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  1. Actually Joel, I have not used this website as an advertising site. I have answered the questions posed to me and have not received any compensation for my time and energy for adding information to this site. I don't post on this site for the money. I post on this site to inform and receive information. I don't believe that anyone but you see this as an advertisement. But in any event, thank you for your remarks. Sincerely, Bill
  2. Yes, That is correct. I know that it's hard to believe, but it's true! Good Investing, Bill
  3. Joe, We at NEBSonline never say that everyone has bad investment choices. We only say that some people need to know if what they have is the best choice or not based on empirical data and risk tolerances. That being said you may be in the best investment choice for YOU! However, with NEBS at LAUSD, there are many behind the scene services that we provide. Did you know that there are more than 200 checks that come in and go out for resolution issues on a monthly basis? How much do you think that is costing the district? How about the fact that there are 7 payroll cycles and at least 85 providers that checks are sent out to on each payroll. That means that there are 595 checks that the district has to cut, reconcile, stamp, address and mail every month. How long does it take for the mail to get to the providers, for the providers to open the envelopes and deposit the check and for the check to clear before it hits your accounts? NEBSonline would simplify this process for LAUSD by taking over all check resolution issues (any returned checks would be researched and accounted for to the district within 5 business days of receipt), we would ensure that the district only have to reconcile one data file per pay period and send only 1 check/wire for each. We then ACH/wire all monies to the providers (ACH monies are electronic transfers which show up as cash to the providers. The provider gets a computerized breakdown of each account and how much is to go to each.) Your monies will hit your accounts quicker. Have you ever had to research an issue with a contribution through the district? They are as helpful as they can be, but with thousands of duties to accomplish, how can they adequately follow up for you. NEBSonline is a Retirement Application Service Provider with only the goals of providing the best client services available in the industry. You call us, we take care of it within 24 hours!!! I could go on and on with the advantages that you would receive. I hope that you see that we at NEBS are trying to bring a solution to the real problems that are dealt with on a day to day basis within your community. We are here for you! Sincerely, Bill
  4. Ed, To answer your question, you as an employee of a county doing business with NEBSonline do not have to pay any fees for investing in a 403(b) to NEBS. With that said, if you wish to have access to the NEBSonline Financial advisor services, we will provide those to you in a number of different ways: 1. If you elect NEBSonline as your broker/dealer, there are no charges to you, the employee, because when we help you choose your investment the provider that you choose will pay us from the load associated with that product. Nothing additional, you would pay this same load with any other financial advisor for the same product choice. 2. If you already have a broker/dealer but you still want to use the advantages of the NEBSonline systems, you can pay a $35.00 per year fee, just like an annual subscription fee to an interactive financial magazine. This will give you complete access to the tool, centralization of information for research and much more. 3. In some districts we have had requests to open the platform of products available to their employees. This would include what we call our No-Load platform. For employees who feel savvy enough to do their own research and don't want to pay any loads or commissions to a sales agent, they can access our "No-Load Platform" for $35.00 per year. Within this platform are some of the most well know no loads available in the marketplace. 4. Your county has a list of approved vendors that have always been there. If Vanguard is on this list and is an available option of choice, then you are more then welcome to choose this option with no association through NEBSonline. The only thing that you will notice is that NEBS will handle your MAC calculations and IRS compliance, common remit to your provider on the counties behalf and handle all check resolution issues that may arise. Now you ask how we make a living. Well we all know that there are a number of employees that are interested in investing but don't know where to start. There are also a number of employees that have been orphaned by would be sales reps that signed their buyers up and disappeared without a trace, collecting commissions for no service and no help. It is those individuals that we know will take advantage of this service. We also know that there are a number of new employees that are coming in all the time. These employees like NEBS because it gives them a way to use technology to make investment choices. With a growth rate of 5% per year in every district we work with and doing this on a national basis, we can make enough to be profitable and still keep costs low for the employees we empower. I hope that this answers your questions. If you have anything further that you would like to discuss, feel free to contact me anytime. Bill
