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reubenhenriques

What are my options before I leave job?

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Hi all,

Thanks for all the helpful information on this website - it's been a godsend. Based on a lot of my research, I decided to cease contributions to the AXA Equitable 403b plan that my school district offers and shift into the Massachusetts state 457 plan ("SMART Plan"), which has much lower fees.

I've been trying to figure out if I am allowed to roll over AXA funds into the 457 plan, and it seems as though this is not possible until I turn 59.5 or leave my current job. I was wondering what suggestions you all had in terms of next steps for the money that is in that account (I've been contributing for the past five years to the 403b) - I'm happy to pay surrender fees if it gets me into a better investment vehicle, but I don't even know if that's possible. Are there specific funds or AXA plans that are "least crappy"? Or general advice for what to do with money that's already in a bad 403(b)?

My school only offers plans from AXA and Lincoln Financial, so there's not a "good" 403b option within my employer to transfer to (Vanguard, Aspire, etc.).

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You mention in the title about leaving your job. Is that something you plan to do soon (within next few years)? If so, you may want to wait until you move on. At that point you can roll the AXA funds into a Rollover IRA with Vanguard, or Fidelity, etc. - Dan 

Job Change and the 403(b)

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I’ve been trying to help reubenhenriques on the BH forum: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=236099
I’ve suggested that the AXA mutual fund based 403b Retirement 360 should be considered if AXA offers it in his district. OP,  does AXA offer the Retirement 360 to your district? According to 403bcompare, it's offered in CA and includes some good low-cost funds: 
iShares Total US Stock Market Idx K, 0.03%
Vanguard Total Intl Stock Index Admiral, 0.11%
Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Adm, 0.05%
VG LifeStrategy Inv, 0.13% to 0.15%

Unfortunately it has an admin fee of $0 to $100 per quarter that varies by district. So OP would need to ask the AXA rep about the district’s fee.

Has anyone had experience with the AXA Retirement 360 mutual fund based 403b? If so please post! 
 

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krow36,  I've been emailing back and forth with AXA and just spent 30 mins on the phone and know one seems to have even heard of the AXA Retirement 360.  This is typical of AXA.  I'm very interested in learning about the fees associated with this product.  My wife has a considerable amount stuck with AXA until we can get her school to add another vendor, maybe this could be a viable option?  I'd rather walk thru broken glass than give AXA another dime, but my wife can't leave her job just to transfer her 403b.  I know the MillionaireEducator would say otherwise;)

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grw, I'm impressed with your determination! It's hard not to think the AXA reps you've talked to want your DW to stay in her expensive annuity, and that's why they have never heard of Retirement 360??  

We know that at least the AXA Retirement 360 is available in K-12 403b plans in CA. We don’t know the size of admin fees. Here’s a 2017 AXA press release on their Retirement 360SM: https://us.axa.com/news/2017/ar360-release.html It’s hard to tell if 360 is the same as 360SM?? I’m guessing it’s the same. This AXA website on the Retirement 360SM looks like it should be a K-12 403b possibility in IL? https://us.axa.com/axa-products/retirement-planning/ar360.html  And this one aimed at teachers? https://us.axa.com/teacher-retirement/403b/   I think that you should be able to find out about Retirement 360 for your district from some of the phone numbers in these websites? The last website indicates you can communicate via email also. That admin fee of $0 to $100 per quarter is critical to knowing if 360 is a reasonable option. 

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krow, thanks for the information. My wife’s district is very small with no HR dept, just the Superintendent and some accounting personnel. I’m still working with the Super to add Fidelity or at least Aspire, but I don’t want to push him to hard. He’s a friend and had been receptive thus far. 

 

As as far as AXA goes, yes, I’m sure the withholding of information is very intentional. I’ve requested a phone call from someone who can tell me something about this 360 product. Thanks for the information, you truly are a wealth of knowledge and support!

 

BTW, I did get a call from a FINRA investigator this week.  He has begun investigating our complaint against AXA. For what’s it worth, better than doing nothing. 

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