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    Eric, terrible news. I am not sure what you mean by EFS: Fidelity Direct, though? Is this Educational Financial Services? What role does EFS have in this?
  2. EricJ, I am also in MN and want to offer my two cents. I am hoping you have Fidelity Direct with no middle-man but if it is through Educator's Financial Services I am almost sure you will be getting hit with close to a 1% "consultation fee." Just something you may want to check on. I can't believe they will be doing it for free, unless the district has Fidelity as a vendor than you wouldn't need to go through EFS.
  3. I need a little help from the membership. I am on my district's committee to choose new vendors and we have come up with a recommendation to bring to the Board. Our recommendation is to go with only one vendor, a low cost mutual fund provider. The district has even agreed to provide and pay for financial planning help with a fee based planner. I am quite happy with our recommendation but I know that there will be questions and upset members. My main concern is that members will want choice and their "guy." Regardless, if we chose one or five vendors many teachers would lose their current vendor. I have a good response I think but what I want to know is how do I respond to these people that want choice even though that choice will cost them much more money? I don't want to insult them but I know many of them chose their current vendor because the salesman was a fellow colleague (teacher) and that's what everyone did. My response is one of the pocketbook, is there another angle? TIA
  4. I am on my district's 403b committee and we are looking at a new plan because of the change in regs. We have not chosen our vendors yet but I am fairly confident that a low cost one (Fidelity) will be among them. The problems is that others still want a "full service" provider (Insurance Company). I am not asking to debate the vendor merits, I already know we don't want the insurance company, some others on the committee don't see it that way. We will probably end up choosing at least two vendors. Some of the insurance companies (the usual suspects) we are looking at can also be a TPA. Because we get it "free" this one will be harder for me to argue against. I can't honestly believe it will be free-call me jaded. I would rather go with a fee for service provider that has no conflict of interest. My question is: will an insurance company be OK as a TPA? Why or why not? I can't believe they can somehow take money (as a fee) from me if I invest in Fidelity if they act as a TPA. But maybe, these are the things I don't understand. If not, can someone provide me with some valid points to go with a separate TPA or Common Remitter? I need to be able to present this to the committee if the issue comes up. TIA
  5. Our consultant in our RFP will be contacting all of our current vendors for information regarding their operations in the 403b market. That number stands at around 30 and includes Vanguard. We can add other vendors for them to contact. I have asked them to include: Fidelity, T. Rowe Price, and TIAA-CREF. Are there any other low cost mutual fund companies I should have them include in their request for information?
  6. I am on our district's committee to look at and formulate our new 403b plan. We currently have over 30 vendors, one of which is Vanguard. Most are insurance companies. Our task is to narrow our vendors to less than 5. I am thinking once we start talking costs etc, it will be 3 or less. In then end, I believe our new plan is going to be worse than our current one because we will lose Vanguard due to them not signing an ISA - from what I read on this board. My goal is to make sure that at least one of the vendors is a no-load mutual fund company like Vanguard, Fidelity, T Rowe. It would be great if one of these was our exclusive vendor. I don't think that will happen for these reasons-education and advising. My question, and I know others on the committee will ask it, is how do we advise our members on investments if we go exclusively no-load? I am fine on my own but I know that many are not. I think if many knew what it was costing them to get this advice, they would see the light and educate themselves. As an aside, I find it very interesting that people will spend more time and due diligence researching the latest digital camera or TV that may save them $50-$100, than their retirement, which will end up costing them 10s of thousands of dollars. Is there a way to get unbiased advisement without adding high cost insurance companies or load mutual fund companies to our vendor list? My idea would be to automatically enroll people in an S&P 500 index or Lifestyle fund but I know that won't go over well with everyone. Ideas?
  7. Scottyd, When you say insurance companies do offer mutual funds, what do mean? Are they actually offering them as separate standalone products under their company name with, I assume, high fees. Or do they just offer other mutual fund companies' funds and add another level of fees to them. Aren't these mutual funds wrapped in an annuity 99% of the time? I am not sure I get it when you say an insurance company offers MFs.
  8. ^ The good news is that he didn't become our consultant, so I won't be able to ask him those questions. During his presentation I couldn't stop squirming, it was a classic sales pitch. I wish I could have asked him about the M & E fee. He added how great of thing revenue sharing would be, classic. And this is the guy who was supposed to be our unbiased consultant. But I still don't understand the "they are not annuities" thing. Like AP said, they are from an insurance company. What other kind of product would they be? He couldn't have been bold (dumb) enough to lie in front of 16 people, could he have? Addendum - Thanks Skeptical, I had just posted the above before I read your post.
  9. At my district's RFP meeting, we had a potential "consultant" give his presentation and he was showing what another district had done. He was telling about how they (the other district) went with Met Life and and he was showing all the "funds" that were available. He was pointing out all the choices we would have. They were from all different mutual fund companies- a onesy, twoesy thing-classic annuity thing. He was trying to wow us with returns etc. My BS meter was now on high. So, I asked him if these were annuities and he said "no." I am fairly well read on this topic (from this site) but if they weren't annuities what were they? Was he lying? For gosh sakes they are being sold from an insurance company. He kept saying they had low expense because you would now be in a group rather individual. My take - low expenses compared to individual annuities not to no-load mutual funds. Any insight would be helpful.
  10. I am also from MN and curious to know who you were looking at. My district is going through the same process and I am on the committee and would like to follow what this site recommends also. I am curious to know who the bidders were. Send me a PM if you would like. Thanks
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