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Everything posted by sullivanke

  1. Thanks for the response... When was the fee raised from .10 to .15? Why was it raised, because of the need to take on additional staff to accomodate the flood from IRS reg. changes? Also, If I wasnt informed (regular mail or email) about this increase, how can I become more aware of future changes? Do you foresee any additional increases in the near future? THANKS
  2. I thought 403basp was .10 in addition to chosen fund ER>?? THANKS>
  3. can you expand on this gatekeeper option. Are they a TPA? If So, they offer vanguard funds cheaper and more direct than 403basp .10 fee structure? THANKS>
  4. with your wifes plan through JMA, what is the total cost she is incurring to access Vanguard Funds? I didnt know that 403basp offers 457's as well>? THANKS> By the way, with more people were more active on this board. Seems like a lot of people just reading but not really posting, or just posting links to articles (Which I enjoy, just wish there was more communication/dialogue. Perhaps this is representative of the educaotrs not being well-informed in area and just trying to read up)
  5. sullivanke


    Just thought I would drop an update. In workign with our districts Business Adminstrator, we approved adding 403basp as a option for employees. I know there has been some controversy with this platform over the last few weeks. People comlpaining regarding the inability to contact, speed of deposits etc.. However, I have enrolled with them and in speaking with them, feel they have ironed out these glitches. With the IRS changes, they were swamped big time. They currently hold 30% of the nations 403b's and they received a majority of these accounts in a VERY SHORT time period. To accomodate this they have quadrupled there call servive and although someitmes still timely to speak to someone, if you call and wait, you will be able to speak to someone. Our district offers the "open platform" availability giving us access to 20,000+ funds. Including Vanguard, and Fidelity. I simply chose a Vanguard Target Retirement date Fund 2040 based on its allocation and its small 0.19 ER. WHen you tack on 403basp's .10 a total of 0.29 for expenses is clearly not to shabby....Is it better than Fidelity or Vanguard Direct? Of Course not but given the circumstances I think we should all be somewhat pleased with this stride in the right direction. This platform is willing and able to meet any requirements that your district may throw at them so there is no real debate there..... Anyway, I am not trying to endorse this company, have no affiliation (see my prior posts, I have actually shown my doubts before as well) just thought Ide share my update and current feelings....... Oh yeah also, they do charge the 40$/yr fee as well. and a 75$ charge for loans/hardships but they are extremely TRANSPARENT and upfornt with ALL costs. You do not need to worry about and hidden fees. etc.
  6. Dave, do you know the details of your plan document that allowed you to get vanguard added to your list? I recently was told that the IRS states that it is possible to have vendors on the list who both offer loans/hardships and vendors who do not......all under the same plan document? THANKS>
  7. Yeah, I guess I have to agree..... I mean isnt it borderline illegal as well? I thought that the time-limit to get money in is 15 days? What if the market had begun its rebound (which historically is quite abrupt and impressive) and it was during this delay, you and many others would have missed some impressive numbers? Shit, I dont know anymore........... I am sticking to the Roth IRA as well until next year and hoping for the 2009-2010 school year that 403basp has their act together...... It is also scheduled to add a 457 for our district for next year. If we can get a low cost provider in their, this will be my investing priority. If I can contribute > 16,500 next year, I will hope that 403basp is good to go by then.....
  8. Also, not sure if you have seen this, but the following message has been posted on the fron page of 403basp I am optimistic that they will be able to meet my needs as an investement platform for my 403b.... The new regs are hard on everyone, I thin we just need to give them the benefit of the doubt here and allow them to prove that for many districts, they are the best option. "IMPORTANT NOTICE: We understand your concerns regarding the timing of remittance and posting of your contributions to your 403(b) account. Due to high volume and strict adherence to quality control measures, some accounts may be experiencing delays with contributions being reflected. To prevent further delay, contributions received in January will continue to be processed and will be completed no later than February 20th. We appreciate your patience during the initial plan and account establishment period and please be assured that future contributions will be made with much greater expediency. All of us at 403b ASP wish to thank you for choosing us as your Investment Provider, and we will continue to improve upon our service standards."
