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  1. Hi, Part of the answer depends on who your current employer is - governmental 457 plans have different rollover rules than non-governmental plans.
  2. Hi, we also are FCPS employees and actually welcome the change. TIAA-CREF is low fees as the other poster noted, and Great West's 457 plan, while not having such a wide selection of options, at least has been no fee/no load so I'm optimistic about what their 403(b) offering will be. The reason for terminating existing providers is that they needed to concentrate future contributions in a handful of companies in order to get favorable bids (resulting in low plan fees) from vendors who will want the guaranteed business, as well as the fact that the new regs require them to keep tighter monitoring of complaince with IRC rules which is harder to do with a plethora of vendors, not all of whom may have the capacity/desire to deal with the recordkeeping. I think all in all this is a very good change.
  3. I don't know about the specific of your provider's plan, but the IRC & regs do allow for a "loan" from the plan, usually capped at 50% of your total contributions balance or 50,000, whichever is less. You "repay" yourself, with the money being redeposited into the plan. I think the IRS allows up to 15 years to repay if the loan is taken to purchase a primary residence. The loan disbursement is not a taxable event, but the payments are not deductible either (including the portion that is the "interest" you pay yourself). In effect, the interest gets taxed twice. But it's a way of avoiding the 10% penalty and withdrawing money when you do not qualify for a hardship withdrawal. HTH
  4. Tony, Many thanks for your thoughtful response. The one provider that lets me review things online is AIG Valic, which seems to have some type of fixed option. I did some more research and see that most providers typically have a fixed annuity option. I couldn't get a definite confirmation online, but am wondering if the impression I got about these fixed options is correct, namely, they do not have separate account fees as do variable annuities, and they possibly don't have the mortality expense or some of the other "wrap" charges??? I also can't find is information on their rates of return, although my wife has a similar option in her 457 plan that has actually been doing much better than my IRA invested in the Vanguard Prime MM Fund this past year. If so they don't seem like a bad option if we wanted a fixed income investment anyway . . .
  5. My wife's school district has poor options for 403(b) - AIG VALIC (with no profile retirement option judging from their online enrollment interface), Horace Mann, ING, Lincoln Financial & Metlife. We expect to move move to a lower tax jurisdiction and also end up in a lower federal tax bracket in the next 2-4 years, when my wife will also leave the district. Consequently, besides maxing our IRA's, my 401k and my wife's 457 (which both have very low fees), if we can find something even semi decent in the 403b offerings we'd like to put it there for the tax benefits, roll it over to an IRA, and convert to Roth. We can put money from the other two plans entirely into equities, etc., so we can actually use the 403(b) exclusively for the fixed income part of our portfolio. I thought that I had once read that even high fee providers sometimes have a fixed income option that doesn't charge such high fees. Does anyone know if this is true for any of the above vendors? Also, do any of these vendors waive surrender charges if one terminates employment with the district? I thought I had once seen that mentioned in some prespectuses. Alternatively, do some waive the surrender charges after five years or less? Thanks in advance for any assistance!
  6. Just learned that our school district is taking requests for proposals from potential 403(b) providers. I'd like to use this opportunity to lobby them to go with a low cost option. Anyone to mention other than TIAA/Vanguard/Fidelity? Any tips on effective lobbying? Thanks
  7. I should have clarified - I won't be buying for almost a year, so I don't have a particular lender to query - I was wondering if there's a general trend in the industry to aid in my planning.
  8. My 457 permits 15-year loans to buy a house. I know all about the potential downsides but due to a temporary cash crunch it might make sense for me to borrow from the 457 if I can use it towards the down payment. Thus, what I am more concerned about is how mortgage lenders treat a loan from a 457 (or other plan). From some preliminary research it seems most lenders WILL count the loan payments in calculating my debt-to-income ratio. What I have not been able to get an answer to, however, is whether for purposes of meeting the 5%-20% down payment requirement, the loan proceeds are considered my own money, i.e. the mortgage lender will let me use them to meet the required down payment, or is it treated like a loan from a third party and thus not viewed as part of the down payment? Thanks for any info!
  9. I am still new to the world of 403(b)'s but the discussion below about the employer dropping a vendor left me a little confused, and I couldn't find the answer in the must-reads on the website: If the employer drops my 403(b) vendor, can they force me to transfer the funds already invested in my 403(b) account to the new vendor? If my funds are in a 403(b)(7) and the new vendor only has annuities, will I be forced to liquidate my investments and enter an annuity contract with the new vendor? If my funds are in a 403(b)(7) and the new vendor also offers a 403(b)(7), will I still have to liquidate my investments and repurchase shares in whatever mutual funds the new vendor offers? Or, does the change only effect FUTURE investments? Thanks for any replies!
  10. My spouse has recently started a new job as public school teacher. We're in a high tax bracket so we'd ideally like to put away the maximum possible in the employer's 403(b) and 457 plans. The district has a single provider for their 457 with decent options, but seven approved 403(b) vendors, many of whom I've seen criticized on this board (and a cursory look at their literature shows some high fees). The vendors are: AIG VALIC www.aigvalic.com Financial Directors, LLC www.financial-directors.com Horace Mann www.horacemann.com ING Financial Advisors, LLC www.ingretirementplans.com Kaplan Financial (formerly ABC Financial Center) www.kaplanfinancial.org Lincoln Financial Group www.lfg.com MetLife Resources (including CitiStreet) www.metlife.com I know it will take some time for me to fully research out our options, so are there any non-starters that I needn't even look at? I think low fees are the most important criterion for us by far. I have a background in finance so the ability to get investment advice is not very important. In terms of diversification, we have many alternatives through the 457 and my own plan, so diversification within the 403(b) itself is not as pressing. Thanks for any help!
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