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  1. Finally have the transfer from SB to Vanguard completed. It took a very looong 2 1/2 months with so many phone calls between SB, Vanguard and the Third Party Administrator that at times I thought this day would never come. If it were not for one woman at Newport Group and her allowing me to ask for her directly, I would still be attempting the transfer. It started with the first check out from SB to Newport Group without the LOCKBOX number. Check returned to SB. Second check issued and it had one digit incorrect in the LOCKBOX number. Third check was promised to be sent overnight since it was SB error but when I called sent out in regular mail. SB did a stop payment and 2 days later did overnight the check. SB confirmed it was at New Port bank NEwport did not have a record of it . Only when the Newport Group woman helping followed up with the bank using the total check amount did we find out the check was sent to right lockbox number but did not have my name on it. The bank had to confirm with SB that indeed the money was for my account. It was maddening because I had to wait 10 days after each time the check was issued without a way to determine where the money was or what the problem was or who how to follow up. Thanks to MN Gopher for the heads-up. "If the time between when Newport Group receives your transfer-in paperwork and SB sends them the money is more than one month, Newport may make you resubmit the form." For some reason when the Third party administrator was sending the updated approval letter the fax got interrupted. Newport was telling me they didn't have the updated form, third party administrator was insisting they sent it. Didn't get that figured out till we did a three way call. Moral of the story for anyone trying to get out of an annuity: follow the advise on the message board above, be persistent, keep calling, document each step and try to get someone from the receiving company to help. MN gopher was right when he warned the outgoing company will drag their feet a bit (or more) with the exchange. I have shared my experience with my co-workers. Many did not even know about our 403b options except for what the cafeteria salesman offered. I will continue to spread the word about 403b Wise and options! Thank You!
  2. I have been following the above advice and it has been very helpful! Good news! The broker on my current VA account sent this info: The Variflex annuity contract has an eight year non rolling surrender. Your contract issue date was 9/16/1991 so the contract has been out of surrender since September of 1999. That means that there would not be any surrender charge associated with moving your account from its current product. It would not matter if you went to a mutual fund program through Security Benefit or another 403b provider. I have stopped SB withdrawals from my paycheck. I decided I am going to try to transfer out all the funds to Vanguard even though I could transfer to NEA DirectInvest. The paperwork is a bit overwhelming! I have completed the Vanguard exchange transfer in form. On my third call, the Newport Group employee walked me through filling out the the form step by step. (First 2 calls were not helpful at all). I completed the outgoing funds request for SB. Next, I have an appointment to get the signature medallions on Monday. Then, I have to send all the paperwork off to our Third Party Administrator. Getting closer to being free of the SB fees! Thanks again! Karen
  3. I appreciate you taking the time to provide advice Krow 36, Dan and MNGopher! I spent my entire lunch break today on the phone with SB trying to get information about transferring my annuity into the NEA Direct Invest. I asked if I was able to do this transfer( Variable Annuity to NEA) and what charges/surrender fees might apply. The first person put me on hold for 15 minutes and came back to tell me they discontinued the NEA DirectInvest back in 2010. I explained that it was currently an option displayed on their website and that I was confused. Then, I was told that NEA Direct Invest is a mutual fund and I had the wrong department. I was transferred to the mutual fund dept only to be told they could not determine the surrender fees. I was told only the annuity dept. could provide me with that info........30 minutes later and lunch break over, I had no more info than when I first called. I contacted my personal advisor who "manages "the account and left a message. No response on that end either. I am taking the above advice to bite the bullet and begin the transfer all funds to the Vanguard 403b account. *Really grateful for the assistance and your willingness to share your knowledge with me. I will definitely be sharing the info with my colleagues. Thank you!! Karen
  4. Honestly, I have no idea how much I am currently paying in fees. I tried getting the information from the SB site but it was very confusing. It looked like about 2.5% plus underlying fund operating expenses .8-1.2% for each subaccount. This is what I found: Contingent Deferred Sales Charge. If you withdraw Contract Value, the Company may deduct a contingent deferred sales charge (which may also be referred to as a withdrawal charge) on the withdrawal of Purchase Payments. Contract Year of Purchase Payment Being Withdrawn /Withdrawal Charge 1 8% 2 7% 3 6% 4 5% 5 4% 6 3% 7 2% 8 1% 9 and later 0% Does this mean any amount paid in years 1---20 have a 0 % surrender fee? Only the last 9 years of purchases will have the surrender charge? Yes, I will call SB for total surrender fee. The Vanguard account I opened was a 403b. I was hoping I could avoid the surrender charge by changing SB accounts ( VB annuity to nea direct invest)....wishful thinking? Thank you!
  5. Hello! I am a school based speech and language therapist with over 30 years of teaching in the Pa public schools. I was about to begin fully funding my Security Benefits Variflex Variable Annuity when I found your information and podcasts. Thank you!!!! I have been listening to them all! I now know variable annuity plans are very expensive with many hidden fees. I am wondering though if it is ever a good idea just to hold on to a variable annuity (Does years of paying high fees get me anything of value??????). Can I move the money into the Security Benefits NEA/Directinvest program without penalties. I began my TSA in 1991 and have faithfully contributed every year. The value is around $205,000. It has a 9 year non-rolling surrender fee ( I believe). I will not retire for 4-5 years and will not need to draw from this account for at least 10 years. I found out that my employer offers Vanguard in the 403b list of providers and have opened an account for future withdraws. I was hoping to get some advice about my current TSA and/or if I should contact a fee based financial advisor for help. Would be very grateful for any help! Thank you
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