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Merv

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  1. Bucknuts, Ohio Deferred is a good option so I would definitely consider halting all contributions to expensive 403b accounts and start a 457. As far as your other problem, I too have funds stuck in a 403b (1.25%) and nowhere to move it. It's a considerable amount of money too so the 403b provider rakes it in, year after year, even in 2008. I did call Ohio Deferred and she said they accept in-service transfers of 403b monies if the transferring plan allows it. This intrigues me as I hadn't thought it possible. You wouldn't be able to contribute to the new account, but that wouldn't be a problem because you probably aren't contributing to the expensive 403b and you have the 457 option. I am going to call my 403b provider to see if they allow this transfer, but I'm not optimistic. I did find this on the irs.gov website: Plan-to-plan transfers between 403(b) plans are permitted if: the terms of the transferring and receiving plans allow these transfers; the transferred assets belong to a current or former employee of the receiving plan’s sponsor; the accumulated benefit after the exchange is at least the same as before the exchange; and any benefit restrictions of the transferring plan are maintained by the receiving plan. I'm confused as to what the 2nd line means. What is the receiving plan's sponsor? Anyone? Anyone? Merv The link for the irs.gov site is http://www.irs.gov/retirement/article/0,,id=172433,00.html In-service transfers from a 403(b) to a 457(b) are not allowed. The Ohio Deferred Comp rep must have thought you were referring to transferring a 457(b) to the 457(b) of Ohio which is allowed. The Plan Sponsor is the employer---they are the same entity. Joel, No, she knew I was transferring from a 403b, and she explained that they don't offer 403b plans but could accept incoming transfers of 403b's, as long as my current provider allows in-service transfers. I am not leaving my current job, so I was surprised she said this as I thought I coukd only transfer between plans sponsored by my employer. I think she may be mistaken, but I'll check it out anyway. Merv
  2. Bucknuts, Ohio Deferred is a good option so I would definitely consider halting all contributions to expensive 403b accounts and start a 457. As far as your other problem, I too have funds stuck in a 403b (1.25%) and nowhere to move it. It's a considerable amount of money too so the 403b provider rakes it in, year after year, even in 2008. I did call Ohio Deferred and she said they accept in-service transfers of 403b monies if the transferring plan allows it. This intrigues me as I hadn't thought it possible. You wouldn't be able to contribute to the new account, but that wouldn't be a problem because you probably aren't contributing to the expensive 403b and you have the 457 option. I am going to call my 403b provider to see if they allow this transfer, but I'm not optimistic. I did find this on the irs.gov website: Plan-to-plan transfers between 403(b) plans are permitted if: the terms of the transferring and receiving plans allow these transfers; the transferred assets belong to a current or former employee of the receiving plan’s sponsor; the accumulated benefit after the exchange is at least the same as before the exchange; and any benefit restrictions of the transferring plan are maintained by the receiving plan. I'm confused as to what the 2nd line means. What is the receiving plan's sponsor? Anyone? Anyone? Merv The link for the irs.gov site is http://www.irs.gov/retirement/article/0,,id=172433,00.html
  3. Merv; Maxing out on one plan is a goal that most of us cannot achieve. So for those like you that have a low cost option i.e. the OHIO 457(b) Plan then just trash your expensive 403(b) and tell the entire k-12 crowd to do the same. But, at the same time lobby the Trustees of the 457(b) Plan to establish a 403(b)Plan. I say this on behalf of those who are fortunate to be able to pay into two plans----these people should not be taken to the cleaners by their out-to-lunch school districts. Also lobby your OHIO ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL BOARDS; YOUR LOCAL AND STATE TEACHERS' UNION/ASSOCIATION. Has your statewide Teachers' Union/Association encouraged all of their K-12 dues paying members to trash the commission based 403(b) in favor of the statewide 457(b)? Just like in "All the President's Men"...."is there anybody out there willing to go on the record"? Joel Joel, Thanks for your suggestion about lobbying the trustees of Ohio Deferred about adding a 403(b). I had thought about this, but didn't know the ins and outs of what it takes to establish such a plan. So I'll contact them Monday morning. As far as advocates for helping teachers avoid excessive fees--I don't know of any right now, except Wisconsin's WEA. Merv Merv: Are you saying you already tried contacting, to no avail, the Ohio State Teachers' Union/Association? Joel Joel, I'm working on it. I know they have an arrangement with NEA Value Builders, so I'm not optimistic about it right now. We will see. Merv