  5. Steve, The people that were involved included Joe Zeronian, Yoshi Fong, Robert Diaz, Olonzo Woodfin, Karen Tillman, the UTLA Rep, the CSEA rep, Rick Duran and Sarah Griffin at Jones Day. All of the above mentioned persons have been involved in this decision. Ken came in after we received board approval and set up a schedule of implementation with the group. 3 years of work all blown away because Yoshi and Joe retired 2 months too early. Now there is this huge misunderstanding of communications. I know that you are not one of the decision makers at the district Steve, but you are respected in the industry. Just as Scott Dauenhauer, editor of the Teachers Advocate is respected. We are all in the same boat my friend. If we want to improve this benefit we need to work together. For the better of all employees. I have tried to reach Ken and Brian at the district, but I can't seem to be able to get a returned call. If there is anything that you could recommend, I would appreciate it. Bill
  6. Interesting response Joel. It seems to me that you are more concerned about reducing options for employees then truly making it a better plan for people to take advantage of. I know that employers have the abilities to manage their own retirement benefits Joel, the problem is that they don't. In stead of wasting your time and energy in discounting possible solutions to serious problems in the industry, and possibly promoting your own motives and incentives of profit, why don't you admit to the fact that our service is credible and truly offers a PROVEN solution, not just talk. As far as your opinion, it is one of many and I do concede that you are aloud to it. However, there are countless others who see a real value in what we are trying to do. Not only employers, but Union Representatives, Associations and government entities as well. I have come to the conclusion that you are not interested in learning what NEBS has done to help the people in this industry, but instead are intent on trudging your shoes over anyone that dares say a word. I am sorry that you feel so disheartened about the possibilities of improvement that NEBSonline offers, the countless hundreds of people that are more informed because of what we are doing, and the true benefits that the 403(b) arrangements have. It is obvious that you haven't even taken the time to look at the research capabilities of the system or how it really works. That being said, I will not take anymore of my time arguing these issues with you. It is clear that you are not willing to even leave the possibility that what I say is true. If you wish to say something in reference to the website and abilities that it offers to employees, I am willing to listen. That is what I posted this for in the first place. If you are intent on trying to drag me into a personal battle of words, I won't belittle myself. As I said, you are entitled to your opinion, that doesn't mean that everyone else agrees with you. It has been an interesting dialog with you Joel, but I believe that it's time to let others say what they feel (without worrying that you are going to attack them). Regards, Bill
  7. Hi Steve, I completely understand your enthusiasm regarding the new CFO. Anyone that is interested in promoting the "Benefit" of the plan is OK in my book. However, there was a statement in your note that is not correct. First of all, we have been and always will be very clear about how we are compensated for our services. Ken, unfortunately, was not involved in the decision making process of bringing NEBSonline to the district as an alternative option for employees. Secondly, the reason that we require the employee information is because we handle the common remitter and compliance services. How are we going to remit the funds to the providers and take care of check resolution issues if we don't have the account numbers. We are very specific in our agreement which states that we will not contact any employee directly. They would have to contact NEBSonline first. We are also very clear that we do not share, sell or otherwise provide this information on employees to any other entity without the expressed written consent of the district, unless required by law. Steve, I believe that there are a lot of mis-communications with regards to our services and I would personally like to meet with you so that you are clear on what it is that we do. I will be back in Southern California the week of February 9th. Can you tell me if it would be possible to meet. I will also call Brian and Ken to see if they are available. Please let me know. Sincerely, Bill
  8. Joel, Per your requested I have included the rule that you have requested below: Q: 5:25 What is an employer's investment responsibility for 403(b) plan that is not subject to ERISA? If a 403(b) program is not subject to ERISA, the employer will not have any fiduciary responsibility under ERISA for the selection of insurers and investment funds. Furthermore, because a voluntary 403(b) program is not an employer-sponsered plan, it is doubtful that any state law fiduciary duty would apply. Therefore, in some cases, it may be wisest for an employer to deliberately take no responsibility for examining investments offered for a voluntary 403(b) program. That is because once an employer begins to act, the law requires it to act and communicate carefully. In essence, if participants and employees are led to believe that an employer has performed some kind of investment or financial analysis, and if the analysis or comminication is not as thorough and accurate as would have been done by a recognized professional, the employer could become liable- for example, under the common law tort of negligent comminication. [American Law Institute, Restatement (Second) of Torts, ss 552]. Referance: 403(b) Answer book. Now that I have answered your question, I have one for you. Have you even taken a moment to try out the interactive demo on the NEBSonline website? The purpose of this post was not to debate the law and what is wrong with it. We know there are problems. NEBSonline has offered a solution to the problem. All I want to know is what you think of the solution!!
