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Alex98

Lincoln Investments Participant Direct

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Hi everyone, just wanted to thank you in advance for all of this information. 5 years ago I was sold an annunity through Metlife for my 403b and had been wondering why I have not had a great ROI thus far. Well once I read through all the paperwork I realized they were charging me a 1.15% M&E fee plus the ER of the funds. My total costs all in were just under 2%. Yikes! It just never occured to me to check. 

After coming across your sight and gathering lots of information I decided to take things into my own hands and call a few other companies that were available ( Lincoln Investments and AXA)  No one had anything good to say about AXA so I called the LF advisor. Nice guy but still high fee of 1.25% plus ER.

Contacted LF offices about Participant Direct and had all the forms sent over to me. I am in the process of filling them out and deciding whether it is worth it to pay the surrender fee of 6% to get my money out of Metlife. 

Anyone else go through this process with LF and could offer any advice in advance. I am not new to investing. Just advice on paperwork and transfering. I am friendly with my payroll department so they have stopped all contributions to Metlife. They had no idea there was such a program with Lincoln (NJ School district with approximately 200 staff members) 

Again, thank you for this awesome forum. 

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alex98, thanks for posting your experience. Every NJ school district should have the Lincoln Investment Retirement Solutions Participant Platform on their provider list! How can we arrange for that to happen? This DIY plan includes both low-cost 403b and 457 plans using Vanguard Admiral class funds! 

Those readers who are not familiar with this DIY plan can read about it at:  

Quote

 

Anyone else go through this process with LF and could offer any advice in advance. I am not new to investing. Just advice on paperwork and transfering. I am friendly with my payroll department so they have stopped all contributions to Metlife. They had no idea there was such a program with Lincoln (NJ School district with approximately 200 staff members)


 

Hopefully someone who has gone through the transfer from other providers (maybe even MetLife) will post their experience. I have no first-hand experience. Based on the reports of others, I think if you are patient and persistent, the transfer will occur! It will probably take weeks if not months. Your district’s third party administrator will no doubt be involved, and all three parties will require their paperwork be properly signed. You may have to make phone calls to make sure the process is progressing. Every transfer is somewhat unique because the vendors differ as well as the TPA. Good luck!

While you wait for the transfer to be completed, hopefully you can watch your payroll deductions flowing into the Vanguard index funds in your Lin. Inv. DIY plan! 

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Hi Alex,

Did you check out your state's 457b plan? I would not use Lincoln either. As you learned from your payroll department, you have to do all of the research yourself. Do not depend on anybody in your district or the union. Check out all available options from your state. Here in California, our pension plan offers a terrific 403b called Pension2, its one of the best in the country for k12. 

Good luck,

Steve

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Alex,

After looking at krow's post, I guess Lincoln might be a valid option but be damn sure you know what you are doing when dealing with any insurance company. 

Yes, I paid a whopping 18% surrender costs years ago just to get my money out of two horrible insurance companies and I was happy I did, as I transferred both into genuine growth no-load mutual funds and grew handsomely over the years. 

Good luck,

Steve

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Alex98, please reads jebjebitz's comments in the thread I posted above. He mentions that Lincoln Invest. has reps that focus on helping with this DIY plan. 

A 403b and/or 457 plan using Vanguard Admiral class funds and costing only $60/year is a fantastic deal. It's interesting that the NJ Education Association (NJEA) is involved in this program. I sure wish someone would tell us how this program came about. 

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Alex,

I transferred funds from AXA to Lincoln’s PDP.  I am a NJ teacher as well.  Lincoln has a small group of individuals who deal exclusively with the PDP customers.  They were incredibly helpful and were available for contact through email throughout the transfer process.  This is important because if you read through some of these posts you’ll realize how frustrating the transfer process can be. I was emailing one rep and he was able to walk me through the process and help locate paperwork as it traveled from AXA to third party to Lincoln.  

I paid a surrender fee to AXA of 2%.  It was lower because I had my account with them for 10 years.  Looking back I would’ve paid 6% to get my money transferred if I had to.  Metlife will probably try to talk you into delaying this transfer or keeping a portion of your funds with them etc.  I was very pleased with the support I received from Lincoln.

i’ll send You a message with the number I called to start the process 

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 California Teachers

Here is what 403bcompare reports about Lincoln. There are two names of Lincolns but appear to offer the same variable annuities, so be careful, Lincoln Investmnet, LLC and Lincoln National Life Insurance Co (Lincoln Financial Group)

Lincoln Investment, LLC
1029
Lincoln Nat'l Life Ins Co (Lincoln Financial Group), The