  4. Merv; Maxing out on one plan is a goal that most of us cannot achieve. So for those like you that have a low cost option i.e. the OHIO 457(b) Plan then just trash your expensive 403(b) and tell the entire k-12 crowd to do the same. But, at the same time lobby the Trustees of the 457(b) Plan to establish a 403(b)Plan. I say this on behalf of those who are fortunate to be able to pay into two plans----these people should not be taken to the cleaners by their out-to-lunch school districts. Also lobby your OHIO ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL BOARDS; YOUR LOCAL AND STATE TEACHERS' UNION/ASSOCIATION. Has your statewide Teachers' Union/Association encouraged all of their K-12 dues paying members to trash the commission based 403(b) in favor of the statewide 457(b)? Just like in "All the President's Men"...."is there anybody out there willing to go on the record"? Joel Joel, Thanks for your suggestion about lobbying the trustees of Ohio Deferred about adding a 403(b). I had thought about this, but didn't know the ins and outs of what it takes to establish such a plan. So I'll contact them Monday morning. As far as advocates for helping teachers avoid excessive fees--I don't know of any right now, except Wisconsin's WEA. Merv
  5. I don't have anything to add about CTA, but I am glad I read this thread because I checked out Wisconsin's 403b program. That sounds like a winner. It seems to me that other states interested in adding lower-cost 403b options should be able to look at, talk to, and try to copy Wisconsin's program. I live in Ohio, and while we have a good 457 statewide program (Ohio Deferred), we are at the mercy of our local districts when it comes to 403b providers. My district's list of providers is a Who's Who of fee chargers. I have tried in vain to get a a lower-cost option at the district level, but the district and investment companies (Fidelity and Vanguard) have different requirements that don't mesh. Thanks for your posts. Obviously, educating ourselves is the first step to affecting any kind of change, as frustrating and time-consuming as it may be.
  6. Liz, I'm glad that my wife and I both have a Roth. We have been more aggressive in our Roths than in our 403b and 457 accounts and they have done well. I am looking forward to being able to supplement my retirement pension with tax-free withdrawals from the Roth. I actually started an IRA at 24 and my wife started one at about 28. We converted to a Roth (and paid the appropriate taxes) in 1998 I think. It was a bit of a tax hit to convert, but I'm glad we did it. Not many people have the foresight like you to start early. Don't beat yourself up over mistakes. We have all made some of the same ones, and I know several people who are still blissfully unaware that there are better deals out there. You are the exception because you figured it out! I wish I had the same TIAA-CREF option as you. We have have paid thousands of dollars in fees over the years for one of our 403b's (ING) and right now we're still stuck.
  7. Tony, You can add death and disability, two most unappealing circumstances, to your list of triggering events. Joel So you have to separate, die, or be disabled. Those may be easier to do than convince my employer to add Vanguard. Funny but true. K-12 benefit administrators are some of the most rigid, paranoid, condescending bureaucrats known to Western Civilization. But they will all change in a minute if more of our colleagues demanded Vanguard. Our district guy tells me that Vanguard doesn't comply with one of the board rules regarding 403b's, and until they do comply they can't be considered as a provider. So the whole thing gets held up by a trivial rule that he probably had a hand in writing himself. It's easier to say no than tweak a rule.
  8. Tony, You can add death and disability, two most unappealing circumstances, to your list of triggering events. Joel So you have to separate, die, or be disabled. Those may be easier to do than convince my employer to add Vanguard.
  9. I've trying to find out if you can rollover a 403b to a regular IRA if you are not leaving your present employer. Does anyone here know?