  9. Joel, I appreciate your candor and passion regarding these issues. I too feel the same way you do regarding companies that are trying to take advantage of employees by misleading and misguiding them to bad investment choices. When I stated the prior information, I did make a typo, it was meant to say 501©3 organizations AND school districts, COEs, etc.... I apologize for this mistake and admit it openly. I will find the information that you have "challenged" me to find for you. Please don't take this thread as a personal attack on you Joel. I am merely trying to get a feel for what people think about the NEBSonline website, it's ability to help manage self directed retirement plans and if it's useful to employees. You are right Joel, there are a lot of people that are viewing this post that are much more knowledgeable than you or I, but isn't that the reason we post? I want to know more about the views of these experts out there. I want to know your views and concepts. I was a teacher before I moved careers to this industry. I was taken advantage of by a sales agent with only their commissions in mind. This is why I am so passionate about what I do. I don't want to see anyone have the negative experience that I had when looking into investing. I hope that we all can have a healthy and wealthy retirement, all I am saying is that it is important that the individual must become more effective in choosing their investments. I will reply soon with the information you requested. Peace, Bill
  10. Hi Joel, There are some differences in regards to law and fiduciary responsibility for public and private companies. A 501©3 organization such as a district, county office of education or college that supplies a 403(b) plan for their employees is not allowed to provide financial advice. They are not a fiduciary, as the IRS considers the 403(b) a "self directed" retirement plan. This means that the employee directs which investment to defer too, fills out a "Salary Reduction Agreement" asking the district to reduce your salary and tax-defer a payment to said investment. By only offering one choice, the district would be saying that they "endorse" this provider, taking on a fiduciary liability. This is not allowed under publication 571. Now if an employer decided to only offer a 457 plan or some type of alternative with fiduciary responsibility, then they can limit the products available. As far as NEBS liking that there are more providers, you are somewhat correct. We believe that employees have different goals with regards to their retirement deferral capabilities. For instance an employee with a spouse also bringing an income to the household with no children will have different goals, be more aggressive and have more to defer than an employee with no spouse and 3 children. It's in the best interest of the employee to have more options. It's about the quality of the product, the costs and fees associated with them and their ability to produce the goals stated in their prospectus. It's about being able to learn about the differences between the products available to you and taking advantage of the ones that meet your requirements. When I think about the people that I have talked too who decided on choosing their investments by looking at the top of the provider list at the district and picking the first one just because they don't have time to research their options, it makes me sick! I want to see a day when we are bragging because we are more knowledgeable about the options we choose and the performance that it has provided. I hope, with the help of sites like this, that day will be soon. The law AB2506 I am refering to is for California, however similar laws have been implemented in other states. Bill
  11. Steve, I ment that you go to the discussion post NEBSonline.com not the actual website. I hope that the posts have answered your questions. It's good to know that there are people out there like us to look out for our peers. This is the reason I got into this industry. Sincerely, Bill
  12. Hi Joel, Thank you for your response. One of the biggest misconseptions is that the district actually makes the decisions as to what providers get on the list. The truth of the matter is that they have only limited control over what products are offered. They can require a minimum participation or Hold Harmless agreement to be signed, but if an employee wishes to add a vendor and meets the requirements, there is nothing the employer can do put follow the employees decision. What NEBSonline does is give you the ability to find out what expenses are there so that you can choose the product with low costs over the alternative The Districts are not allowed to say that one product is bad and one is good. Nor can they qualify what is "high Expense" otherwise they could be found to be out of compliance as they are not allowed to give financial guidance. Only an agent, broker/dealer or certified professional can do that. As far as the districts making a fiduciary decision to farm out these administrative duties. It is their responsibilty to meet the IRS and California State regulations with regards to compliance and plan administration. If there is an organization that does not show bias to a specific product and can perform these services in a timely manner, for the benefit of the employees, then it is not a fiduciary decision. The IRS allows for this type of service to be performed without transferance of this liability. (so long as the organization providing the services meets standards set by the SEC and NASD). I wish that there was a way to eliminate high cost products all together, but with the law written as it is today, it's up to the participants to make the tough decisions. Neither the District nor NEBS can do that for you. b
  13. Hi Steve, Check out my post on "NEBSonline.com" Feedback needed. Hopefully this will answer many of your questions. Sorry it took my so long to resond, but I am on the road. I will make sure not to let more than 2 days go by without posting from now on though. Thank you for your support! Bill
  14. Bill, Are not "Retirement Application Services" provided by the public agency known as the CalTRS? Do they not perform their legal duties adequately? What exactly do you do? Do you sit down with a soon to be retiree and help him/her complete the retirement application properly? and then help the school district remit same to CalTRS? And all of this is in compliance...compliance with what?... I assume it is to assure that the rules and regs as promulgated by the Board of Trustees of CalTRS are followed so that the retirement papers will not be returned. So let me get this right a tax supported public school system hires you for a fee to assure that they are in compliance with the rules and regs of another tax supported agency...the CalTRS. Great work if you can get it. Now let's turn our attention to "employee education". Please describe in detail exactly what you do to "educate" employees? What areas does this cover? Place/area to live? Health and emotional wellbeing? Legal documents like a will, health care proxy, durable power of attorney and last but surely not least do you "educate" the newly retired on their retirement investments? JUST WHAT DO YOU DO? Peace, Joel Joel, The services that NEBSonline provides is regarding 403(b) not CalSTRS benefits. As far as compliance, the IRS requires that the employer not allow any deferrals in excess of the Maximum Allowable Contribution Limits (MAC Calculations). This includes 402(g) and 415© limits based on IRS Publication 571. It also requires that the employer take into consideration catch up elections such as 15 years of service and over the age of 50 catch up elections. We help the employer by provided this information on all employees. We certify these calculations and back them with an indemnification clause. There are many other compliance procedures that we provide for the employers we deal with, including Universal Notification (Also known as 403(b)12(ii)), employee education, workshops and unbiased guidance. Please review my previous post for the rest of your questions. If you still need further details, please let me know. Bill
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