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Everything posted by grw

  1. I haven't checked in on the forum for a while so I'm late to the party here. I agree that the article was horribly written, but I'm cautiously enthusiastic to read this news! My wife is a teacher and has a large chunk of money tied up with AXA. I've been hoping to get a low cost option added to the schools plan, but progress is slow. My understanding is that a deferred comp plan is a 457: the 457 has many great benefits that a 403b does not so this is potentially great news as long as TRS doesn't totally screw it up. As mentioned in the article, Illinois already offers a really great 457 plan to some state employees. I don't know why they couldn't just replicate that for the teachers?? Have to wait and see how bad this gets bobbled, but any movement away from companies such as AXA is a huge step forward.
  2. Yes, all teachers have a pension plan covered under the state ran Illinois TRS. However, the only options for 403b are what each district decides to make available, usually insurance companies.
  3. Illinois teachers aren’t allowed to use the Illinois Deferred Comp plan. I’ve called multiple times to verify this and to try and figure out why not. The short answer is that Illinois teachers aren’t considered state employees, they employed by the local school board/district.
  4. grw

    ERO refund

    I don’t believe so.
  5. Thanks, Ed. They are speaking with Vanguard as well.
  6. I recently found out that my wife’s school district is looking into setting up a low cost 403b option. This is obviously great news! Apparently the HR/payroll person at the school is having difficulty opening a dialogue with Fidelity. Can anyone give me specific information on how to get the ball rolling? It’s probabaly talked about on the forum, but I didn’t find out anything doing a quick search. Thanks
  7. 403bman, I do agree with you. However, I have to say that the financial services in general is pretty slimy. The average person doesn’t have enough education and can easily be taken advantage of. Pretty sad.
  8. So glad you have taken the time to give some insight from your perspective. I also wish enrollment was mandatory but only to a low cost provider. I truly don't understand why the teacher segment of the population is left with so few choices.
  9. I wish he would reply. It'd be nice to pick his brain some. I'm impressed that he took the time to post at all!
  10. Very interesting! I would love to know who Mr. 403bman works for??
  11. Well, just got a call back from the state deferred comp agency and they are claiming that since Illinois schools are controlled by local government/school boards teachers are not eligible to use the state run 457. Very frustrating and doesn't really make sense to me. Illinois sucks in every way.
  12. I'm attempting to again get information on the Illinois 457. It has some great low cost options. I was told before that it was only for state and state university employees. This is what the plan document states "All employees of the State of Illinois who are receiving salary for personal services are eligible to participate in the Plan. This includes, but is not limited to, State University employees, Judges, part-time employees, Legislators, and elected State Officers. Also included is any person under contract for personal services with a State Agency." Now, all Illinois public teachers contribute roughly 10% of each paycheck to the Illinois Teacher Retirement System(TRS) which is a state agency. I don't see why/how they can exclude public teachers, particularly because of the "not limited to" statement. Anyone have any thoughts? I waiting on a call back from the Illinois deferred comp dept.
  13. krow, thanks for the information. My wife’s district is very small with no HR dept, just the Superintendent and some accounting personnel. I’m still working with the Super to add Fidelity or at least Aspire, but I don’t want to push him to hard. He’s a friend and had been receptive thus far. As as far as AXA goes, yes, I’m sure the withholding of information is very intentional. I’ve requested a phone call from someone who can tell me something about this 360 product. Thanks for the information, you truly are a wealth of knowledge and support! BTW, I did get a call from a FINRA investigator this week. He has begun investigating our complaint against AXA. For what’s it worth, better than doing nothing.
  14. krow36, I've been emailing back and forth with AXA and just spent 30 mins on the phone and know one seems to have even heard of the AXA Retirement 360. This is typical of AXA. I'm very interested in learning about the fees associated with this product. My wife has a considerable amount stuck with AXA until we can get her school to add another vendor, maybe this could be a viable option? I'd rather walk thru broken glass than give AXA another dime, but my wife can't leave her job just to transfer her 403b. I know the MillionaireEducator would say otherwise;)
  15. Please do keep us updated, and yes it can be very frustrating dealing with this stuff. I wouldnt say smart, just very lucky!
  16. Great podcast! Goes to show you what determination and some knowledge can accomplish.
  17. Sorry, I would've responded sooner but I've been out of town, literally off the grid, for the past week on a hunting trip.
  18. LibraryLady, as you mentioned, there are no fees on the GIF unless the account value is under $25k then there is a $30/year administrative fee. This is what I've been told by a senior manager and the returns of my wife's account domreflec the 3% return. It's killing me that AXA has a large chunk of our money but it's stuck for now and there is nothing we can do about it. I'm considering moving the entire balance into the GIF until that time when we can rollover. Best I can tell, the rest of the account would have to do better than 5.44% to just break even after fees. I don't know if this makes sense of not. BTW, my wife is as a "LibraryLady":)
  19. I don't see how they could go below the standard IRA deductions, which are also already low.
  20. I heard the $2,400 figure being talked about the other day, but I didn't take it seriously. This would be devastating.
  21. I got a phone call yesterday afternoon from the manager of the advisor. I was not impressed and I think that AXA will try to sweep this under the rug. He wanted "our side" of the conversation and asked if we were ok with our account as it stands. He even said that if we were concerned about the fees we could transfer the entire balance into the guaranteed interest fund which is "free of fees". It pays 3% which is not horrible and 10% of the balance is already in that fund. But, I told him that we've stopped all contributions and that we were working with the school to get a low cost provider so that we can roll the entire balance. I sure hope that happens. The manager didn't really comment on all of the lies that were told, just that it would be dealt with "in house". I told him that someone from AXA needed to report this behavior to the school district, but I seriously doubt that this guy will. I asked him if they self report to FINRA and he said that records are kept on all complaints and that FINRA does a yearly audit on them. I told him that we would be filing a separate complaint with FINRA and he didn't like that but said they "can't stop us from doing it". When I asked why they employee someone who has so many prior complaints and even a dismissal he just said that he "didn't know the details of why he had been let go before". I gave him several opinions. My impression was that he was weary of having to deal with the situation at all. If that is all that AXA has in mind to do, I'll try a few more things as I mentioned previously. Probably a waste of time, but you never know.
  22. You have certainly come to the right place for help! Tons of good advice already. Hopefully the school will have a better option, but it looks like you have a 457 option available. The good news is that you are young and have already caught on to a bad product.
  23. This digital age is beginning to get sort of scary. I have a coworker who had $40k stolen from her savings account at an online bank, don't remember which one. She got the money back, but it was a long process. I think the thief was actually identified and located.
  24. Tony, thanks so much for the very kind words. I think we are kindred spirits and you are definitely not a nuisance. I came here looking for support and have found it. Much like you, I can't stand to be lied to and I won't tolerate being bullied. To me, by lying so unscrupulously to our faces, we were being bullied. Your idea about waiving the surrender fee is a stroke of genius and I will definitely play to that end. However, I'm also skeptical that AXA will make much of an issue over this. Lip service is one thing, action is another ballgame. If it looks like they will blow it off, I'll try a different approach. I have found in the past that a well worded email to the right person can get immediate action. The hard part is actually getting the right email address.
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