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detailgal

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  1. Hello Forum Folks, Just received a "summary plan description" and was asked to give feedback (I was one of 2 employees who was on 4-person committee and who helped get rid of ING annuity plan). I have a number of questions and complaints about this "summary," (like the one short paragraph on expenses where no actual numbers are mentioned, as they were in the sales materials), but for now, I'm just wondering about the annuity status. This plan was advertised by the broker as "straight mutual funds," not an annuity, with the option to annuitize at retirement. However, the following statements have me concerned: "If you are married on the date your benefits are to begin, you will automatically receive a joint and 50% survivor annuity, unless you otherwise elect an alternative form of payment." "...must first waive the annuity form of payment." "...alternative form of payment. ....the following methods: - a single lump-sum payment in cash - installments over a period of not more than your assumed life expectancy (or your beneficiary's life expectancy) - the purchase of a different form of annuity." (Our plan is also called "The such and such Group Annuity") ****Am I mistaken to assume that a 403 (b) with "straight mutual funds" that "is not an annuity" (broker) should include additional payout or rollover options? (IRA?)**** This new company IS better than ING re: the fees (.25 on top of fund fees) and the funds are American without the load, so all of that is an improvement. I'm just wondering if this is an annuity. It has all the language of the prospectus of my individual annuity (don't ask). Looking forward to your feedback. Always helpful. DetailGal
  2. Thanks Steve. And, at the risk of further despair...I don't work for a school; I'm at a small non-profit agency. In our meeting today when I questioned why the same American fund outside the retirement plan cost .25 less than inside, one of the things our cfo said was that I should realize how unusual it was for an employee to have a say (not exactly her words), citing examples from much bigger agencies. In response, I noted that the very size of our agency helped to make it possible for an employee to question and ultimately make a difference. Even then, it took 3 years! (The broker did say he would research the answer to my question. And no, no front loads, so the higher fees don't feel like I'm being eviscerated (sp?) as it did with ING.) Thanks also for the link info. And, keep plugging! Best, DG
  3. TR1982: I get the non-pay Morninstar info, am assuming that you are, as I didn't find this info. Or maybe you could point me in the specific direction? Thanks, DG
  4. Thanks TR1982. What are you suggesting would be a good number of Am funds or total funds in the plan? Also, the broker says he'll be serving as an investment advisor as well as the manager of the managed funds. I feel "ok" about this because his cut is the same regardless, though I probably won't use him for my specific picks. But, what do you all think? thanks again, DG
  5. Hi All, Latest, and nearly final installment in long-term (posted here) story of getting out of ING annuity and into something else. The cfo found a broker. We, (she, exec dir. myself and fellow employee/interested investor and broker) met about 6 weeks ago. He offered to put together a small plan (we are a very small agency, 400k in plan assets) with 60% American Funds and about 10-12 funds. I pushed for an average fund fee of .90. (I know this is higher than Vanguard, but Vanguard will never be an option and it's a whole lot less than the 2.10 average with ING.) He's meeting with us again today to finalize things. However, he's saying that he can't offer the kind of diversification that co-worker and I asked for in the form of more funds per asset class AND lower fees. I don't have the actual numbers yet. He says he looks at what the best performers are in an asset class, offers those and tracks them. We had 85 funds with ING. Too much. But to go to 10 with 60% of them American Funds??? Please give me some input on the argument. The cfo just wants to be done with this and the exec dir has no clue about investments. I we should get the 29 American funds and then the 7 other funds, at the very least. Details: The broker's take is a fixed .25 regardless of fund. If you would, please just address my concern here. I know there are lower options out there, but that is not going to happen. The meeting today is. THanks very much. DG
  6. Hello All, Well, after a couple of years of plugging away, it looks like my non-profit agency is going to get a new "open architechture" plan. It isn't the Vanguard deal I wanted, but I can swallow it much better than the ING Erisa Annuity with the 1.25% wrap, 10 year surrender charge period and should-be-illegal level of lousy customer service. But I digress. Here's the situation and questions: The ING plan will either be frozen or terminated depending upon a few factors (outstanding employee loans, if the agency can afford to pay off the surrender fees etc.) The ING rep says that if we leave ING, the employees can transfer all their money, from both the employee and employer accounts to the new plan. Now, this totally contradicts what I've been told in the past by ING and here. So I'm wondering: Is he out and out wrong? Would that be true if it were NOT an Erisa plan and he has overlooked this? Is there a different rule if the plan is terminated vs. frozen? Based upon "valuable," but painful experience, I do not trust ING to know what they're doing or give the right answer the first 10 times I ask. So, I'm here. Thanks for your help on this. detailgal
