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mpnret

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  1. On Friday (9/30/16) at 4:30 Christie announced a gas tax hike. It was purposely done then because most people were already gone for the weekend and Monday was a holiday. An emergency senate vote was quickly scheduled for Wednesday. All done to limit time for public input. When first announced it looked like there wasn’t much of a chance to kill it. As of this morning mounting public opposition has changed that. The emergency senate requires 30 votes. Some are starting to line up against the gas tax. Sign the online petition at this link: http://www.senatenj.com/nogastax/ Every public employee should be made aware that along with this gas tax hike are tax cuts that go mainly to the wealthy. These cuts will blow a $1.4 billion hole on the budget for future governors making pension payments difficult along with continuing other existing benefits. This is Christie’s way of continuing his hatred of public employees once he is gone.
  2. "If you like the idea of no-cost investing for your retirement but demand a diversified investment menu then you must attend the December 2nd meeting. Bring your friends and colleagues. Reserve your seat by calling: 732-536-9472." Joel The idea of no-cost investing really does sound great but I am not sold on the SACT. I would much prefer low cost providers such as Vanguard be allowed in. As far as the SACT goes "who" is actually managing your money and how often. Go to the website and try and find out. Then call. Does anybody answer? Now try the same with Vanguard or any of the low cost providers. I feel that with the SACT one year there may be a great team of financial people managing my money and then the political situation changes and some secretary takes a few minutes out of her busy schedule to look at it for the next 4 years. How can I tell when no one is home and the last newsletter they put out was over a year and a half ago. I know a few posts back someone commented about the SACT poor performance for 2011 to 2012. Who was in charge? Did they publish any articles about the strategy that led to this performance? My wife's 403B was invested with AXA for a 12 year period. We are no fans of AXA and their commissions but viewed them as the lesser evil at the time. When my wife retired we quickly rolled over to a Vanguard IRA. Now when I look back at that 12 year period I realize my high commissioned AXA actually beat the SACT. Just saying the SACT isn't the answer to everything. Lucky for me 10 years ago my district did have Vanguard as one of the vendors. My wife and I are now done with our 403B contributions but my son is just starting out so I still keep in touch with forums like 403B wise. Currently his district only has the high cost vendors so for now he is just using a Roth with Vanguard for his retirement savings. Sorry I don't mean to sound like a Vanguard fan boy here. You can substitute any of the reputable low cost providers in place of their name. It's just that I have some experience with them.
  3. Every once and a while my interest in SACT gets renewed and I start poking around. I thought about downloading the enrollment forms and seeing if I could get the local BOE to allow enrollment even though SACT is not on their 403B vendors list. I visited the SACT website today and realized their last newsletter was 1.5 years ago. The website hasn't been updated in about a year. For most part they seem to be MIA. At this point I am not sure I am comfortable with them managing my money. I think I will sit this one out for now and see what develops. Hopefully, through continued pressure on the BOE a Vanguard or similar vendor will be added.
  4. Joel, Any updates on this? It looks like nothing has changed in over a year. July 1, 2013 has come and gone. My son's district still has just the usual sharks on the vendor list. Thanks, Mike
  5. Joel, Do you have any additional information or a source for the above? I don't care much about the SACT to ACTS transition but I am more interested in the ACTS becoming available to all public education employees piece. I could only find lots of info about it being available to the higher education community. Thanks, Mike Please explain the use of "piece" as your last word in sentence two. Joel You basically provided 2 pieces of information. The first was about the SACT being terminated. The second was about all public employees in NJ who belong to a state administered defined benefit retirement system being allowed to contribute to ACTS (quoted above). I don't care so much about the first piece of info but I would like to find info on the second piece. Something this important should be documented somewhere. I will give Ed Wade a call tomorrow as you suggested but I am not getting a warm fuzzy feeling about this one. Maybe you could share how you came about this info.
  6. Joel, Do you have any additional information or a source for the above? I don't care much about the SACT to ACTS transition but I am more interested in the ACTS becoming available to all public education employees piece. I could only find lots of info about it being available to the higher education community. Thanks, Mike
  7. I get the impression that SACT is available in all NJ school districts even the ones that don't officially list it. Anyone know if this is true?
