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  2. Looking up custodial accounts it seems like they are designed for adult to open in the name of children. Is this the same as what you are talking about here?
  3. Krow, I am not finding that post. Can you link it?
  4. Today
  5. Thanks for the quick answer Krow! Does this same line of questioning work for 457's?
  6. Your question was asked in another thread recently about 403b vendors and here's my answer. Substitute 457 or 403b: A first question should be to determine if the vendor has a mutual fund (MF) based (403(b)7) plans. AXA has only annuity based (403(b) accounts which are expensive insurance products. VALIC has both types of plans but you should only be interested in the custodial MF accounts. If a vendor does only annuity accounts, I would not have further questions. The second question of a vendor with custodial mutual fund 403b is, what are the fees? For VALIC, assuming the Group plan is available in your district, what is your district’s fee? We’ve seen a 0.6% group fee, and also slightly lower, but districts’ vary. Ask about all their fees and get it in writing. A third question would be to ask the vendor for a list of all the mutual funds in the plan, and their expense ratios (ERs). This is a fee that every mutual fund has, and can be 0.04% for a Vanguard fund and up to 1% or more for actively-managed mutual funds. Ideally your ERs should be <0.10%, although somewhat higher is acceptable (~0.30%?) if there’s no lower choice.
  7. The district suddenly is having a VALIC/AIG advisor coming in to talk about plans. They are one of two providers the district has for 457's, the other is AXA :(. What are the top questions to ask as to get the most out of the meeting not only for myself but for my colleagues?
  8. Yesterday
  9. Ed is right and that's a mighty quote that says it all. Please persist in getting V and F added. BUT it's imperative that we get away from insurance sold products because they are highly predatory in nature. So Aspire can get you there at a little more cost if you self direct because if you can't get V or Fidelity directly the alternative decent alternatives are few and far between. Aspire and NEA direct invest are some of the few and far between. I believe the better choices are sometimes quietly blackballed because they eliminates adequate profits for middlemen and salemen. There is also the mentality among educator administrators that teachers need handholding and this justifies the extra fees. But I don't think administrators know enough to understand the full impact of that mentality. Teachers need to get a whole lot smarter as a whole about financial 403b-457b choices and pursue change.
  10. The SB NEA Direct Invest 403b plan has been discussed a lot on this forum over the last few years. You could start by looking at: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=260609 This thread has links to previous threads. You can use the forum’s Search feature to look at the many past threads on this plan. This plan does not use a local rep. It is internet based with phone support that is minimal. There is no “advisor” to help with your investments. But you can certainly get advice here on this forum. I agree with KRC121212 that Direct Invest is your only low-cost option. It is a no-frills 403b plan but if you use the Vanguard broad-market index funds on offer, you will have a very, very low-cost 403b. I would stay away from the TR Price target retirement funds as they are not low-cost (0.79% to 0.97%). All you need is: Vanguard Total Stock Mkt Admiral, ER 0.04% Vanguard Total International Stock Mkt Admiral, ER 0.11% Vanguard Intermediate-term Bond Index Admiral, ER 0.07% Are you contributing to an IRA? Because you can choose the vendor, rather than your employer, you can go with Vanguard or Fidelity, the low-cost leaders. The limit for 2019 is $6000 for both you and also for your spouse, even if the spouse does not have income.
  11. Security Benefit Direct Invest. You have to go to this link and do it yourself, because other Advisor's will talk you out of it due to not paying commissions or fees. https://www.nearetirementprogram.com/nea-directinvest Click enroll now and follow the steps. Very minimal $35 annual plan fee when assets are less than $50K, no plan fee when above $50K. No mark-up on Vanguard Index funds, so you are simply paying the small index fund fees. Good luck.
  12. This is the docile attitude that allows the 403b/457b mess to persist. One of the greatest Americans to ever live taught us very plainly that, "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." OCPS (FL) didn't "want" to add Vanguard and Fidelity when I initially ask and they certainly didn't feel like they "needed" to. However, they relented when I refused to drop the issue. This is just how power dynamics work. If you're quiet and accepting, you'll be taken advantage of.
  13. Unfortunately, the district is unwilling to add any more vendors. I was told that they only had Nationwide up until this year and since they have added all the others they don't feel like they need to add any more.