  9. Rich, sorry to hear this news. Especially since our district will soon be adding 403basp (they have signed the paperwork and will be available in < 1 month). I have found there customer service to be sporadic at best as well. Supposedly, based on another post from another member here, they have added additionaly staff to try to meet the increase in demand. Apprently, this is not enough. At times I get responses from what seems like founders of the company with very thorough answers and then I cannot get a person over the phone or a returned call for days or weeks on end (hence my report card of : "Sporadic at best" I really hope they can iron this out. As long as I can get setup with them and assure that my money is getting to Vanguard or Fidelity (havent chosen allocation yet), through them, I will be ok. I wont be contacting them for any reason after this has been established. Kind of a set it and forgte it scenario. But of course it does leave an uneasy feeling especially if I ever need to withdraw, loan, or general questions need to make contact. Is it 403basp that you are putting blame on, or your TPA>? was 403basp contributing 20$ of their custodial fee to cover your TPA as advertised? Where will you go from here? contribute to a Roth IRA?
  10. after having met with our district union once already, another appointment was made and we met yesterday. This time we had a rep from the state there (NJEA). He was very well informed of the situation in our district and districts across the nation with the new IRS changes. There in the room, he spoke to our Business administrator over the phone and discussed the situation and options. SPecifically he was pressing in ways to get Fidelity back on our vendor list and have Vanguard added. Our IPSA and Plan Documents can be re-written at any time and he was very vocal about that. He handed out a powerpoint discussing impact of fees and options within state of NJ for 403b and 457 and SACS (Supplemental Annuity Collective Trust) anyone use this? dont like the restrictions in the one fund availability. We then discussed how the district can initiate a 457, choosing one low cost provider such as Vanguard. He talked about one district in Wayne who has Vanguard Direct, our business admin, is supposed to be contacting him to see how this structure is setup. Not expecting anything overnight obvioulsy but this seemed like progress to me. We left it as follows: We are going to schedule a meeting with our local union, the NJEA rep, myself and maybe a few other concerned teachers and our business admin to discuss situation. Also, 403basp has signed our districts paperwork and it seems as though they will be board approved. Even if we cant get Fido or Vanguard direct, we will have availability of there funds through 403basp at a very reasonable cost (.10 + Mutual fund ER) and then, if we startup the 457 with a low cost, this would be a great scenario..... time shall tell
  11. Very hesitant to believe anything that comes from this company but was wondering if anyone on hear has heard anything about this new plan in light of the new IRS changes wihtin School Districts and how I can investigate further to check for validity. THANKS> _________________________________________________________________________________________ "just wanted to keep you updated on the plan . Per the district's request, AXA will be offering a new 403b7 low cost direct option to the district. Companies will include Fidelity, etc. We expect to have it available this month. I know this is something you were interested in considering. Your current assets at AXA can be rolled into the new plan, when available _________________________________________________________________________________________ After this chain of communication I inquired about fee structure and was fed the following response: _________________________________________________________________________________________ "The program will be R shares. This is the way many 401k plans are structured, funds are offer at NAV(no sales load) and there is an administrative wrap fee (0.06% is our expectation). You would enroll online directly vs. thru a sales rep. "
  12. Does anyone know if NJ state constitution is like that of NY wherein the deficit will be met by tax? Where can I find this infomration? I am 5 years into NJ education pension ~ 8K into it. If there are changes in the future would I be Grandfathered? What do you guys see happening in a decade with Pension systems for School Districts? If they were to offer you 403b with matches vs pension, how would you choose (this is a very vague question and would be dependant on many things but are there any states who have done something similiar and what was the % match?) If there were low cost funds available and the match was descent, I would not complain. Although a NJ teachers pension is VERY valuable over time
  13. BigRed, Our district just submitted IPSA and Plan Documents to see if they will comply..... I was just wondering, if they DO comply, what funds, out of the 20,000 that they advertise, would be available to our district? My concern is that only funds which are high cost would be available. So, who chooses what funds will be available? Im assuming the School District? If this is the case, Would Vanguard or Fidelity be options, If they werent able (independantly) to sing our documents (thats to say, Fidelity was removed from our vendor list, would 403basp be able offer these?) Thanks for your efforts. Is that link you listed 403basp pending districts?
