VRS and MissionSquare Retirement are committed to protecting the security and privacy of your information. No one but you has access to your myVRS account or your defined contribution account; never give anyone your usernames and passwords.
VRS and MissionSquare Retirement do not sell your information to anyone. VRS only shares information with third-party administrators authorized to help coordinate benefits and services for VRS members, retirees and beneficiaries.
- Claim Your Online Accounts
- Online Safety Tips
- Fraud Prevention Tips
- Security Alerts
Claim Your Online Accounts
VRS and MissionSquare Retirement, the record keeper for VRS defined contribution plans, take many measures every day to keep your information secure. You can help by registering for your myVRS account and your defined contribution account, if applicable, through Account Access, completing the identity-verification steps and then establishing a password-protected account.
Verifying your online accounts helps prevent someone else from attempting to lay claim to the accounts fraudulently.
Online Safety Tips
Anyone can be a victim of an online scam. Follow these basic tips to protect yourself online:
- Phishing scams. Emails that look like correspondence from a company or organization you know may seem legitimate, but be aware if something looks off. VRS will never ask you to provide personal information via email, including your date of birth, Social Security number or account number.
- Online ads. Ads and pop-up messages that are not from your antivirus or antispyware software saying your computer is infected may be malware in disguise. Clicking on them could compromise your system and personal information.
- Public computers. Public computers are good for public information, such as checking the weather or catching up on the news, but using them to access password-protected information is a security risk. Use them wisely and sparingly and avoid sharing devices when it comes to personally identifiable information.
- Public Wi-Fi. Similar to public computers, public Wi-Fi is inherently insecure. Wi-Fi accessibility in stores, libraries, restaurants, commuter trains and airports can pose a danger if you log into password-protected sites or purchase items online while connected to it. Refrain from the convenience and wait until you are on a secure, private network to access your accounts.
- Online Access and Transactions. Be cognizant of where and when you access your VRS account(s) and make transactions. Avoid online transactions from a device that isn't yours or on a public computer or Wi-Fi network. It's best to wait until you are on your own device on a private, secure network to ensure your security.
Fraud Prevention Tips
There are steps you can take to better secure your information and avoid common fraud pitfalls:
- Update your contact and bank account information promptly with VRS. Whenever there is a change to your address, phone number, email or bank account information, update your VRS account(s) immediately to reflect the change. This will ensure all communication, like your statement email, arrives only to you.
- Create strong and unique passwords for your VRS account(s). Refrain from using passwords that are simple or can be easily guessed. Use a strong passphrase over a stand-alone password. Passphrases should feature a combination of upper- and lowercase characters, symbols and numbers. Consider starting with a song lyric or line from a favorite movie, and build from there. Substitute a few letters for characters, numbers or symbols. Regularly change your password to further your protection.
- Check your VRS account(s) frequently. Regularly log-in and ensure your account(s) reflect your recent transactions. Promptly review all mail, email and other communication and report any discrepancies immediately to VRS.
- Do not click on suspicious links. Clicking on links sent via email from an unknown address could compromise your computer and personal information. If you are uncertain of the sender's identity, err on the side of caution and do not click the link.
- Do not download unrequested attachments from emails. Downloading attachments sent via email from an unknown address could compromise your computer and personal information. VRS will never send an attachment containing "macros." If you are told an attachment contains macros, do not open it.
- Employ antivirus and antispyware software. Use software from a reputable source, update it regularly and renew it when it expires.
- Regularly perform scans on your computer using your antivirus and antispyware software. Regularly running complete, in-depth scans of your computer can help detect and prevent any compromising activity.
Be Alert for Unsolicited Retirement Counseling Services
From time to time, VRS receives reports from members and employers that various companies or groups have contacted them via email or phone to offer retirement counseling services or insurance products.
Please be aware:
- VRS does not use unsolicited calls to contact members to offer services.
- VRS does not sell services; all benefit counseling is free to members and retirees.
- Correspondence from VRS will arrive by U.S. mail on official letterhead.
- Emails from VRS will be sent from a "varetire.org" address and include the VRS logo and copyright.
- VRS staff do not come to members' homes to discuss benefits.
Counseling services are free, whether by phone or in person at the VRS counseling center and are available by contacting VRS.
VRS also offers free retirement planning and benefit education sessions throughout the state at colleges, universities, other public locations and the VRS offices in Richmond. Members may receive occasional invites to these sessions via email.
Members also may use their myVRS account to review their VRS benefits, assess their retirement readiness using the myVRS Retirement Planner and create monthly benefit estimates using the Benefit Estimator. In addition, members can take advantage of the free money-management and retirement-planning articles, videos and mini-courses available through myVRS Financial Wellness.
Exercise caution in responding to unsolicited offers of retirement planning or advice. If uncertain if a communication originated with VRS, please call 1-888-827-3847.