  14. I am new to the school system and new to working. My school offers a bunch of options for 403bs and I'm not sure which option is best. I'm having a hard time finding information about fees or funds in general. Any advice on choosing one over the other would be helpful. My school did not provide me with much information and I want to make a smart choice. AXA Equitable Franklin Templeton FTJ Fund Choice Lincoln Investments Security Benefits
  15. Last week
  16. This seems to have some good low cost choices. I would consider the target funds even they are not associated with Vanguard or Fidelity. The fees are very low and seem well diversified
  17. Funny. i happen to be in Charleston right now-just visiting as I am from Virginia.. I went to their webpage and this is all I could pull up: These deferred plans allow you to exclude from your taxable income a portion of your salary through pre-tax salary reduction. Deferred Compensation - offers two plans designed to supplement your retirement. 401(k) and 457 Tax 403(b) Deferred Plans - We offer several voluntary provider companies, each with diversity investment options for you to select. I did a few searches but could not come up with much. I would call them and have them e-mail you the vendor list. If you have Vanguard, Spouse should get out of the annuity and go with Vanguard. It's a no brainer. Sounds like she was sold a high fee product she may not need . No worries, it can all be corrected and fixed. Please once you get your vendor list post it here and we can help you/her further. I wouldn't be asking any advisor too many questions about Vanguard -like choices because they are in the commission business and would likely rather keep spouse in a product that would benefit them instead of her. They may steer her in another wrong direction. Interesting that they offer a 401 k. I would be interested to see how it works within the school system because it's rare to find school systems that offer it. update :Your target funds in your 457 seem like a go : https://southcarolinadcp.empower-retirement.com/participant/#/articles/SouthCarolina/investmentInformation
  18. Just thought I'd post this here for the options for the State DCP 457/401k. Seems that VIIIX and FIPDX are the typical stock market and bonds with low expense ratios. International doesn't seem to have a good equivalent to VTIAX though. Working on getting account setup now for spouse.
  19. I'm trying to get info from the Charleston school district, but it's slow going to get a list of providers. Spouse is currently with Valic/AIG in a variable annuity for her 403b. Apparently they have a fixed annuity product. I asked about mutual fund group product, but the financial advisor didn't clarify in the email that they didn't have one so I'm assuming they do not. One of my posts on Bogleheads I came across someone who seems to indicate their spouse's 403b is with Vanguard, so I'm hoping they have a mutual fund account type. I will be calling PenServ who handles their 403b administration for more info, but figured I'd reach out here to see if anyone has any info right now. Side note on the 401a (State ORP) plan. They have 4 administrators. I think we'll be switching from Valic/AIG to TIAA I think during open season in JAN-FEB due to fees. Other options are MassMutual and Metlife.
  20. If changes were to finally occur would this be across the board or state by state specific? California and New York seem much more progressive than many states.
  21. The Commissioner of the SEC will be the Keynote speaker at a very rare meeting RISE (Retirement Investment Summit in Education). The SF and LA SEC offices have stepped in to help educate teachers (They read the NY Times series 3 years ago. And who would not be shocked by the annuity sales behavior?). I have posted their website with educational materials about a year ago. This meeting is a repeat of what they presented last year in Sacramento. Next week, it will be held in Los Angeles. Scott, Dan and I were disappointed as all they talked about is what they did, not the problems. This year, three advocates will be on the panels and were told they are free to talk! We are happy these two offices are trying to help, they do not have to do this. Imagine that. It is not their job to educate teachers but they are doing it because IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO, and nobody else in the education, the unions or the districts, are doing this publically that I know of.
  22. It certainly would be great but keep in mind many people love their annuity product (variable and fixed)because of the supposed guaranteed income even though they have no clue how much they are overpaying for it so eliminating them is not going to happen. But teachers don't even really need annuities at all since most teachers have defined state pension plans. They are complex and not easy to understand. I still don't understand them. It will be very difficult to prove that the salesman misrepresented the product to teachers on a person to person basis even though we know they do. Annuities are complex investments that often include a significant amount of fine print. When you sign the documents you pretty much waive your legal rights to a certain degree but you can always stop contributing. (No fiduciary responsibly on the 403b's salesman's part is required). I never even read the 5 pages of docs my annuity salesman put in front of me and I felt somewhat hurried to sign the document quickly in my early years of teaching.The only way to stop these sales IMHO is to warn teachers and administrators, educate them on the fine print, and hope teachers will be savvy enough to avoid them. BUT WHO DOES THAT? EXCEPT US? Districts can refuse to let these salespeople on school ground and that would help but most don't. Despite class action suits here and there, annuities remain a trillion dollar business and with that much money involved the insurance companies will find a way around any regulations. and even price in the legal costs of being sued. I doubt the SEC will do much to prohibit their sale to teachers but fee restrictions would be a start. But hey what do I know, anything is possible.
  23. "Of all ages" were polled. Heck, I would have said I had nothing saved for retirement from age 18 till 37, but that doesn't tell the whole story. Most people probably started after 30, 35.
  24. This is great news for investors. Early in my teaching career (early 90's) I was talked into contributing into an annuity product that I unfortunately can't remember the exact name of. I only put in about a $100 per check for about a year. I received a notice of a class action law suit against this company about a year later. It stated that the insurance company was being sued for falsely representing itself as an investment product. I signed up for the class action and got quite a bit of my contributions of the past year back. That would be great if the SEC investigation opens doors to keeping these annuities out of our schools and maybe even suing these companies on the basis of falsely representing themselves.