  14. BigRed, Thanks, I am Middletown Board of Ed. Monmouth County, NJ
  15. Tony, Was hoping you could address a part of my post: "Also, out of all of your vendors, what was the lesser of the evil in terms of their offerings and their associated fees/?" THANKS>
  16. elgordo, Thansk for your experience, I think you are the only one on here that is an active participant in this vendor, is this safe to say>? When our vendor list changes about 3 weeks ago, I reached out to all existing and new vendors and the response time was pathetic to non-existent. What a mess. If I can just determing how funds are slected for districts under 403basp as provider, and could establish that there will be low cost index funds via Fidelity or Vanguard, I will not need to have the ability to talk to anyone right away. Just "set it and forget it" (aside from rebalancing which is not on my schedule if I choose a simple Vanguard Target Retirement Fund)
  17. I am a skeptic by nature regarding investing vehciles wihtin districts as well. And I have done as much research as I think that I can trying to fully unveil the fees associated with 403basp. I have posted some supporting evidence below... I hope the authors dont mind but feel that it may be useful for other people reading................. The second email is a response from Dan Otter. I am compelled to think after my own extensive research and the input from reputable sources here, that the info is valid from 403basp..... However, again, any input from anyone who has experience with this company would be the most valuable which I havent been able to do yet. THANKS Hi Kevin, I'll do my best to answer your questions. 403basp is different than most other vendors in the sense that they are not a mutual provider or insurance company. Thus, they are not a product provider and don't have the conflicts these companies have (or lack of transparency). They are an independent third-party administrator (TPA) and recordkeeper, but in a real sense, they are a technology platform. Because they are a technology platform, they have found a unique niche in the 403b world (especially w/ school districts) because there are so many different provider options made available to participants. They have been able to bridge together these disparate providers which is helping school districts simplify the management process. The 403b world is changing with regard to fiduciary responsibility, oversight and regulations. If you follow this link and click on the drop-down box you'll see the New Jersey school districts who they are working with: http://403bplan.info/newjersey.html The 403basp costs you outlined are accurate from a participant standpoint (not including fund costs). You don't need to be skeptical about additional hidden fees - they are accurate. One of the nice things about 403basp is that they are totally transparent. There are also usually costs associated with the school district from an administration standpoint but these should be paid directly by the district. 403basp would have to address what these fees would be. Based on your example below, you would pay the following: $40 account fee 0.10% ###### $20,000 = $20 $5,000 ###### 0.32% (VQNPX expense ratio) = $16 $5,000 ###### 0.40% (VDAIX expense ratio) = $20 $5,000 ###### 0.82% (RNGEX expense ratio) = $41 $5,000 ###### 0.63% (RLBEX expense ratio) = $31.5 Total $ = $168.50 Total Weighted % = 0.84% My best recommendation for doing additional research would be to call 403basp and ask them about any questions you have. Let me know if this helps. Than(k)s, Joshua P. Itzoe, CFP®, AIF® _________________________________________________________________________________________ After receiving your email, I contacted my good friend, co-author of my first book, and planner, Scott Dauenhauer CFP recently met with 403basp's owner James Olson and has the following to say about this company: In terms of their pricing, yes, it is .10% and $40. They also make money if the participants end up choosing funds that have revenue sharing (assuming no advisor is connected to that participant and receiving it). For someone who is investing in non-revenue sharing funds such as Vanguard then the only compensation 403bASP receives is the .10% and $40.As for Fidelity not doing loans (neither does Vanguard) and ASP doing loans for people invested in Fidelity or Vanguard: 403bASP is simply a recordkeeper for mutual funds, they have built the technology to allow them to do loans. Fidelity does do loans and has the ability and technology to do so (as does Vanguard), but is very selective as to when and what plans they make that option available too. It gets complicated, but Fidelity is not the account provider, ASP is the account provider and it doesn't matter what funds are held through ASP, they have the will and capability to do loans with their technology. I am not sure if they charge an extra fee for a loan, I'm assuming they do (and they should), you should find this out.In regards to the IPS, I see no reason why they couldn't comply. They've built a technology platform that is more flexible than anything I've seen in the business and are able to accommodate requests that many of the largest recordkeepers would laugh at. While I'm sure they'd review your IPS, they are receiving requests from hundreds of school districts a month and are pretty busy (they just hired 18 more people to keep up with the demand).I've visited ASP myself and am comfortable with them. Remember, they are the recordkeeper, the money is actually held at a Trust company (who are highly regulated). The trust company is Matrix.While I think they are a good company, I encourage you to do your own due diligence and not rely on the word of someone else (regardless of credibility).I hope this helps.Scott Dauenhauer
  18. Thanks Steve. You would still recommend abandoning the 403b all together even if 403basp is brought on as a vendor. If they are brought on and the fees are as advertised with no TPA, it Truely is not that far off from Fidelity Direct. Agreed, in that its not AS good but still the benefits of the pre-tax contributions and lowering of your adjusted gross income would outweigh that small difference??????????
