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amydare

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  1. If you don't mind my asking, who is that TPA, and where are they located?
  2. Here's the new list from First Financial 3rd party administrators in a lot of Texas and Southwestern US ISDs. Are there any good ones on here, or are they all duds? Also, it is my understanding that only former armed services members can make use of USAA; is that correct? One last question: how much would it cost for a small school district, say 500 employees, to get a low-cost plan administrator, rather than a "free" one...? Any guesses? November 24, 2008 TO: All School District 403(b) Annuity Participants FROM: First Financial Administrators, Inc. RE: 403(b) Final Regulations and Important Changes The Internal Revenue Service issued new Section 403(b) regulations for annuity plans in public school districts effective January 1, 2009. These regulations add cumbersome compliance responsibilities to employers and annuity vendors. As a result, many vendors currently offering 403(b) annuity plans are leaving the market and have notified clients. Examples include AIM, Merrill Lynch, Nationwide, and Van Kampen. Participants may be allowed to maintain balances with those carriers, but future contributions must stop before the January 1, 2009, deadline. The IRS also stipulates that employers are responsible for tracking loans, transfers and exchanges, hardship withdrawals, etc. and must obtain an information sharing agreement from each vendor. As your school district third party administrator, it is our responsibility to contact each vendor on payroll and ensure that our Contract Provider Agreement is signed and in place before January 1, 2009. Vendors refusing to sign the agreement will not be allowed to receive contributions after that date. Included in the new regulations is the requirement that a Plan Document be in place by the deadline. The Document must include options available (i.e. loans, hardship withdrawals, etc.) and must list vendors eligible to receive contributions from school district employees. Please be aware that your current 403(b) annuity carrier may not sign our agreement, and contributions will cease effective January payroll. Please contact your financial advisor for direction. We continue to work with vendors to secure signed agreements, and new ones are added weekly. The following vendors have signed our Contract Provider Agreement and are eligible to receive contributions after January 1, 2009, from all Texas school districts and – if approved for payroll – in Louisiana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Virginia, and Arizona. American Funds (only if currently on payroll and ISA in place) Americo Financial Life Annuity Investors AXA Equitable CM Life Commonwealth Annuity Fidelity Security Life First Investors Great American Financial Horace Mann Industrial Alliance Kansas City Life Kemper Investors Life Insurance Company of the Southwest (LSW) Lincoln Financial Group Mass Mutual Life Midland National Modern Woodmen of America New York Life North American Company for Life and Health Oppenheimer Funds Protective Life Riversource Life Security Benefit Life Symetra Life Insurance Company Thrivent Investment Thrivent Financial USAA Investment USAA Life United Teacher Associates (UTA) Waddell and Reed
  3. Here's the new list from First Financial 3rd party administrators in a lot of Texas and Southwestern US ISDs. Are there any good ones on here, or are they all duds? Also, it is my understanding that only former armed services members can make use of USAA; is that correct? One last question: how much would it cost for a small school district, say 500 employees, to get a low-cost plan administrator, rather than a "free" one...? Any guesses? November 24, 2008 TO: All School District 403(b) Annuity Participants FROM: First Financial Administrators, Inc. RE: 403(b) Final Regulations and Important Changes The Internal Revenue Service issued new Section 403(b) regulations for annuity plans in public school districts effective January 1, 2009. These regulations add cumbersome compliance responsibilities to employers and annuity vendors. As a result, many vendors currently offering 403(b) annuity plans are leaving the market and have notified clients. Examples include AIM, Merrill Lynch, Nationwide, and Van Kampen. Participants may be allowed to maintain balances with those carriers, but future contributions must stop before the January 1, 2009, deadline. The IRS also stipulates that employers are responsible for tracking loans, transfers and exchanges, hardship withdrawals, etc. and must obtain an information sharing agreement from each vendor. As your school district third party administrator, it is our responsibility to contact each vendor on payroll and ensure that our