by its own board of directors consisting of seven members: three appointed by TVA, three elected by and from active employees enrolled in TVARS, and a seventh selected by the other six (currently a TVA retiree). The purpose of TVARS was, and is, to provide retirement, death and disability benefits to TVA’s employees and their beneficiaries.

At its inception, TVARS had approximately 5,000 members. Today, the system has about 11,000 members with an additional 23,380 retirees and beneficiaries receiving benefits.

TVARS benefits also have changed over the years as the utility industry and employee demographics have changed. Through 1995, employees were offered a traditional pension based on their salary, age and years of service. In 1996, TVA and TVARS moved to a cash balance pension benefit for new employees. This year, TVA and TVARS made another significant change: an enhanced 401 (k)-only benefit for new employees starting July 1.

See a list of important events in TVARS’ history.

Committed to member service

But in other ways, the TVA Retirement System hasn’t changed at all, says Pat Brackett, TVARS executive secretary and TVA Retirement Services director.

“At its heart, TVARS is – and has always been – a service organization,” says Brackett. “We’re here to serve the retirement needs of TVA employees and retirees and their beneficiaries.”

Allen Stokes, chairman of the TVARS board, agrees. “TVA employees and retirees worked hard to earn their retirement and deserve to have their benefits administered as professionally and responsively as possible. The TVARS board and staff take those duties very seriously.”

75 years and still going strong

TVARS’ long history helps the board and staff stay focused on their important role in serving the retirement needs of TVA employees, retirees and beneficiaries, says Brackett.

“While the landscape of employment-based retirement benefits has changed dramatically since 1939, TVARS’ mission has not changed. TVARS has been steadfast in its commitment to providing retirement services for our members and their beneficiaries for the past 75 years.”

New look, new resources on TVARS.com

TVARS recently updated and improved its website. Go to http://www.tvars.com for the latest news and notices, as well as information on TVARS and the various retirement plans and benefits, a link to Fidelity’s 401(k) plan NetBenefits page, information on the TVARS board and board meetings, TVARS annual reports, the TVARS investment policy statement, and copies of the TVARS Rules and Regulations and 401(k) Plan Provisions.


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