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Jeff the Teacher

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  1. Good day everyone- I am opening up the old thread because I looked at the SACT holdings today, and as of last year they include companies traded on the NASDAQ, such as Apple.That sounds like no big deal, but for those who have followed this investment fund, the legislation that established it prohibited the managers from investing in stocks on the NASDAQ. Does anyone know when the SACT rules were changed? This seems like a promising development. https://www.nj.gov/treasury/pensions/documents/pdf/sact-summary.pdf
  2. I was wondering if anyone knows if Charles Schwab offers any 403(b) services for schools. I found a document online related to Schwab 403(b) but saw little mention of 403(b) on the Website when doing a quick look. Here is a custodial agreement I found: https://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/nn/schwab_403b7_account_agreement.html Whatever insights people have would be appreciated.
  3. Krow36, Ed, and Steve- thanks for your advice. We are meeting today and your input is very helpful.
  4. I work for a suburban New Jersey school district with roughly 1500 employees. Our local association has established a working group to explore our 403(b) plan vendor choices as we want to effect positive change. I am a long-time member of this board but haven’t posted much and wanted to reach out to everyone today for your thoughts our working group is starting its work soon. Here is some background information. We have a TPA that the board hired after the IRS rewrote 403(b) regulations about 10 years ago. We have a handful of 403(b) vendors. Most offer either mutual funds or annuities at retail prices- the typical K-12 options. The TPA has an option to buy American Funds’ institutional class shares with no loads and fees somewhere in the range of 70 to 90 basis points. (In addition, the district has a single-vendor 457 plan which is administered by VOYA. I believe the options are annuities priced similarly to the typical K-12 products and may have deferred sales charges.) We would like to review our 403(b) vendor options as we work towards working with our board and business office. Can anyone share your experiences with Vanguard, Fidelity, or NEA Member Benefits working with K-12 districts? Or experiences with other vendors that proved favorable? Thanks, Jeff
  5. Thank you to everyone for your feedback. I am thinking it's probably the "360" platform but will follow up with him to see.
  6. Recently, an AXA representative who visited my school said that his company has developed a low-cost, self-directed product for the school market. Has anyone heard about this or know anything about it?
  7. Njteach- I was able to get in touch with Mr. Wade by email a while back and he said the date for the transition from SACT to ACTS had not been set. I misplaced his address but maybe if you call pension and benefits you could get it. Maybe a date has been set by now. I also know that NJEA had a link to information on SACT a while back. Earlier this year NJEA was not aware of the planned termination of SACT tax sheltered and the rollover to ACTS but they may have more information now as they became aware of it. The member benefits people or research division may have more information at this time.
  8. Joel, I contacted Ed Wade through email. He said, "the date of the SACT to ACTS transition has yet to be determined." He also mentioned that the state would give advanced noticed to SACT participants so they could choose their new vendors in a timely fashion. I think it is important that Association members push their locals to inform the general membership and see to it that the school boards and their TPAs enroll interested people in SACT/ACTS. My employee handbook says nothing about SACT and it is not on the 403(b) vendor list. I don't remember it being mentioned on the original TPAF enrollment form, either. Thanks for the information. Jeff
  9. I have not been able to verify that SACT is being folded into ACTS. I have found no relevant legislation. I have pursued this with my contacts in Trenton and they were not able to verify this either. The original post does make an interesting point: that K-12 faculty and staff should have access to the same low-cost provider as county college employees. If anyone has been able to verify please share your information.
  10. Ramfan, I teach in East Brunswick in Middlesex County. Regarding the auditor's report, I would think that some of the net asset increase could be from inflows of new money into the SACT but am not sure of this. Also, consider that the units can be revalued during the actuarial reviews, as was done in 2007, which affects the participants accounts. I also know from speaking to the state official in 2007 that the company that sets the unit value is contracted; the unit valuations are not done by the Division of Pensions. The state does post the unit values on its Website, and you can check the amounts going back a number of years. I think this could be used to calculate year over year performance. Let me know if you need any more information. Jeff Hi Jeff, I am not sure if I write here or at the top. Anyway, it is great to hear from you. Where are you a teacher at? I am at Lacey Township, NJ. 32 years in and nowhere to put my retirement money. Axa will take it but you know that drill. I am using a Roth at Vanguard but my wife and I are approaching the max income to use it without penalty. I stopped putting money in until the end of the year. If I am under, I will put money in before April of 09 for 08. Anyway you look at it, this is my last year with Roth unfortunately, because Vanguard made it real easy to set up. Your insights into SACT are great, and I appreciate them. I am trying to get a prospectus on SACT. I did get the financial statements for 05-06 and 06-07 with an independent Auditors' Report by KPMG LLP. If I am reading it right , I'll quote the lines, "Net assets increased by 19.7 million or 12.2%" for 06-07 and "net assets increased by 10.5 million or 7.0%" for 05-06. Does that mean that if I were in the fund I would have realized gains of 12.2 and 7.0? Hope to hear from you. Ramfan - not lucky this year with funds or a football team.
  11. I did some research on this. It sounds promising, but there are some limitations to the program. Due to the way the legislation that governs SACT is written, SACT cannot invest in stocks traded on the NASDAQ. When the legislation was passed, the over-the-counter stocks were deemed to speculative to be appropriate for retirement investing. Therefore, SACT does not have access to the full U.S. stock market. The state pays for the management fees, but in the past the unit value has been adjusted due to actuarial reviews of the trust (see the June 20, 2007 edition of SACT News, posted online, for more information.) This affects the value of the participants' accounts and a 1.8 percent downward adjustment was made in June 2007. According to one state official with whom I spoke, in the recent past not much support existed for updating the legislation. Thus, the investment limitations are still in place. In addition, SACT has no fixed income investment option. I think this program has potential but needs some updating. This will only happen with attention from the state legislature, the NJEA, and members of the public. If you are interested in learning more, visit the link below. The NJEA may also have more information on the program. The state posts SACT newsletters on its Website, but updates are infrequent. Here is the link: New Jersey Division of Pension and Benefits Jeff
  12. According to the article, the local union president praised the board's decision. What are the experiences of people reading this board? Are the union leaders in your area advocating multiple vendors?
  13. Bruce, Thanks for the update. It sounds like it will be a while before you hear anything. My district is reviewing proposals from a recent RFP. A committee made up of several district administrators and ouside school business administrators will review the proposals. They are looking for one vendor and I plan to look at the proposals to see what's being offered. We require a hold harmless agreement, so I think that will have an impact on what happens. It is my hope that they negotiate better fees than what we currently have. Some employees were upset upon hearing that they may not be able to deal with their familiar salespeople in the future. But I hope that if costs are reined in, people will welcome the change. Hopefully, districts such as Wayne and West Windsor-Plainsboro will keep their low-cost options. Jeff I don't know what my district is going to do. I have tried to get the district to get going to meet the new regs but our district is in such flux, interim Assistant Superintendent, no current Superintendent, interim Business Administrator, that nothing has been done. I have little confidence that I will like what they come up with when they get around to it however.
  14. Bruce, Do you know what your district's plans are with respect to the new regulations and compliance? Are they issuing an RFP for 403(b) vendors, or hiring a TPA? Jeff
  15. What is the importance of the information sharing agreement under the new regulations?
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