  25. Don't be part of that 45.5%. Don't Worry Be Happy FYI: In a survey released Wednesday, GoBankingRates.com, an educational and financial information resource for consumers, found that 45.5% of the 2,003 adults of all ages who were polled said they have nothing saved for retirement. https://www.gobankingrates.com/retirement/planning/why-americans-will-retire-broke/
  26. Thanks Tony! This Investment News article seems more detailed and indicates the SEC letters were sent to some Third Party Administrators (TPAs). Maybe the TPAs will be required to include a low-cost custodial account vendor? One that offers competitive priced broad market index funds? It doesn’t look like all TPAs were sent letters?
  27. The Securities and Exchange Commission has sent letters to companies that administer retirement plans for teachers and other government workers, opening a probe of practices in a market that consumer advocates contend is subject to abuse. The regulator “is conducting an investigation” to determine “if violations of the federal securities laws have occurred,” said an SEC document The Wall Street Journal reviewed. Earlier this year, Jay Clayton, the chairman of the SEC, expressed concern about the prevalence of high-cost investment products in schoolteachers’ retirement accounts, said Michael Pieciak, commissioner of financial regulation for Vermont. The agency is seeking details on how administrators—which often serve crucial roles in selecting investments for 403(b) and 457 retirement plans for employees including teachers and government workers—choose investment options and police themselves when conflicts of interest arise. The agency also is requesting documents pertaining to any compensation the administrators have received since Jan. 1, 2017 for referring investors to specific investment options or companies. It is unclear what triggered the investigation or how many 403(b) and 457 plan administrators have received similar letters. The SEC didn’t immediately provide a comment. The agency, which characterized the investigation as “a non-public, fact-finding inquiry,” has the authority to issue fines or even revoke licenses to sell the products it regulates, including mutual funds and variable annuities which are staples of these plans. Sponsored by state and local governments, 403(b) and 457 plans are a variation of the better-known 401(k) programs in the private sector. As with 401(k) plans, 403(b)s allow workers to contribute up to $19,000 a year, or $25,000 for those 50 or older, to tax-advantaged investment accounts. While state laws generally require government entities to manage their 403(b) and 457 retirement plans in employees’ best interests, they aren’t governed by the federal pension laws that privately sponsored 401(k) and 403(b) plans must adhere to. The enforcement and penalties for violations aren’t as stringent as with these federally regulated plans, said Bob Toth, an attorney in Fort Wayne, Ind., specializing in employee-benefits law. Mr. Toth said that while “the SEC typically reviews broker dealers to make sure they are doing their job right and in accordance with regulations,” it is unusual for the agency to focus on 403(b) and 457 plans. He added that many administrators of 403(b) and 457 plans fall under the SEC’s purview if they are also registered as broker-dealers or registered investment advisers, which the agency regulates. The SEC also oversees individual registered representatives of such companies, some of whom also work for 403(b) and 457 plan administrators which aren’t otherwise under the SEC’s purview. The 403(b) plans held about $1 trillion in assets in 2017, the most recent year for which figures are available, according to sources including the Investment Company Institute, the mutual-fund industry trade group. In its probe, the SEC also requests “information and documents” pertaining to how administrators provide investment counseling to investors. It asks for explanations of any gifts administrators have received from companies that sell investments. The agency also is seeking organizational charts that show companies that own or have ties or partnership with 403(b) or 457 plan administrators. News of the SEC investigation comes after New York state’s financial-services watchdog last week opened a probe of insurance-industry practices in the 403(b) market. The New York Department of Financial Services has demanded that a dozen major life insurers detail how they market retirement-income products to teachers, in a bid to assess whether insurers or their agents are taking advantage of teachers in selling potentially high-cost and inappropriate retirement-savings investments. Mr. Pieciak said the SEC’s San Francisco office has been scrutinizing accounts and the investment options available to teachers. He said 403(b) plans are on the radar for other state securities regulators as well. Write to Anne Tergesen at anne.tergesen@wsj.com and Gretchen Morgenson at gretchen.morgenson@wsj.com Copyright ©2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8 WSJ opens select articles to reader conversation to promote thoughtful dialogue. See the 'Join the Conversation' area below for stories open to conversation. For more information, please reference our community guidelines. 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  28. It's about time we see the SEC investigating the K-12 403b problems. https://www.wsj.com/articles/sec-launches-investigation-of-practices-in-retirement-plans-for-teachers-government-employees-11570651944 The pay-wall blocks this article for me. Maybe Tony can help?
  29. Thank you so much for all the responses. I am currently using the info to refine my search. Thanks again. JC
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