  8. Hi Mike: You told us your wife's account is spread out over 9 funds yet you list only 6. Joel I didn't list any funds. I listed fund classes. For example multiple large cap funds adding up to 30% will give you 30% in large cap. Individual funds have a more specific name like: Multimanager Large Cap Core Equity, Multimanager Large Cap Growth, EQ/Large Cap Growth Index and so on. Thanks for the clarification. Have you compared each fund's performance to its benchmark? That would be instructive especially in light of the unnecessary fees your wife has paid. Joel Some beat benchmarks and some didn't. Then you have the fees on top of that. What saved my butt and allowed my overall AXA account to beat the SACT over the last 12 years was the guaranteed interest fund. It wasn't a great period for stocks in general and the interest rates fell so fast the guaranteed interest accounts couldn't keep up with the fall and were a decent place to be. If the next 12 years are going to be a repeat of the last 12 I would be better off staying with AXA. However, my gut feeling tells me it's time to move to a low cost provider. It doesn't much matter anymore. I just received an e-mail from vanguard that they received all my paperwork and the funds should transfer soon.
  9. Hi Mike: You told us your wife's account is spread out over 9 funds yet you list only 6. Joel I didn't list any funds. I listed fund classes. For example multiple large cap funds adding up to 30% will give you 30% in large cap. Individual funds have a more specific name like: Multimanager Large Cap Core Equity, Multimanager Large Cap Growth, EQ/Large Cap Growth Index and so on.
  10. You will get your total account value (20K) minus any withdrawal fees. The way they calculate withdrawal fees is complicated but worse case it should be 17K(contributions) *6% = 1020. The reason I say it is complicated is they have different tweaks depending on the contract series you have. Also they claim you have 10% of total account value free withdrawal amount. However, later on they state "For purpose of calculating the withdrawal charge, amounts withdrawn up to the free withdrawal amount are not considered a withdrawal of any contribution". So that statement would lead you to believe that your 2k free withdrawal amount will not reduce your contribution amount of 17k for withdrawal fee calculation. I am sure the customer support center will know the correct answers. Good luck and be sure and report back with the final figures so that it may help others. Mike
  11. We just moved my wife's AXA 403B to Vanguard in NJ but it was under different circumstances. There were no charges being that we had the account over 13 years, she was over 59.5 and she was retired. So we met 3 requirements for no withdrawal fees. Anyway, I believe what the chart you are looking at means is that if you withdraw anytime during the first 5 years it will cost you 6%. Years 6 through 8 - 5% and so on. If you been there 4 years and you withdraw the full 20,000 it would cost:20,000 - 2,000 (free withdrawal amount) = 18,000 * 6% = 1080. This example assumes all 20,000 is contributions. If there is some investment performance in the 20,000 you can subtract that first. Then depending on what series contract you have this could vary a little. Also ceratin funds have some rules of their own. To get accurate information I would give the AXA customer service center (1-800-628-6673) a call. I found them very helpful and knowledgeable, unlike your rep who just wants to keep you in the plan and sell more.
  12. Just sayin, what he did allowed me to get a return in the same ballpark as the SACT over the last 10 years and a get a return that beat the SACT over the last 12 years. Don't know about his motives but most people, yourself included, had me losing about $100,000. by being with AXA.
  13. I did think this over and it does sound like keeping the fixed account is the right thing to do especially at the 3% I currently have but I don't know if I totally trust AXA to let me keep making 3% without any fees. Especially once they lose my equity stuff which they are making money on. However in an effort to make a clean break I am going to Vanguard with everything and sticking with a very conserative balanced fund which has a lot of bonds to cushion stock market drops.
  14. Agreed. What's kind of ironic here is that the commisioned sales rep that I am leaving for Vanguard (paperwork is in) is actually the guy that saved my wife by putting her into a balanced fund instead of one large cap fund. Her return was in the same ballpark as the SACT for the last 10 years and I bet beat SACT for the last 12 years when their total return dropped to 2.88%. All this with less risk. If I was 100% in one large cap fund with AXA with all other things being equal my return most likely would have been same as SACT minus the 2% charges.
  15. OK just using the last 10 years the SACT delivered 3.94. I only used 12 beacuse that is as far back as the SACT provided performance. Over the last 10 years my high priced AXA account equity portion was 4.4 minus 2.0 total fees(including maint, m&e, individual fund fees) for a net of 2.4. My guaranteed interest account, which has no fees, is currently delivering 3.0 but delivered higher over the last 10 years around 4.25. Without nickle and diming this all I am trying to point out is that there is not much difference between my AXA account net performance and the SACT net performance. The article posted made it sound like everyone who was not using SACT was losing big money but in reality most people have balanced accounts that did fairly well compared to SACT. As you pointed out these commisioned based vendors have various funds that let you build a balanced account. In fact they usually do it for you. I am by no means trying to defend these high commissioned sales people and that is why I am moving to Vanguard. But for reasons discussed in previous posts I will not have my money managed by state employees. You already found out how responsive they are when you asked for the performance numbers. I found the SACT annual reports on a State of NJ Treasury Dept site under annual reports. Some searching should get you there also. If you have trouble let me know. I should be able to find my way back there. My browser deletes my history upon exit. Mike
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