Frankly, I would stay away from Lincoln. Alex, the original poster (OP) lives in NJ is lucky that somebody is looking out for him and his district but not here in California: Here is what I found on our 403bcompare.com.  https://www.403bcompare.com/products/20#/fees and https://www.403bcompare.com/products/20#/investmentoptions

 

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3 hours ago, sschullo said:

 California Teachers

Here is what 403bcompare reports about Lincoln. There are two names of Lincolns but appear to offer the same variable annuities, so be careful, Lincoln Investmnet, LLC and Lincoln National Life Insurance Co (Lincoln Financial Group)

Steve, this is not accurate. Using 403bcompare, you will find that Lincoln Investment does not offer annuities, but has 2 mutual fund based 403b plans. One of the plans you linked to below is their "Retirement Solutions" plan, which has very expensive actively-managed load funds. The other plan is their "Retirement Solutions Premier" plan, which offers 65 investment class Vanguard funds. Unfortunately there is a $60/ admin fee and a 1.25% Mgt/wrap fee. So both of the Lincoln Investment plans are too expensive to be recommended, but neither of them are annuities-based plans. 

Lincoln Investment, LLC
1029
Lincoln Nat'l Life Ins Co (Lincoln Financial Group), The

Frankly, I would stay away from Lincoln. Alex, the original poster (OP) lives in NJ is lucky that somebody is looking out for him and his district but not here in California: Here is what I found on our 403bcompare.com.  https://www.403bcompare.com/products/20#/fees and https://www.403bcompare.com/products/20#/investmentoptions

It appears that all districts in NJ as well as several in NY and IL are able to use the Lincoln Investment Participant-directed plan. That leaves 47 other states without access to this excellent low-cost plan and where both Lincoln Investment and Lincoln Nat. Life Ins. Co. (Lincoln Financial Group) should be avoided. 

 

 

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Thanks for the clarification, but my primary message for California teachers is to stay away from all insurance companies except TIAA. It makes it an easy message.

I think we both agree to stay away from Lincoln here in California. So what if Retirement Solutions has no VA but National Life Ins. Co. does have VA: https://www.403bcompare.com/vendors/1029#/productlist  Yikes 5.25% loads on its mutual funds, what a rip-off! 

California teachers NEVER pay loads and stay away from Lincoln.

Have a great day krow,

Steve

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So now I am a bit confused here with all this back and fourth.  I read my paperwork five times and the only fee I see is a $35 per year custodial fee plus ER of funds which are ridiculously low cost. Some as low as .04%. So did I miss something or is Steve refering to Lincoln Investments other plans they offer? 

I was also able to confirm there is not one teacher in my district that participates in the participant direct. I guess I will be the first. 

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Yes, Steve is concerned that teachers in CA and the other states that do not have access to the Lincoln Investment DIY plan will get sucked into the other expensive Lincoln Investment plans. Or worse yet, stumble into the clutches of the annuity-selling Lincoln Financial Group. Steve has been fighting for a better 403b deal for teachers for about 20 years, and he's seen a lot of teachers sign lousy annuity contracts. He and I are both retired, and we both try to help the cause where we can. 

I guess you've received the application form? I believe the custodial fee has been raised to $60, but if your application form says $35, I guess that's correct for you. Maybe it's $35 for NJ districts and $60 for NY districts? Either amount is a good deal! 

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Got it, I did not realize thats what Steve was getting at. Its a shame this plan isnt offered everywhere. Its also a shame that the unions allow these high cost annuity based 403bs into our school districts. But ill be honest I highly doubt most unions are even aware of the insane costs of these plans unless someone has a clue about investing that is high up in the rankings. 

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The custodial fee for Lincoln’s PDP was $60 when I transferred out of it 2 months ago.  It’s possible they changed it back to $35 if that’s what your paperwork says.  

No one in my district was in the PDP but there’s no way to really know about it unless you visit this forum or the bogle head forum.  I learned about it from Krow.  

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On 3/16/2018 at 3:08 AM, Alex98 said:

Got it, I did not realize thats what Steve was getting at. Its a shame this plan isnt offered everywhere. Its also a shame that the unions allow these high cost annuity based 403bs into our school districts. But ill be honest I highly doubt most unions are even aware of the insane costs of these plans unless someone has a clue about investing that is high up in the rankings. 

I guess I agree that unions are mostly clueless about costs. However, according to several posters, it seems that the Lincoln Investment Participant-Directed plan owes its existence to the NJ Education Assoc, the state branch of the NEA. I think there must be a high up union person who is very much aware of costs!

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