  7. Hello All, Is anyone out there in a Mutual of America plan? Forgive my asking this once more, but it's looking like our cfo (see my other posts if you want the fascinating details), is leaning heavily in the direction of freezing the ING Erisa plan and opening a plan with M of A. Vanguard et. al. make her too uncomfortable in the education and meeting-the-needs-of-guaranteed-return-fund-investors department. She initially renounced annuities and bought the double-speak from M of A that they were not offering an annuity. (They speak more plainly now.) At this point, M of A is a simple answer in that it makes her comfortable about her responsiblity and the average total expenses are 1.35 (my calculations) vs. ING's 2.10. And, she's part-time, doesn't get paid to spend a lot of time on this. She did bring in a 403b broker who claimed that he could get us a plan with American Funds with a total exp. of less than .90 (my challenge). Haven't heard if he's still in the picture. I'd like to hear from anyone in a Mutual of America plan. Your experience? Or if you know of anyone who's invested through them. thanks a mil' detailgal
  8. All, Thanks for your input. Interesting and helpful, both from an idea/info standpoint and in helping me gain perspective. Part of my frustration stems from the fact that I am one of two people who max out the allowable contribution each year. I see my investment, on many levels, as more than that of most others here. But, then, it is relative to what one can do/afford. SIERRA: While I'd hate to give up the 3% match, the non-qualified idea could be attractive/offset the add'l expenses from the TPA and the time it would take for payroll deductions of a 2nd plan. (There is in fact, an old, 2nd, non-Erisa plan with ING, no ongoing deductions to it and, other than the exec dir., its held by former employees. The cfo wants to consolidate it with the current ING plan.) FT: Thanks re: "fiduciary responsibility" info TR1982: I really can't argue against the reality that some, if not, many people are intimidated by the prospect of learning about their investments. And there are many here (and former employees who never rolled over) invest in stability of principle accounts. (As of 4/05 48% was in those account, though one-third of the money was mine.) I want diversification options for us all. And I think diversification, for the level of investing interest of most, could come through a Target or Lifestyle-type fund. QUESTION: Is a rep allowed to recommend specific funds? Our ING rep does, though she has denied it, and I see that out of 80+ funds, the majority of employees invest in 4 funds. I have been advised and have heard the rep advise others to invest in the FIXED and other accounts. I have a call into my accountant to find out just how much more I'd pay in taxes if I only contributed to the 3% match. I may bail, and put the rest in my Roth and other after tax funds. I only consider this because my retirement tax rate will very likely be higher than it is now. THANKS VERY MUCH! (yes, I'm shouting!) DG
  9. Danc, You are right. When I asked why ING was chosen, the answer was that the last human resources guy chose it. Other than that, there's been no mention of comparison of plans or justification as to why this was a good one. The only fiduciary responsibility that is currently being cited to me is that the plan be easily understood by all participants. I am trying to tell them that the low-cost companies that I have suggested (I also researched Mutual of America and TIAA-CREF), provide easily understandable info and access to people via phone. TR1982, While I definately have a vested interest in adding a low-cost plan, it was the cfo who, this past winter, first looked at our current plan and said that she didn't like it, that it shouldn't be an annuity and that she wanted my assistance in researching other plans. I have clearly stated my reasons for why I think this is a better deal for all employees (except for the fact that a low-cost plan doesn't offer a loan option or a fixed return fund) due to facts and figures of what a 2% difference can do to one's returns over time. I argue against the loan and fixed, prioritizing the plan as a retirement vehicle, not a savings account or loan office. I do not think that I or any other employee should have to pay high fees to foot others' loan options and 4% return. Please, with your experience, tell me the more compelling arguments. THanks again, DG
  10. FT et al.: 1) Does fiduciary responsibility include offering a low-cost plan? 2) Is it considered irresponsible to offer a high-cost plan to employees making modest incomes? 3) What are the other fiduciary responsibilities to which you, FT, refer? 4) Can you tell me of an online resource that defines "fiduciary responsiblities?" Thank you, DG
  11. Herb, As I recall, the TPA didn't think it was a big deal to have a second plan, in terms of reporting. Since my first post, I've found someone at Vanguard Small Business who will speak to our cfo, someone who clearly explained the benefits and, to my question, the education and availabililty of Vanguard staff. WHat I/we need to know from the cfo is how much more she will charge to "monitor" a 2nd plan. Thanks again for your input. DG
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