  19. Steve, The Plan Document and IPSA were already drafted. I think what happens is that districts use "cookie cutter" plan language that favor Annuity Insurance Companies. Vanguard and Fidelity not having the resources to investigate each districts plans drafted there own and simply stated, if you want onboard, you oblige to our language............ Fidelity therefore, was removed from our list. They could not sign our documents supposedly.... In the interim while the fight and arguments are being made, 403basp seems like a great vendor to slide in and have available due to their transparency and willingness to sign in light of new regs. My question involves 403basp's 20,000 available mutual funds and how they are selected by the district if they are approved as a vendor. I would clearly want to to see some Vanguard and Fidelity funds as options. Is there anything that can be done AFTER the fact that these documents have been drafted? I cant understand why there wasnt a universally REQUIRED plan that allowed companies like Fidelity and Vanguard to be added or remain? Next, do these documents have "life-spans" how often do they need to be re-written. The deeper you dig, the more crooked it gets!
  20. gotcha, thanks. Has anyone ever heard of the following as rationale as reason to not adopt new vendor? The message below is from Business admin. regarding adopting 403basp We are awaiting their review of our IPSA and plan document. Then, assuming no problems, we will get their info to our Board Attorney to ensure that this ‘platform’ is not a problem for the district. We also have to make sure that crossover is accounted for, if applicable, whereby they may offer products already covered by existing TSA companies.
  21. sullivanke


    I know a thread is already open regarding this platform but I am interested in hearing from anyone on this site who has established 403basp within their district and some feedback. I have got the ball rolling on getting them into our district. Between Dan Otter and James Olson, I have had sufficient answers to my questions. Im just looking to get some perspective from anyone who has established them and has begun contributions. Another question that I forgot to ask 403basp is how are the available funds selected by the district and is it possible as teachers, for us to influence which funds are chosen. This is from their website: "403b ASP has access to a universe of over 20,000 mutual funds within over 400 fund families. Many plans are restricted to certain fund families by their district or TPA. You can find your choices in "Review your Plan Investment Options" on your districts plan site within www.403bplan.info." The .10 along with the annual fee coupled with the mutual fund fee is definetly within my tolerance, ESPECIALLY when I see my other options. This platform seems very compliant with the new regs and if all is valid, should be a no-brainer for us on this board who have had no-load mutual fund companies removed (Fidelity and or Vanguard).....At a minimum, lets get them on the vendor list while we try to straighten out all of the madness in an attempt to get Fidelity back. Clearly this is a better option than the other insurance companies. Thanks for reading and any input that you can share.
  22. another thing to think about is that if your contributions were lowering your AGI into a situation that allowed contributions to a Roth IRA, it may make a lot of sense to keep contributing enough to make contributions to RIRA allowable....... just a thought, but I am with you in terms of being fed up. Our district has added USAA and although not as good as Fidelity, they offer S&P Index @ .25 with no other fees, not even annual custodial fee. Not to bad at all. They are thinking of adding 403bASP, although based on the threads on this site, I am somewhat skeptical of this platform and not sure if that concern is warranted or not. THANKS>
  23. So you are opting to not take advantage of the 403b? Im assuming its because you (like many) were left with poor choices for vendors? I am in the same boat. Question is though, how do you make this decision? SO, you are Maxing out Roth IRA's and then everything thereafter is taxable? So, how do you do the math as to when the cost associated with fees of 403b outweigh the tax benefits of this vehicle? THANKS> Also, out of all of your vendors, what was the lesser of the evil in terms of their offerings and their associated fees/? THANKS>
  24. Has anyone here ever given a presentation to faculty or others to educate about what we all fight for on this web-page? If so, is there anyone willing to attach or post this somewhere to be able to be used. We have Februaru earmarked for vendor reps to come in and I would like to offer some sort of education about this topic. Any suggestions or prior experiences would be appreicated as well *Did it go well, positive feedback *any issues with liability, not being a liscensed financial person etc. etc. THANKS>
  25. Sorry to post this here, seems more fitting in the 457 thread but the activity in that board is stagnant at best. Anyway, I am aware of the differences and similiarities in the 403b and 457. Im also aware that districts are not required to offer these. However, regarding the new IRS reg's. Is it fair to say that there is less oversight in the 457's? Would it cost a district a lot of money to initiate such an offering? I guess what Im getting at is: Maybe the 457 is a "loop hole" in light of the recent reg changes to get no-load mutual fund companies back into (or started) at districts? If a district does not offer a 457 and doest seem interested in starting one, do we have any options at the state level? THANKS>
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