Contract Provider Agreement is signed and in place before January 1, 2009. Vendors refusing to sign the agreement will not be allowed to receive contributions after that date. Included in the new regulations is the requirement that a Plan Document be in place by the deadline. The Document must include options available (i.e. loans, hardship withdrawals, etc.) and must list vendors eligible to receive contributions from school district employees. Please be aware that your current 403(b) annuity carrier may not sign our agreement, and contributions will cease effective January payroll. Please contact your financial advisor for direction. We continue to work with vendors to secure signed agreements, and new ones are added weekly. The following vendors have signed our Contract Provider Agreement and are eligible to receive contributions after January 1, 2009, from all Texas school districts and – if approved for payroll – in Louisiana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Virginia, and Arizona. American Funds (only if currently on payroll and ISA in place) Americo Financial Life Annuity Investors AXA Equitable CM Life Commonwealth Annuity Fidelity Security Life First Investors Great American Financial Horace Mann Industrial Alliance Kansas City Life Kemper Investors Life Insurance Company of the Southwest (LSW) Lincoln Financial Group Mass Mutual Life Midland National Modern Woodmen of America New York Life North American Company for Life and Health Oppenheimer Funds Protective Life Riversource Life Security Benefit Life Symetra Life Insurance Company Thrivent Investment Thrivent Financial USAA Investment USAA Life United Teacher Associates (UTA) Waddell and Reed
  4. You may also want to try googling : origin of the phrase "financial awareness" That seemed to get some Canadian and UK results.
  5. This may be a bingo. I googled : origin of the phrase "financial literacy" , and got a lot of returns. This was the top match, though. http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/bulleti...02/1102lead.pdf Hope this helps. The Librarian
  6. You might try the educator resources from the Federal Reserve. My quick search rendered a lot at the high school level on economics and finance history within the US, but they have it on younger and older levels as well. If this doesn't work, and you wouldn't mind cluing me in on the purpose of your research, I could possibly obtain some better results. The Librarian http://www.federalreserveeducation.org/tea...arch_Result.cfm
  7. My Texas district also uses First Financial, and when I contacted them in the Spring of 2006 about opening a Vanguard 403(b) account, FF did not mention anything about EFTs other than the fact that FF was unwilling and/or unable to make an electronic transfer to Vanguard; and Vanguard would no longer "take a check," so they were no longer opening up any new employee accounts with Vanguard. I turned instead to T. Rowe Price funds, and though the expense ratios are a little higher than those advertised by Vanguard, I have been well pleased with their phone customer service and the returns on my funds, as well as the excellent (and understandable) investment magazine we receive from them through the mail. My husband, an employee at another ISD, chose Fidelity, and has also been quite satisfied with his investments, though I think his district uses a TPA other than First Financial.
  8. I did just that. The rep asked me to wait and then laid down the phone; she did not put me on hold. I could hear the entire conversation in the back ground -- And I quote: "...We've got another one asking about Vanguard...". The rep and her manager were unprofessional and absolutely no help, nor was our district rep. I finally got a few answers from TRS, here's what I have learned: All participating school districts give FFGA a payroll slot and cut them a check every pay period. FFGA then groups all incoming monies by the company actually managing the indiviuals' 403b and transfers a lump sum to each. It is then up to that company (Vanguard, T. Rowe Price, etc.) to disperse this lump sum into the individual accounts. FFGA does not manage the transfers on a individual-to-company basis. What district do you work for? Wow, that's impressive! You've really gone all-out on this! But yeah, that's the story I got from FFGA as well. It was Vanguard who told me they will no longer accept *LUMP EFTs* (i.e., doing FFGA's work for them) and require the TPA's to mange the transfers individually. BTW, Vanguard isn't the only one doing this. Look for this trend to increase, especially with no-load fund providers. I'm sure I'm greatly over-simplifying the process here but it does make one wonder what FFGA actually does. Well, other than telling me whom I can (or can't) do business with :) Mark
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