  10. Yes, I've heard of Aspire. All new providers face the same problem of having to meet the requirement that 1% of employees have to sign up in order for the district to offer them as a provider. Another option may be for me to rollover my current ING 403b into a regular IRA. I need to figure out if I meet the requirements which will probably involve a call to my ING rep, which means it won't be a short phone call...
  11. All the parties seem interested, but it is an exercise in frustration and patience. I'll can relate about the frustration and patience. This is what I have learned in the last 20 years: don't get distracted and comforted when they "seem interested." Those two words bring back memories when I tried to get vanguard on my district list. The typical response was "Vanguard is a fine company and we have nothing against vanguard" What a crock of sh..!!!! and insulting. BTW Vanguard is still not offered. If you have been "patient" for more than a year and that all they have been saying without doing anything, they are NOT interested. They are insultingly polite. It only takes a few months or less to add a company. They can do it or they won't. It's not rocket science. Just keep pressing on and perhaps it will work out. Keep us posted. Steve It has only been a couple of months now, and I'm willing to keep going and even go before the board of ed. if I need to do so. In the meantime, I'll just keep on it. I went through a similar process last year trying to reinstate Fidelity as a provider, but my district and Fidelity couldn't work things out over required information sharing agreements and so on. So that's when I spoke to the district's third party representative who mentioned that some districts have Vanguard and a couple other mutual fund companies. I have the required minimum number of people who are willing to invest in Vanguard, but the snags seem to be minor stuff in my opinion. I will post on my progress. Thanks for the support.
  12. Yes, I have the paperwork ready to fund Ohio Deferred for both of us. I have to wait until September 2013 to roll over my ING 457 funds without incurring a penalty. I believe the ING 457 costs have dropped to .65% plus fund costs, so they aren't tremendously high, but obviously Ohio Deferred is preferable. The problem remains that my wife has a good-sized 403b with ING and I can only do a rollover to another 403b and currently all the other options are no better. So I am working with Vanguard, the district treasurer and payroll people, and a third-party administrator to try to get Vanguard as a provider. All the parties seem interested, but it is an exercise in frustration and patience.
  13. Welcome to the forum. Avoid them all. Here is a previous discussion with a colleague who has a very similar list available as you do: http://board.403bwise.com/index.php?showtopic=5408&pid=29901&st=0entry29901. 1.25% is outrageous and that probably doesn't count for the mutual fund fees and how many times does the "adviser" suggest that your wife move her money to another one of their "gems" just to get a transfer fee. Keep up the fight by demanding that your district add a low cost fund and tell everybody you know to avoid these companies. As I suggested before, you can always go with the Roth IRA and invest with Fidelity, TIAA CREF or Vanguard. Have you considered the Roth IRA? Good luck, Steve Steve, We both have Roth IRAs. Are you saying that the ING 403b can be transferred to a Roth IRA? And the Ohio Deferred Plan for 457 is a a nonprofit organization set up for public employees. Have you heard of Ohio Deferred?
  14. Hello All, I'm happy this forum exists. Both my wife and I work for the same school district and have both contributed to 403b and 457 plans for years. I'm planning on making some changes because like you, I'm tired of being eaten alive by fees. My wife has an ING 403 with charges of 1.25% plus fund fees. I don't have one with ING because I rolled mine over to a Fidelity 403b a few years ago before my district dropped Fidelity as a provider. I have been working to get Vanguard established as a 403b provider, but that has been a frustrating process and perhaps a topic for another thread. Here is the list of our current providers, and if an employee wants to compare any of them they'd have to do a lot of legwork. Consequently, most employees don't have a tax-deferred account and many that do have one don't even know how much they pay in fees. Please feel free to give any feedback about the provider choices below, or any questions/observations you may have. Thanks. AIG Valic Ameriprise AXA Equitable Midwest Annuity Great American Life Insurance Co. ING/Aetna Life Insurance(403b and 457) Lincoln National Life Insurance Co Metlife Investors Group Midland National Life Midwest Annuity NEA Value Builder Ohio Deferred Compensation (457) Reliastar Waddell and Reed
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